Since the dawning of time, men have been carnivorous. We eat lots of meat from different sources, which has always been our sources of protein. However, delicate stomachs, allergies, empathy, and environmental concerns have led to a large part of the population either not eating meat at all or eating as little meat as possible. Many critics claim that we can’t get enough protein in our diets without eating meat, but that just isn’t true.
Let’s start with why protein is essential
Protein helps to build hair that is strong and can grow extremely long. It helps with your skin and the repairs process. Finally, it can help to keep your muscles strong. If you are experiencing a protein deficiency, you may notice that those parts of your body are the first to feel it – you experience hair loss, your muscles are weak, and you are fatigued. These could all be signs of other things as well, but you may want to start with upping the amount of protein that you consume.
But can you get protein while still living a life that believes in the validity of all lives on earth? Can you get protein without eating the meat of other animals? It is possible! You may have to change up what you eat or add a few things to your diet, but it is something that is entirely possible. Here are a few things to consider:
Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and even watermelon seeds all have high levels of protein. Add a few to your salads at lunch, munch of some as part of your midday snack, or find new ways to incorporate it into your diet in other ways. Since seeds tend to have nearly 33 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, it will help to make you feel fuller and look better.
Nuts: Similarly, nuts are probably the easiest way for most vegans and vegetarians to get more protein in their diets. You can chew on cashews, peanuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pretty much any other food that has the word “nut” in it. Peanut butter is, of course, the most popular way to eat nuts, just make sure to watch what else is in your peanut butter, because there are some problematic elements in some peanut butters. You also need to make sure that your nuts aren’t salted because you can seriously add way too much sodium to your diet.
Dairy: For vegetarians, you can get a lot of your protein from your dairy intake as well. If you are a vegan, this section really isn’t for you. However, vegetarians get to eat cheese, and that can really help. Cheese of all kinds: cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, Colby cheese, cheddar cheese, and Munster cheese are all fantastic. You can even add parmesan cheese to that list. There are other dairy products that have a hefty amount of protein as well, including eggs, ice cream, Greek yogurt, and milk.
Beans: While most people don’t really like them, beans can be an integral part of your diet. Especially darker beans like black beans or garbanzo beans have tons of protein that you can really dress up in different and exciting ways. Make sure to look up some recipes because beans have really taken off in the last few years.
Soy: Soy is something that most people have heard bad things about, but that isn’t the case if you get the quality stuff. Tofu, soy milk, veggie burgers, and other soy sources can pack a lot of soy into small packages. If you are cooking with tofu, know that there is a bit of a learning curve.
Cereal: Cereal companies have been fortifying their cereals with good sources of protein that include ingredients from other places on this list. Make sure to read the labels and see that there isn’t a lot of sugar, or that can counteract the benefits of the protein.
Spinach: Spinach is an easy ingredient to work into your diet – add it to your salads, make it into a stir-fry, use it instead of lettuce on your sandwiches, or just gnaw on some as a treat. It will help you to add more protein to your diet.
No matter what, you have to make sure that you get enough protein in your diet. It truly is one of the building blocks of your body and you wouldn’t be able to function properly without it.