Call it the protein conundrum: Experts say you should eat more protein to maintain or lose weight, but research shows that eating red meat may increase your risk for diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Solution? Skip the steak and embrace these lean, green proteins.
While 1 cup of plain, cooked brown rice contains just 5 grams protein, brown rice protein powders (often made from sprouted brown rice for increased bioavailability, digestibility and antioxidants) offer up to 12 grams in 2 tablespoons.
Get more: Mix the powder into smoothies. Simmer cooked brown rice with maple syrup, ground cardamom and coconut milk for a better-for-you rice pudding.
A centuries-old crop, hemp boasts an ideal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids.
A whopping 33 percent of the hemp nut is protein; some hemp powders provide a solid 15 grams of protein in about 3 tablespoons. Hemp is sustainable, too—a plant reaches maturity in just 90–100 days.
Get more: Look for hemp powder, oil, seeds, milk and butter. Sprinkle hempseeds over cereal or yogurt—no need to grind. Drizzle hemp oil over roasted vegetables or mixed salads.
Nonallergenic pea protein also contains a wealth of amino acids, including branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which aid in muscle recovery. Recent research suggests that pea protein lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. A 2-tablespoon scoop of pea powder offers an impressive 28 grams of protein.
Get more: It’s available mostly as a powder, so add a scoop to soy milk, juice or water; stir into oatmeal.
One cup of cooked quinoa delivers 8 grams of complete protein,
5 grams fiber, and significant folate, magnesium, B vitamins, and bone- strengthening manganese. Other perks: It tastes pleasantly nutty and cooks in 20 minutes. Rinse well before cooking to wash off each seed’s bitter coating.
Get more: Look for pasta, breads, and granola enhanced with this naturally gluten-free food. Combine cooked quinoa with beans, corn, tomatoes and cilantro for a Tex-Mex salad; mix cooked quinoa with milk, raisins and cinnamon for breakfast.
Some people shun this complete protein because of persistent rumors about soy’s estrogenic effects. However, “you won’t find a published human study showing that soy foods can aggravate breast cancer or interfere with cancer therapy. This is a myth that seems to be taking a long time to die,” says Bob Rountree, MD, Delicious Living’s medical editor. Recent research also suggests that soy protein powder builds muscle and fights inflammation, especially when and live enzymes ensure you’ll absorb the 17 protein grams per serving. Be sure to opt for organic soy whenever possible.
Get more: Toss shelled, cooked edamame into soup; add marinated tofu or tempeh cubes to curries.
5 ways to get more plant-based protein in your diet (via @deliciousliving) #vegan #protein
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