Proteins are important to help you feel full for a longer period of time. They also help to reduce food cravings and feelings of hunger. There are many diets that encourage eating protein for weight loss; however, protein should form part of a balanced diet. The best way to do this while still ensuring you get adequate nutrition is to vary your proteins. So in this post, we are going to look at natural, vegan proteins that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Protein for Weight Loss: Vegan Proteins
A cup of peas contains around 8 times more protein than the equivalent amount of spinach and are a good source of vitamin C. You can eat peas on their own, add them into a salad, or mash them up to add to a sauce or smoothie. Peas offer generous amounts of protein and are a good alternative source of this nutrient.
Artichokes are high in fiber as well as protein and help you stay feeling fuller for longer. Artichokes can be eaten on their own, in a salad, on a pizza, or as a flatbread topping to make them more interesting.
Spinach contains a lot of protein and is also full of antioxidants, folates, and vitamins. Eat your spinach raw or steam it to retain the vitamins while making it easier for your body to absorb calcium from the plant. Spinach is good on its own or in a salad, stew, soup, pasta or stir-fry.
Besides offering 6 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per cup, tomatoes also offer vitamins A and K, as well as potassium. The lycopene in tomatoes also helps reduce the risk of various cancers such as lung, prostate, bladder and stomach cancer. These antioxidants also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Guavas contain more protein than any other fruit and offer 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per cup. They are also full of vitamin C and are low in calories. This makes guavas an excellent protein for weight loss.
A single cup of lentils offers more protein than 3 eggs and only adds 1 gram of fat to your meal. Eating lentils often will improve your cholesterol and encourage weight loss. Try them in soup or as a side dish.
Beans are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as protein. They are great for heart health and due to their slower digestion, they keep you feeling full for longer. This is an added bonus if you are trying to lose weight. Add beans into stews, soups and salads or steam them with other vegetables. You can even add them into your wild rice dishes to mix things up a bit. Beans are also great as a snack if mixed as a dip or into a salsa and eaten with whole grain or vegetable chips.
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, but make sure you don’t overindulge as too much peanut butter can also cause weight gain. Go for the natural, unsalted peanut butter with no hydrogenated oils or sugar added. This is the healthiest way to enjoy the protein goodness without worrying about too many extra calories. Stick to two tablespoons a day at most. Add it into smoothies, in your oatmeal, as a dip for your carrot sticks, or simply on whole grain bread as a sandwich.
While there are many other proteins for weight loss that you can try, those listed above pack a punch when it comes to the amount of protein relative to the calories they provide. Aim for organic where possible, and avoid additives and preservatives. Enjoy a variety of proteins in many different ways and you will also avoid feeling deprived while on your weight loss journey.