“Here’s some chicken, it will help you get enough proteins for your diet”. All Vegetarians have heard something like this at least once from their peers. So the question here- Is it possible to stay a vegetarian and still be able to get enough protein? Well, the answer here is YES, it is possible(1). Meat is a rich source of protein and having a portion of it is enough. But this does not means that one should have it in their diet. Instead a plant-based diet can also help you get as much protein as you will get from a portion of meat or any other non- vegetarian food(2).

Here are some of the plant based sources of proteins.

Beans

Beans are one of the best vegetarian protein sources around. They are also one of the most affordable sources of protein. You get good bang for your buck in the protein department with beans: 1-cup chickpeas contains 12 grams of protein, 1-cup kidney beans contains 13 grams of protein and 1-cup black beans contains 15 grams of protein.

Tofu

Whether firm or extra firm, tofu is a great source of plant-based protein. Note that the firmer it is the more protein tofu contains. Made from the curd of soy milk that is coagulated and pressed into a cake. It is a plant-based protein. You can grill it, steam it, stir-fry it… there is not much you cannot do with tofu. Moreover, the best part: a 100-gram (3.5 ounce) serving of firm tofu contains 12-15 grams of protein.

Lentils

Sticking in the legume family, lentils are another fantastic source of plant-based protein. Much like beans, lentils are inexpensive and versatile. And unlike most beans, lentils do not require any soaking before you cook them, so they are a much speedier option. And get this: 1 cup of cooked lentils contains a whopping 18 grams of protein.

Quinoa

The little seed has maintained a place in the superfood spotlight for quite some time now, and with good reason. 1 cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, and unlike many other plant-based proteins, quinoa contains a satisfactory amount of all essential amino acids. Which means quinoa is one of the complete plant protein source. Alsofibre content of quinoa is very high which helps in digestion of it.

Nuts

From almonds to walnuts, pecans, cashews and pistachios, nuts are an ideal source of protein. They are also rich in minerals, Vitamin E, and healthy fats. Nuts vary in their protein content. For example, 21 grams of protein can be found in 100 grams of almonds. Cashews have about 18 grams of protein per 100 grams.