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A Vegetarian List Of High Protein Foods - Plus How To Stay Healthy Eating Vegetarian Protein



This article is for vegetarians and their families who want a list of high protein foods from vegetarian sources. Healthy vegetarians must take care to meet protein requirements adequately. Vegans need to be even more sensitive to their body’s needs. I have raw vegan friends who cured themselves of serious conditions, and years later are still thriving on vegan foods. Many people feel vegetarianism supports their emotional/spiritual wellbeing. If you’re going to do it, do it well!

The list of high protein foods from vegetarian sources

1) Spirulina

A rare vegetarian ‘complete protein’ because it contains all the essential amino acids. Spirulina is 85-95% digestible and easy for the body to digest and assimilate. Enjoy spirulina in a smoothie or dressing.

2) Bee pollen

Approximately 40% protein and packed with essential minerals and vitamins. It is one of nature's most completely nourishing super foods. Bee pollen is contains more protein than any animal source; more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight.

3) Soy products

½ cup of cooked soybeans contain 10 grams of protein and ¼ cup of tofu contains 10 grams of protein. While soy products have been a small part of some Asian diets for hundreds of years, they are new to the west. In China and Japan soy products were always made fresh, and often a special treat, unlike highly processed varieties. The verdict is not out on soy. Enjoy in moderation. Choose best quality organic tofu and unsweetened natural soy milks. Fermented soy products like tempeh are easier to digest.

4) Beans and legumes

2/3 cup of cooked chickpeas equals about 10 grams of protein each. Beans contain incomplete protein. This means you need to combine them with other protein containing vegetable foods. Eating beans and grains together is a classic combination and provides complete protein.

5) Eggs
Eggs are ‘eggcellent’ protein and a source of quality monounsaturated fat. Go organic and free range because an egg is only as good as the chicken that laid it.

6) Dairy

A good form of protein but…

In an ideal world we would get our milk raw and straight from the cow. Raw organic milk and fermented milk products are much better for you than pasteurized and homogenized.

Why? Homogenization breaks milk down into smaller particles. These particles can be absorbed intact, sometimes causing lactose intolerance. Pasteurization was implemented to sanitize milk, but it kills the goodies too. The enzymes in raw milk aid digestion, plus special lactic acid producing bacteria protect against pathogens in the milk.

If you can only get treated organic milk, no worries – here are suggestions to make to make pasteurized homogenized milk protein more digestible:

• Eat yoghurt (it has been re-enlivened with living yoghurt cultures which help digestion)

• Warm the milk with digestive spices like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger.

• Cottage cheese is more digestible when you add a little yoghurt.

• Try goat and sheep products

There are networks in the US providing legal raw milk. Ask around.

7) Protein powder

Whey protein powders are a processed protein option. However a protein powder smoothie is fine as an occasional snack or breakfast. Quality is the key for total health.
Look for:

• ‘Ultra-filtered’. If you have lactose intolerance choose the even finer ‘micro-filtered’ as this process removes lactose.

• No artificial flavours and sweeteners

• About 70-80% protein

How to stay healthy eating only vegetarian protein

• Be tuned in to your bodies needs. Eat more spirulina, bee pollen and legumes if you feel you need more protein.

• Are you free from food cravings? For example sugar cravings can be a sign of protein deficiency.

• Take blood tests for serum albumin, iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency a couple of times a year.

• Be aware of these other symptoms of protein deficiency: brittle unhealthy hair, overly ‘moon-shaped’ face, thinking a lot about eating, weight and hunger, shrinkage of muscle tissue, oedema, and slow growth (in children).

• Check if your dietary choices spring from self-kindness or from a sense that you ‘should’ eat that way. Being a healthy vegetarian over years needs to feel intrinsically right for you on all levels. Then go for it!

Copyright Wild Health and Anna Wilde

Anna Wilde works with people who want to improve their health naturally.

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