Proteins are one of the 6 essential nutrients that our body needs to function. They are mainly made up of amino acids and they’re needed to maintain cells, tissues and organs. The advised amount of protein you should be getting per day is roughly 0.8g per kg of your body weight with athletes potentially needing up to 2.2g per kg of body weight.
This amount is dependent on lots of factors such as your age, health and fitness goals, so make sure you do your research and see what you should be getting! Now, we’re all taught that meat is a high source of protein, but what happens if you can’t buy any meat? Usually, this question wouldn’t even cross our minds because we have the luxury of meat being so readily available to us, but supermarkets are at their busiest at the moment and meat seems to be one of the first things disappearing off the shelves. Don’t panic though! This article will inform you of 5 alternative ingredients that are rich in protein.
1) Lentils (9g of protein per 100g)
Lentils are an Asian legume and they are a great food to buy right now. As they usually come dried, they won’t go off and one big bag can last in your cupboard for months. As well as protein they are a huge source of other amazing nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin B. Lentils are so versatile and can be used in a huge range of dishes but one of my favourites is a spinach and lentil dhal! Your first attempt may not turn out as good as your local curry house’s, but let’s be honest you’ve definitely got the time to perfect it!
2) Yoghurt (5.7g of protein per 100g)
Yoghurt is another good ingredient to start buying! Greek yoghurt is generally high in protein, but different brands have different amounts so check out the label whendeciding which one to buy. It’s great because it can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. Add a scoop into a tomato pasta for a creamier sauce or have it with fruit and honey for pudding. Either way, it has many benefits, including being rich in vitamin B, phosphorous and calcium. As well as this, many studies have been done into probiotics which are present in fermented milk products. It is widely believed that probiotics enhance your immune system which is never a bad thing.
3) Oats (17g of protein per 100g)
Oats are another great source of protein and follow on nicely from Yoghurt. Try starting the day with a bowl of raw oats and yoghurt with fresh fruit and honey. Or maybe try a classic bowl of porridge if that’s more your thing. Oats are famous for their abundance of nutrients. Not only are they rich in protein but their fibre content helps you to stay fuller for longer, meaning they’ll stop you from snacking every 10 minutes while you’re in self-isolation.
4) Baked Beans (6g of protein per 100g)
I know there are other types of beans with a higher protein content eg. kidney beans or black beans but I had to include this one. Who doesn’t love baked beans! By all means check out some recipes with the other beans I mentioned if protein is your main concern but for me baked beans are always a winner. These versatile beauties can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Although they’re currently in high demand, I’ve seen supermarkets are working hard to keep up the supply. With a shelf life over 52 times as long as fresh meat, they’re definitely worth hunting down.
5) Cheese (up to 32g of protein per 100g)
The content of protein varies from cheese to cheese but they’re all high! One of the highest is parmesan, which can be used on pasta, salads or risotto. Another great option is low-fat mozzarella. Try making your own pizzas! As well as giving your body over 50% of its recommended daily intake, it’s also a fun activity to fill an afternoon. If you’re like me then you find any excuse to add cheese to your plate anyway, so this one shouldn’t be too hard.
Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas and made you more aware of how to include protein in your diet regardless of meat availability. As a society we are all becoming far more aware of what we are eating and the different diet options we can choose to fuel ourselves. With vegetarianism and veganism booming, it is important that people understand how to properly substitute food to ensure all the essential nutrients are still being consumed. Now you know some facts, you can easily substitute one meal a week for a meatless alternative!
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