The moment you begin any kind of exercise kick it will be drummed into you that you need to up your protein intake. Protein is the fuel that repairs and builds muscles after a workout, so if you’re hitting the gym it makes sense to eat more of it.
In most people’s minds, protein means meat and vast tubs of protein powder. Plump chicken breasts washed down with protein shakes – there’s your ideal post-workout meal. However, protein is actually present in decent amounts in a far wider range of foods than you might expect, as any hench vegetarian (henchetarian, if you will) can attest.
If constant chicken dinners are starting to wear you down and you’re keen to mix up your protein (and you should be), then pick from 30 vegetarian sources of protein detailed in the infographic below.
You probably already knew that nuts and seeds are rich in protein, but did you know that hemp seeds pack in an outrageous 31.6g per 100g? You may pick your jaw up off the floor now.
Other revelations from the list include mozzarella cheese, which contains a huge 32g of protein per 100g, with brie not all that far behind with 21g per 100g.
Legumes also do good business when it comes to protein. Peanuts contain 24.4g per 100g, which explain why peanut butter can be found in many a gym bag, while chilli con carne staple kidney beans have 8.7g per 100g. Add those kidney beans to Quorn mince (14.5g protein per 100g) and serve with quinoa (4.4g per 100g) for the ultimate protein-rich vegetarian chilli dish.
Finally, let’s hear it for nutritional yeast, a sprinkling of which can really pump up the protein content of any meal. Clearly no-one would consider eating anywhere near 100g of the stuff in one sitting, but if you did it would bring in a stunning 53.33g of protein. That is too much yeast, though. Don’t eat that much nutritional yeast.