Proteins are essential elements in our daily diets as they are not only necessary to have healthy muscles but they are present in every single cell in our bodies. Protein rich foods are also quite fulfilling and this characteristic makes them essential for individuals who look forward to lose weight. Sources of protein are not only limited to the popular meat and dairy products but there are some unusual sources that have proteins in addition to lots of other benefits as following:
Beans are superb options to increase your protein intake because there are many kinds of them and many ways to cook them. For instance, a salad can transform from just a side dish to a nutritious meal with the addition of your favorite bean. Putting the right ingredients in a salad will provide you with enough antioxidants, proteins, fibers and healthy fats to boost your wellbeing.
7. Whole-Grain Pasta
The last thing to pop of most of our minds as a protein source would be pasta. Though notorious of being just a supply of additional carbohydrates, when whole-grain, pasta can provide us with good quantities of proteins, fibers and vitamin B. A dish with whole-grain pasta plus some lentils or black beans can prove to be a delicious nourishing main course for vegetarians and pasta lovers.
Soybean products such as tofu are protein rich sources. A pleasant way to prepare tofu, especially soft tofu which is called soybean curd, is to scramble it just like you scramble eggs. The addition of spices and stir-fry vegetables will not just enhance the flavor but will also increase the nutritious value of a scrambled tofu dish.
5. Powdered Milk
Here is a protein source that you can add to many dishes without having to eat extra components. As it comes from milk, powdered milk is rich in both proteins and calcium which are both crucial to muscle and bone health. In order not to increase your fat intake, you can use skimmed powdered milk in soups, mashed potatoes, hot chocolate and other foods to get the benefit without harm.
Quinoa grains are highly recommended protein sources as they are richer with proteins than other grains and are also faster to cook. These South American grains also contain valuable quantities of potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Quinoa can be used as alternatives to noodles in stews and casseroles. A quinoa dessert can be prepared by cooking it in soy milk and flavoring it with vanilla then topping the dish with chopped nuts and fruits.
Although small in size, a seed contains wonders. Seeds like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds have rich amounts of proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants and minerals. Eating seeds as snacks or adding them to meals can help with digestion problems and appetite control.
In case you are wondering what edamame are
, they are fresh soybeans before they dry. And just like hardened soybean and tofu, edamame are packed with protein. In fact, edamame are thought to be sufficient protein sources just like dairy products. There are many ways to eat edamame, you can steam them and eat them as snacks on their own, add them to sandwiches and salads
, or puree them.
Eating too much nuts can result in unwanted weight gain. However, eating moderate amounts of nuts provides us with healthy fats for our brains and a good amount of protein without putting on extra pounds. Just as with beans, nuts can be added to salads or pastas to increase the protein content. Snacking on nuts will also always be an entertaining choice.