I eat lots of fresh vegetables. Drink Kefir. Try to limit my intake of processed foods. Enjoy fish or chicken on what I thought was a regular basis. Sounds good. Right?
Imagine my surprise when my annual blood work indicated a protein deficiency. Fortunately, my levels are not too bad yet and with some attention to sources of protein in my daily diet, I'll be back on track.
In addition to the usual suspects like tofu and quinoa, here are a few surprising sources of non-meat protein:
Peas: It's true! Now that you aren't using your peas as a cold pack, put them back on the dinner table. Each half-cup contains three and a half grams of protein.
Spinach: There are three grams of protein in a half cup of spinach. Try adding spinach to your smoothy or salad.
Brussels Sprouts: Each half cup contains two grams of protein. Brussels Sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K
One final note, unlike meat, many plant proteins are 'incomplete' proteins, meaning they don't contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Be sure to combine vegetable proteins with whole grains and eat a variety of plant protein sources.