Alternative Protein Sources

For many of us, protein is accompanied by images of steak, eggs, pork, and chicken. Although meat and other animal by products contain protein, they are not necessarily the best and most reliable source of protein for your diet. A diet filled with protein can increase your strength and speed up fat loss while retaining your muscle mass. It is not healthy to consume copious amounts of animal products to keep your protein intake high. Luckily, there are many alternative protein sources that are high in vitamins and minerals. Incorporate any of high protein sources listed below into your diet for healthier protein options:

1. Quinoa
Quinoa is similar to rice in the sense that it is a whole grain. It contains 14.1 grams of protein per serving making it an excellent grain to include into any balanced meal. It is gluten free and high in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.

2. Lentil
Lentils are delicious served in soups or as a side dish. They can contain up to 20 grams of protein per serving size of 1 cup. They are an excellent source of iron and folic acid. Not to mention, lentils are great for your bone health!

3. Chia Seeds
Although they are tiny, chia seeds pack a big punch. They contain 5 grams of protein per serving size of 1 ounce. They’re filled with omega-3 fatty acids and rich in antioxidants.

4. Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein. They are excellent for weight loss and bloating since they contain both protein and fiber. 1 cup of chickpeas contains 11 grams of protein.

5. Peas
Peas contain thiamine, folate, vitamin A, C, K, and fiber. They boast 8.6 grams of protein per serving size of one cup. You can eat them as a side dish or you can even pick up pea based protein powder from the store!