When it comes to selecting protein rich foods, many of us believe that there are fewer choices besides meat, egg, fish, milk, dairy and soy. However, there are a number of non-animal sources that can meet your daily protein requirement. Although the non-animal protein sources other than soy are considered incomplete protein, contrary to popular belief, some of these little known sources of protein contain all the essential amino acids that your body cannot synthesize. Furthermore, unlike animal foods, the plant sources of protein are devoid of unsaturated fats. Therefore, if you are a vegan or a vegetarian, there are a number of wonderful sources of protein other than the ubiquitous soy that you can add to your daily diet.
Here Are Some Surprising Sources Of Protein:
Quinoa is a source of complete protein. It contains all the nine essential amino acids that your body cannot manufacture  . This source of high quality protein supports growth and development of muscle tissues. Although grains are good sources of essential amino acids, most of them are poor sources of the amino acid lysine. Lysine is especially vital for metabolism of fatty acids and maintaining healthy skin, cartilage and tendons. Quinoa is an excellent source of lysine. Compared to other grains, it is therefore considered a superior source of protein.
2. Chia Seeds
Just as quinoa, chia seed is another protein rich South American staple  . It contains 19 amino acids including the nine essential amino acids in appropriate proportions. The protein content in chia is higher than that in most of the other popular grains. Furthermore, chia protein is easily digested. Therefore, people with sluggish digestion can consume the protein rich chia seeds.
3. Hemp Seeds
The edible shelled seed of the hemp plant is an excellent source of protein  . Per 100 gram hemp seeds contain 34.6 grams of protein. As a source of protein, it is comparable to soybeans and is superior to most of the other seeds and nuts and even dairy. One serving of hemp protein powder contains as much protein as found in two medium sized eggs or six ounces of cheese. Hemp seed is complete protein. It is a balanced source of all the essential amino acids. Moreover, unlike most of the other protein sources, hemp seed does not contain antinutrients such as trypsin that tend to interfere with protein absorption and cause gas and bloating.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seed is a source of high quality protein  . It is especially rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is essential for synthesis of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood. An ounce of pumpkin seeds contains more tryptophan than the same amount of milk.
Wheat is a good source of protein. About 83% of wheat protein is concentrated in the endosperm  . This starchy layer of the wheat kernel is the source of white flour. Consuming bread made with wheat flour helps in meeting the optimal protein requirement. Compared with animal sources, wheat flour is a cheap source of good quality protein. Although wheat is a poor source of the amino acid lysine, studies suggest that as bread is usually a major component of the diet, the average diet provides sufficient amount of lysine to maintain the positive protein balance.
Although potato is best known as a rich source of carbohydrate, they also contain good amount of high quality protein  . Its protein quality is almost 70% that of whole egg protein. It is an excellent source of lysine.