Vegetarian Protein Powder: Vegetarian protein powder is generally created with a variety of vegetarian protein sources such as hemp, brown rice, pea, cranberry, and mushroom protein. The best vegetarian protein powders will be raw, organic, and enhanced with probiotics and enzymes for optimal digestion. Be sure to choose a protein powder containing at least 15 grams of protein per serving. Try to avoid vegetarian protein powders containing soy. Over consumption of soy protein is linked to a variety of side effects. If you are a vegetarian, stay away from whey protein as it is created from animal based ingredients. Vegetarian protein powders can be used to make shakes, smoothies, protein bars, and even baked goods such as muffins.
Spirulina and Chlorella: These two super algae pack a powerful nutritional punch! Spirulina is 70% protein by weight and chlorella is 65% protein by weight. These are two of the highest sources of easily digestible vegetarian protein. Both spirulina and chlorella are packed with healthy chlorophyll that works to remove toxins from the body. The easiest way to consume these superfoods is through an all natural supplement. Be sure to purchase spirulina and chlorella from a reputable company, as algae can become chemically contaminated if it grown in unclean waters.
Nuts and Seeds: Containing 2-7 grams of protein per serving, nuts and seeds are a powerful source of vegetarian protein. Though high in fat, nuts and seeds contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are vital for human health. There are a variety of nuts and seeds to choose from, all of which contain varying amounts of protein. Perhaps the greatest source of seed based vegetarian protein comes from hemp seeds. These super seeds contain 6 grams of protein per ounce! Chia seeds are also an excellent source of vegetarian protein containing 4 grams of protein per ounce.
Quinoa: The fist thing you need to know about quinoa is how to pronounce it. Quinoa is pronounced keen-wah and it is one of the only complete sources of vegetarian protein. A complete protein source contains all essential and non-essential amino acids. One cup of quinoa contains over 8 grams of easily digested vegetarian protein. Try replacing rice and pasta dishes with quinoa for extra nutrition and protein.
Leafy Greens: Remember Pop-Eye’s secret to strength? SPINACH! Many people are unaware that leafy greens are packed with easily digestible vegetarian protein. Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain about 7 grams of protein per cup. Delicious sautéed, steamed, baked, dehydrated, or raw- spinach and kale are truly versatile greens. Don’t like the taste of veggies? Throw some greens in a smoothie and you’ll barely taste them!