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When we ask ourselves which types of food are richest in protein, animal products immediately spring to mind. Meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are all very rich in this substance. However, since ecological concerns have become one of our top priorities for the survival of our species, we’re gradually trying to eliminate these foods from our diet, especially as they often prove harmful to our health. Fortunately, proteins can be found in other products too and will help you gain muscle mass.
1. Spirulina is packed with beneficial nutrients
Spirulina is a micro-algae that originated in South America, Africa and Asia, but is now also being produced in France, where it is becoming increasingly popular. Spirulina, which contains a high dose of protein, has many benefits.
Firstly, it provides a substitute for animal proteins for vegans and vegetarians. Secondly, spirulina is a great source of protein for athletes, even if they eat animal proteins. Last but not least, spirulina also provides a wealth of nutrients: iron, antioxidants and almost all the vitamins our bodies need for vigour and good health.
Spirulina can be incorporated into a wide range of preparations, from omelettes to smoothies, but it can also be used in ready-made pasta dishes.
You can also ingest it simply in tablet form, if the taste of this slightly salty product puts you off.
2. Soy is currently defined as the food of the future
Soy has long been considered the must-have food for non-meat eaters, as it contains a large amount of protein. However, it has often been criticized in recent years, as its intensive cultivation has made it subject to GMOs. But organically grown in France, it offers every guarantee and, I assure you, many benefits. It is high in protein and, what’s more, its quality is superior to that of other plants, since it contains 9 different amino acids.
This legume can be consumed in a variety of forms. Soybeans can be cooked simply, like lentils, and served with a variety of sauces. But soy is most often consumed in the form of tofu, i.e. fermented soy milk. In addition to protein, tofu contains iron and calcium. Tofu, which is most often packaged in blister packs, can be cut into different shapes, marinated or spiced, to be used in salads or dishes. It is sometimes incorporated into soy steaks with various vegetables. Soy-based drinks and yoghurts are also on the rise.
You can also find soy in bead or flake form, which can be incorporated into sweet or savoury dishes.
Soya offers a wide range of possibilities and many beneficial nutrients. What’s more, soy is a complete protein that doesn’t require the addition of another legume to satisfy your daily intake. Nevertheless, I recommend combining tofu macerated in soy sauce with brown rice, broccoli and cabbage – you’ll love it, and you’ll be in great shape!
3. Beans are protein condensates
I can recommend two types of bean that will provide you with a significant amount of protein: mung beans and black beans.
Mung beans are often mistakenly thought of as bean sprouts, but in fact they are sprouted beans. You’ll find these sprouts fresh in the vegetable section or canned. These sprouts can easily be used in salads, spring rolls and hot Asian dishes.
But black beans are an even richer source of protein. They also contain fiber, which is good for the body. Dried or canned, they can be added to soups, stews and curries. You can even use them to make brownies, which is a great way to combine business with pleasure, since black beans are high in protein.
4. Oats are packed with nutrients
This cereal is renowned for its many nutritional qualities. First of all, it’s very rich in protein, but it also provides fiber, antioxidants and numerous vitamins, including vitamin B, which is often lacking in vegan or vegetarian diets.
Oats can be eaten as flakes or in juice. This cereal is used in a variety of recipes, mainly cakes: porridges, shortbread… but also in pizza dough in the form of flour. You can also use oat milk to make smoothies or replace cow’s milk in all your recipes. Oat milk is easier to digest, better for your health and, what’s more, it’s better for the environment, so I highly recommend it.
5. Nuts are essential for our health
Like many nuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts… walnuts contain many nutrients that are good for our health, but their protein concentration is much higher than that of almonds. What’s more, they contain vitamins E and B, trace elements, magnesium, iron and calcium, making them indispensable to our vitality. So I can only recommend that you eat them every day.
There are several ways to consume nuts. Firstly, on their own, at any time of the day, whenever you’re feeling peckish, for example. But they can also be used in sweet or savoury recipes. For example, you can add a spoonful of crushed walnuts to your cake batter or yoghurt. Similarly, you can sprinkle mixed nuts over a wide range of dishes: pan-fried vegetables, salads…
As proteins are essential for our bodies, we recommend spreading them out over the 3 meals, with breakfast and lunch being the most important. Vegetable proteins can easily replace animal proteins, but as not every vegetable contains all the proteins we need, it is often important to combine them in the same meal.