02 September 2010

How to reach protein requirements without eating beans

Question from Twitter: What is the best way for a vegetarian to get enough protein daily without lovin lentils and garbanzo beans?

If you are not a bean lover, have no fear! There is protein in all foods, albeit some more than others. It is true that lentils and garbanzo beans are rich in protein, but there are plenty of other plant foods out there that are excellent sources of protein.

Most leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc) are between 30-50% protein per calorie. Since we only require about 10-15% of our calories to come from protein, by adding leafy greens to your daily diet you can rest assured you are getting an adequate amount of this nutrient.

Other stellar sources are grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, amaranth and barley, and even fruit. For example, bananas and avocados both provide about 4-5 grams of protein in one serving (one piece of fruit). This site is also a wonderful resource: www.highproteinfoods.net.

Overall, by eating a balanced diet of whole foods, you can obtain all the protein you need, even if you go 'beanless.' :))

For more detailed information, check out this article that I recently posted: Answers to the plant based diet protein deficiency myth 

Lori Zito is a certified holistic health and nutrition coach, a yoga instructor, and a physical therapist. Learn more at her website, or follow Lori on Facebook and Twitter.

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