I eat on average about 5-6 meals of meat per week – and that varies depending on my days – sometimes I have 2 meals a day sometimes 5 smaller meals. In a traditional sense that would mean out of 21 meals per week, I eat meat 28% of the time. This varies from chicken to beef to turkey. I figured aside from my lentils and beans and a few other sources I regularly eat, that I would compile a list of various protein-rich sources that are non-meat related and I wanted to do this for two reasons.
- Remind myself that I can further reduce my meat intake and still get my proteins from various non-meat sources
- Share my knowledge with the HPF community so that this may benefit you as well
That being said, let’s get down to the facts. Whether you are vegetarian or you enjoy throwing in a slab of meat from time to time, the list below contains 10 various protein rich sources that are plant based and on my list of alternatives to meat.
Note: I mention 1 cup which is a custom American/British unit of measurement. For us Europeans, it would be a coffee cup (1/4 of a liter).
1 cup of guava is roughly 4.20 grams of protein.
This tropical fruit is probably one you are not eating, at least not regularly. In a cup, you will find 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber including three times the vitamin C of a large orange! Guava’s are also rich in lycopene a phytonutrient that is linked to reduction of cancer and cardio vascular disease.
The perfect guava is determined if you can easily slide through the skin with your fingernail. To prepare a guava, just wash it off and eat. The skin and even seeds are edible. They make a great addition to fruit salads, etc.
1 cup of cooked pasta contains roughly 10 grams of protein.
This one is a given and I just had to add it to my list considering that pasta is one of my favorite dishes. They are known for being rich in complex carbohydrates and providing energy to muscles, but many people also forget that pasta is a good source of protein. I love Barilla if I go for grain based pasta and these bad boys have a whopping 10 grams of protein per cup. They also contain omega 3 fatty acids and a few grams of fiber.
1 cup is roughly 8 grams of protein.
My wife initially introduced me to quinoa a few years ago and I fell in love with it. It looks like a grain but isn’t. It actually belongs to the same group of vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. It has fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. A half cup of cooked quinoa is probably the most protein rich whole carb you can eat. It also provides all essential amino acids.
1 cup is roughly 3 grams.
This vegetable provides folic acid and important B vitamin as well as vitamin C, iron, and ca. 2 grams of fiber per cup.
1 cup is roughly 2.5 grams of protein.
I like seaweed, despite not liking all types of sushi. Seaweed offers key nutrients including magnesium and manganese. A cup of raw seaweed (wakame type) has a bit more than 2 grams of protein.
1 cup contains roughly 2.8 grams of protein.
This member of the cabbage family is packed with nutrients and is low in calories. It is known as the “queen of greens” because of this. Kale has fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and antioxidants.
Dried Chia Seeds
2 Teaspoons are roughly 3 grams of protein.
Chia seeds contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids making them quite known especially among those of us who are health conscious. They are also a good source of protein adding roughly 3 grams to any meal. They have a mild, nutty flavor and you can toss them into just about anything.
1 large potato is roughly 6.5 grams of protein.
Potatoes contain not just carbs but protein as well. A medium potato contains more vitamin C than a tomato and more potassium than a banana – did you know that? Eating the skin of a baked potato is also good because it contains fiber and B vitamins.
Half a cup is roughly 5.9 grams of protein.
Garbanzo beans as they are also known as are a Middle Eastern legume that provides nearly 6 grams of protein per half cup! They are also loaded with fiber and apparently help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The most famous dish out of chickpeas is probably hummus however you can use these guy’s in a multitude of ways.
28 grams contain roughly 6 grams of protein.
With 6 grams of protein per 28 grams of pistachios, these nuts contain more protein per serving than most other tree nuts. They also are good in fiber. Eat them in portions. A handful of pistachios will help satisfy the craving for something savory and crunchy.
It does not always have to be meat. Do something good for yourself and the environment and increase your physical and mental performance by trying a few of these protein-rich alternative sources. Not bad, or? So whether you are a vegetarian or even vegan, or someone like myself trying to eat less meat then this should hopefully help you know where to go in your local supermarket so that you can add alternate protein sources to your diet.
My question to you then is, how much protein do you consume per day? Do you track it? What other sources of protein do you have? Comment below!