A guide to achieving your health and wellness goals

“So, where do you get your protein from?” It’s the single most commonly asked question the minute you tell someone you are vegetarian. And the truth is that it is sometimes a struggle to answer this. So, whether you are a vegan or a vegetarian, here are some of the best sources of protein. As they are all plant based, they are also healthier for you than animal protein.

Nutritional Yeast
These golden-yellow flakes are the holy grail of vegan cooking. An umami-flavoured addon to many vegan dishes, nutritional yeast is a high- protein and high-fibre ingredient that is packed with vitamins, especially Vitamin B12.
The unique flavour of “Nooch” or Nutritional Yeast gives it a flavour profile that is very similar to the taste of sharp cheddar which generally transforms the meal and makes it a vital component of a lot of vegan meals. Nooch can be used to enhance and fortify the taste of pastas, popcorn and soups.

Leafy Greens
The minute you say protein, vegan protein or vegetarian protein, we acquire visions of bowlfuls of lentils, beans and processed meat alternatives but it turns out that all the greens you see commonly see in vegan bowls and stir fries are actually packed with high quality protein too. If we were to analyse the nutritional composition of these unassuming greens, spinach, for example, consists of a surprising 30 per cent protein.

Since when did seeds have high protein content, you’re wondering? Well, prepare to be surprised. This rather earthy, nutty tasting seed is a lot like quinoa, a complete protein and contains 18 essential amino acids to boot. The best part is that it is also gluten free and well-suited to those who are on a wheat-free diet.
You could use these tiny seeds in soups, salads, porridge or even in your next granola batch. You could even use it to make bread or your morning pudding. Just remember to soak it overnight!

Whichever you plan to take on board, these little babies are small yet seriously packed with a whopping 4 to 9.2 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. Whether you choose hemp, chia or flax seeds, they are all delicious in protein stakes. Most of these seeds do not have any taste on their own but when added to breakfast cereals, smoothies, cakes or oatmeal, take on the flavours of the host dish whilst adding that kick of protein. The nutty flavours add to the dishes and flaxseed meal is also used to replace egg in baking.

Verdict: Switch to those meat-free proteins but keep them unprocessed. You will soon feel the difference in your energy levels too.

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