It’s always hard to find alternatives to meat when it comes to protein, or at least that’s what most people think; actually there are many alternatives and beyond the vegan or vegetarian choice, everyone should at least reduce the amount of meat in their diet, both for personal health and for the health of our planet.

So let’s see some protein foods instead of meat

Quinoa, the perfect pseudo-cereal also for those intolerant to gluten:

Quinoa is also used in the nutrition of astronauts, quinoa has a high starch content and for this reason it is often associated with cereals. It has excellent nutritional characteristics, which is why it is called a “super food”.

Quinoa contains more proteins than wheat and even buckwheat, it is rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and phosphorus; it contains vitamin E, a precious antioxidant, and is very rich in folic acid, which is very important for pregnant women.

Quinoa is particularly suitable for celiacs because it does not contain gluten, but thanks to its protein content, which varies from 13.8% to 21.9%, it is a valid alternative to proteins of animal origin.

Protein foods instead of meat

When it comes to proteins, we cannot fail to mention legumes, the vegetable proteins par excellence:

legumes are rich in proteins because those contained represent about a third of the total calories, they are gluten-free and hypoallergenic. In addition, legumes are perfect for fighting and preventing obesity, thanks to their high satiating power, low caloric intake and low glycemic index, while they are rich in fibre and starch.

They are also rich in saponin and lecithin, molecules useful in the fight against cholesterol and have a low glycemic index. Beans, peas, broad beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy, lupins, peanuts and carob beans are tasty and healthy ingredients to eat in both hot and cold dishes

Among the protein and unsuspected foods we have algae, contributors of vegetable proteins:

Algae have a really excellent protein content, in fact they are composed of 63% protein, 15% fibre, and 4% carbohydrates.

Algae is easy to digest, and we already find them in the ingredients of some protein shakes, bars and crackers. In algae there are very large quantities of trace elements, in particular iodine, there are also calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, copper, cobalt, gold, zinc, bromine, vitamin C, B vitamins and enzymes; to this we add that algae are very low in calories and therefore ideal in a restrictive diet.

As for their preparation, which is certainly not common in Italy, algae can be added to hot soups or salads, just like in oriental cuisine, or can be used, for example, as a wrapper for finger food with an ethnic flavour.


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