Vegetarian Protein Sources

Where am I going to get my protein?
Here are some sources of Vegetarian protein--Grains, beans,, Nuts, Seeds, Fruits and Vegetables

 .5  Cup  Soybeans - cooked  14.30 Grams
 .5       Cup  Tofu  10.00 Grams
 .5  Cup  Lentils - cooked     8.95 Grams  
 .5  Cup  Split Peas - cooked     8.15 Grams
 .5  Cup  Navy Beans - cooked     7.90 Grams
 .5  Cup  Red Kidney Beans - cooked     7.65 Grams
 .5  Cup  Black Beans-cooked     7.60 Grams
 .5  Cup  Large Lima Beans- cooked     7.35 Grams
 .5  Cup  Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas- cooked     7.25 Grams
 .5  Cup  Pinto Beans - cooked     7.00 Grams
 .5  Cup  Baby Lima Beans-frozen-cooked     5.99 Grams
 2  Tbs.  Peanuts-Dry Roasted-unsalted     4.33 Grams
 .5  Cup  Millet- cooked     4.21 Grams
 .5  Cup  Green Peas-frozen-cooked     4.12 Grams
 2  Tbs  Sunflower Seeds     4.10 Grams
 .5  Cup  Macaroni-whole wheat-cooked     3.73 Grams
 .5  Cup  Whole Wheat Spaghetti-cooked     3.73 Grams
 1  Slice  Whole Wheat Bread-35 gram slice     3.68 Grams
 2         Tbs  Sesame Seeds-whole - the dark kind     3.19 Grams
 .5  Cup  Oatmeal-cooked with water     3.04 Grams
 2  Tbs  Almonds-dry roasted     2.81 Grams
 .5  Cup  Sweet corn-boiled-drained     2.72 Grams
 .5  Cup  Soy milk     2.66 Grams
 2  Tbs  Cashews-dry roasted     2.63 Grams
 .5  Cup  Brown Rice-cooked     2.51 Grams
 2 Tbs  Filberts/hazelnuts-whole     2.20 Grams
 1  Cup  Spinach-frozen-cooked     5.97 Grams
 1  Cup  Turnip greens-frozen-cooked     5.50 Grams
 1  Cup  Asparagus-frozen-cooked     5.31 Grams
 1  Cup  Collards-frozen-cooked     5.05 Grams 
 1  Cup  Broccoli-fresh-cooked     4.65 Grams
 1  Each  Baked White Potato-Large     4.65 Grams
 1  Cup  Brussels sprouts-cooked-drained     3.98 Grams
 1  Cup  Okra-frozen-cooked     3.82 Grams
 1  Cup  Kale-boiled frozen-cooked     3.69 Grams
 1  Cup  Mustard Greens-frozen-cooked     3.41 Grams
 6  Oz.  Potato-boiled and then peeled     3.18 Grams
 1  Pc  Watermelon-slice 1X10" Diameter     2.99 Grams
 1  Cup  Onions cooked     2.86 Grams
 1  Cup  Green Beans-cooked from fresh     2.36 Grams
 1  Cup  Carrot Juice-canned     2.34 Grams
 1  Cup  Cauliflower-boiled     2.32 Grams
 1  Cup  Orange Juice     1.99 Grams

After water, protein is the most common substance found in the body.   Seventy five percent of our bodies' dry weight (weight not counting the water) is protein.  Early estimates of protein needs were based on how much scientists found people were eating.  Scientists of the 1800's thought we needed 125 grams of protein per day compared with today's estimate of 40-60 grams.

Where does protein come from?   Bacteria in the soil process nitrogen from the air so that plants can absorb it.   Plants use the nitrogen to make amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

There are 22 amino acids.   We can make most of the ones we need if we have enough of the other amino acids.   The other 9 are called essential because we cannot manufacture them and therefore must obtain them from our foods.

Complete Protein
Soybeans by themselves provide complete protein, that is, they provide enough of all of the essential amino acids.   Other vegetable foods may be combined to provide complete protein.   whole grains combined with legumes provide complete protein, since grains are high in methionine an beans are high in lysine.  Methionine and lysine are the amino acids that may need to be planned for.

Protein Requirements
We use protein for growth and repair of muscle tissue, in pregnancy and nursing to support the growth of the baby, and for enzymes and hormones.   Therefore, children need a bigger proportion of their protein as complete protein than do adults.   for instance, an infant needs eight times as much lysine for their  weight as a healthy adult.

The National Academy of Sciences recommends that children over the age of 1 receive 23-34 grams of protein depending on age.   Adult are recommended to receive 44-56 grams of protein.   Canadian health organizations recommend 38-50 grams per day.

Most adults can get adequate protein without planning for it if they get adequate calories.   Nursing mothers need 20 grams per day more:  pregnant women, 30 grams more than the standard requirement.   Those recovering from serious injury or illness may also need more protein.   We suggest that most people have 1/2 Cup or more of beans, peas, or tofu or 1 1/2 glasses of soy milk per day most days and also use a few tablespoons of nuts per day, along with an assortment of grains, vegetables, and fruits.   If someone has a long illness and doesn't feel like eating much, soy milk, some walnuts or cashews, fruit and sweetener may be blended to make a drink which can be used once or twice a day.

The average American adult gets 100 grams of protein per day.   Protein consumption at or above the levels recommended by U.S. health authorities causes increased excretion of calcium, which increases with increased protein intake.   the high protein diet typically eaten by Americans may also be contributing factor in the decline of kidney function seen in certain diseases and in aging.
Source: Briggs and Calloway, Nutrition and Physical Fitness, 11th edition.

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