The recommended amount of protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilo of body weight. But for vegetarians that amount is 20% higher. In addition, they should make sure to eat proteins from different sources because of the difference in essential amino acids. For example, legumes do not contain all essential amino acids, but if you also eat enough grains, you will get all the amino acids you need.
Proteins that you consume through your food and drinks are broken down by your body into small protein chunks: the amino acids. With these amino acids your body makes other proteins. Some amino acids can be made by the body itself. You have to get others through food: the essential amino acids. Vegetable proteins sometimes contain fewer essential amino acids or in the wrong proportion. In addition, the protein from some vegetable products is sometimes more difficult to digest.
What are great sources of protein for vegetarians?
I selected 10 sources of protein that are great for vegetarians to add to a varied diet.
- Soy beans – 22 grams protein per 100 gram
- Oats – 13,5 grams protein per 100 gram
- Tofu – 12 grams protein pre 100 gram
- Lentils – 10 grams protein per 100 gram
- Black beans – 9 grams protein per 100 gram (cooked)
- Chickpeas – 7,5 gram protein per 100 gram
- Pumpkin seeds – 6 gram protein per hand
- Almonds – 6 gram protein per hand
- Cashews – 5 gram protein per hand
- Corn – 3,5 grams protein per 100 gram
On short term, a shortage of protein can lead to muscle tissue breakdown. This happens especially when the body takes in less energy than it needs. In the longer term, a shortage of protein leads to a lack of muscle strength and a reduced resistance. So make sure you add different sources of protein to your diet.
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