Flexitarianism has become a lifestyle adopted by many. But how do you make sure you don’t miss out on your protein intake?
A flexitarian diet is a semi-vegetarian diet that mainly features plant-based foods and dairy products along with a limited amount of meat. It’s a good fit for those who want to lose weight and watch their health but still can’t completely abandon meat.
This cutback on meat inevitably results in a drop of protein in any flexitarian diet.
However, there are plenty of sources of flexitarian protein for those who are looking to get their supply of this essential macronutrient.
Best Protein Sources
Protein is an essential component of the cells in your body. It’s used to repair tissues, make enzymes, and maintain muscle mass.
Your body doesn’t store protein like it stores fat and, therefore, needs a steady supply of it. Here are some sources you should look into when it comes to getting your dose of protein.
Brown rice isn’t what first comes to mind when deliberating alternative protein sources. Most people look for protein in vegetables and plants. However, brown rice contains a significant amount of protein.
Despite being unpopular for its richness in carbs, brown rice is much healthier than white rice. It only has its hull removed, unlike white rice which has its hull, bran, and germ removed. This ensures any consumer a higher nutritional value.
Brown rice also keeps you satiated for a long time, encouraging weight loss.
A plant-based source of protein, quinoa is a great add-in to your diet. When you compare it to other grains you’ll find that it has more protein than most.
It contains all the essential nine amino acids which are important for your body, due to the fact that your body can’t synthesize these amino acids on its own.
Even NASA has been looking into quinoa recently. With its highly-nutritious mature and the effortlessness with which it grows, quinoa is an ideal flexitarian food.
Soy, much like quinoa, contains all the essential nine amino acids. This automatically makes it an obvious choice of protein for most flexitarians.
It also has been noted that a single serving of ½ cup of soybeans a day could help prevent cancer.
Cultivated in the Middle East for many years, chickpeas are rich not only in protein but in minerals and vitamins as well.
This protein includes eight out of the nine essential amino acids. Methionine, an amino acid that has an important part in various cell functions, isn’t present in chickpeas. This stops chickpeas short from being a complete protein.
To make sure you’re getting all the amino acids your body needs, try to pair chickpeas with another food high in methionine like rice or nuts.
Lentils are an amazing addition to your diet. They’re monstrously rich in protein, with half a cup serving 60 grams of the macronutrient. They’re sure to keep you satiated for hours, therefore promoting weight loss.
Besides being the ultimate substitute for meat, lentils serve a good amount of both potassium and iron among other nutrients. Slurping some lentil soup will fight your anemia and your low iron levels.
With all the health benefits it brings, it’s understandable why anyone would want to pursue a flexitarian lifestyle. The question that remains is the question of flexitarian protein. From brown rice to lentils, many alternative sources for protein present themselves as an answer to this question. You just have to eat!