Protein is a vital nutrient for many processes in our body. It is the building block of tissues and important for their repair and growth. Protein can also be used as fuel. When we think of protein, the first sources that come to mind are typically animal sources like chicken, beef, and maybe eggs. However, protein can also be found in non-animal sources.
These three neglected plant foods are good sources of protein. Whether you’re a carnivore or not, you should have them on your protein food list. They are quinoa, chia seeds, and peanut butter.
Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It’s a popular health food, similar to rice, and it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber, it has a much higher fiber content than other grains.
But it is also a great source of protein. Unlike other similar non-animal protein sources, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids.
One hundred grams of quinoa contains 4-5 grams of this important substance and approximately 370 calories. The amount of protein per 100 g may be too little compared to meat, eggs or fish. However, eating quinoa instead of rice or bread can increase your daily protein intake. You can also make sweet snacks out of quinoa.
Here are the full nutritional information (per 100g):
– – protein: 8 grams.
– – Fiber: 5 grams.
– – manganese: 58% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
– – magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
– – phosphorus: 28% of the RDA.
– – Folic acid: 19% of the RDA.
– – copper: 18% of the RDA.
– – Iron: 15% of the RDA.
– – zinc: 13% of the RDA.
– – potassium 9% of the RDA.
– Over 10% of the RDA for Vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
– Small amounts of calcium, B3 (niacin) and Vitamin E.
Chia seeds are the best proof that good things come in small packages. These tiny seeds contain significant amounts of fiber, iron and calcium, magnesium and zinc.
In addition, they are an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids and are imposed as an inevitable condition in the diet. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain almost 10 grams of protein. Never eat them dry. First, soak them in water, milk, or yogurt for ten to twenty minutes.
Here are the nutritional information for 100 g of chia seeds:
protein: 16.5 grams
carbohydrates: 42.1 grams
sugar: 0 grams
Fiber: 34.4 grams
fat: 30.7 grams
Saturated: 3.33 grams
Monounsaturated: 2.31 grams
Polyunsaturated: 23.67 grams
omega-3: 17.83 grams
omega-6: 5.84 grams
Trans: 0.14 grams
Chia seeds are also gluten free.
100 grams of peanut butter contains up to 32 grams of protein. In addition to your other sources of protein, make sure you include peanut butter in your diet for extra protein (if you’re not allergic to it, of course). But be careful when choosing your peanut butter. Read the explanation and buy jars high in peanuts and avoid those high in sugar.
Typical nutritional information for 2 tablespoons (32 g) of peanut butter
fat: 16 g
sodium: 140 mg
carbohydrates: 8 g
Here is a list of more vegetarian and vegan protein sources: 5 Protein Packaged Foods for Vegetarians