Chickpeas and Peanuts and Black Beans, Oh My!

November 21, 2016

This week Environmental Studies major Alysia Humm shares how you can obtain protein from non-animal protein sources. Next Monday Ortega will be offering a vegetarian menu in honor of Green Monday. 

If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you may not know that there are countless other sources of protein that exist other than meat, eggs, and cheese. Many vegans and vegetarians are very familiar with the question, “But where do you get your protein from?”- And it is a great question to ask. So let’s dive in and find out what other foods are rich in protein. You may be surprised. 

First, it is important to know how much protein you need per day. In general, it is recommended that each person intakes about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds then about 43 g of protein is what you should strive for each day. This number may vary depending on your metabolism and level of activity as well.

On to the fun part- food! Some wonderful sources of plant-based proteins are legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas, soybeans, and peanuts. There are also many seeds that contain high levels of protein such as quinoa, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios also provide ample amounts of protein. Legumes, seeds, and nuts all contain a rich amount of protein. Amounts vary depending on the option, so if you are interested in learning more check out the USDA Nutrient Database (https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list). If you are not a fan of legumes, seeds, or nuts never fear! There are many other foods that contain protein such as cooked pasta (7g per cup), oatmeal (6 g per cup) and cooked kale (2.4 g per cup). Those are just a few examples- most whole foods contain proteins whether it be smaller or larger amounts.

So whether you are striving to become a vegetarian or vegan or just want to reduce your meat consumption by trying different types of plant-based protein, you now have the information to do so!

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