Rejoice! It is indeed possible to meet your protein needs without consuming meat or dairy products, even without fish or eggs! Given that proteins are necessary for most body activities such as tissue repair, hormone synthesis, fighting infection, and much more, they should not be neglected, vegetarian diet or not.
What Are My Protein Needs?
Nutritionists from TeamNutrition are best placed to tell you if you are consuming enough protein. Protein requirements can vary greatly depending on age, health status, and physical activity. In general, about 25g of protein per meal is sufficient, and you can integrate them into snacks at a rate of about 15g per snack.
A Protein-rich Breakfast to Start the Day Right
It can sometimes be more difficult to incorporate a good source of protein into breakfast. Continue to focus on variety by drawing inspiration from the different sources of protein below.
By combining two or more sources of protein, you can easily reach 25g of protein for the first meal of the day. Here are recipes that will whet your appetite upon waking:
- Egg breakfast muffins
- Chocolate oatmeal to make the night before
- Buckwheat pancakes with Greek yogurt
Quantity vs Variety
You may be surprised to learn that with the exception of fruits, all plants contain protein. However, the amount of protein can vary greatly. Soy-based products (tofu, tempeh, edamame, fortified soy drink, etc.) are particularly rich in protein. Legumes contain a good amount, while other foods like quinoa, which has a good reputation, do not contain enough. In other words, a bowl of quinoa would not provide enough protein for a meal and should be complemented with another source of protein like nuts, seeds, and/or legumes.
In summary, your protein needs can easily be met with a vegetarian diet. You just need to pay attention to the amount of protein in the foods you choose and enhance your protein intake by pairing different sources of vegetarian protein, which also increases the variety on the plate!