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5 Unexpected Meat-Free Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake

Whether you’re a vegetarian or simply trying to minimize your meat consumption, hitting your daily protein goals with plant protein is easy.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Increase your protein intake

A juicy chicken breast may be a good source of protein, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat meat to fulfill your daily protein requirement. In fact, protein makes an appearance in many plant-based foods—from protein bread to fruit—and that’s important because it’s an essential macronutrient that helps to build and repair tissues and make enzymes and hormones. If you’re trying to cut out or cut back on meat, look to one of these healthy sources.

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A plant-based diet doesn’t mean less protein

Some of your favourite unsuspecting foods can meet your protein needs, says Abbey Sharp. Such as Stonemill’s Naturally Fermented Protein Bread. Pair it with other high-protein foods—like nuts, beans, and seeds—for an extra boost.

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increase your protein intakePhoto Credit: Blair Locke

1. Protein bread

Swap your typical morning toast for a protein-rich bread such as Stonemill Bakehouse’s Plant-Based Protein Bread with 11 Whole Grains. Each naturally fermented loaf is free of GMO ingredients and artificial flavours—and just two slices contain nine grams of protein. Add an egg and you have a high-protein meal.

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increase your protein intakePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

2. Potatoes

Did you know that certain vegetables can add a hit of protein to your diet? Potatoes aren’t just a healthy source of carbohydrates. There are also about 4.5 grams of protein in every medium baked potato with skin. Bonus: Potatoes are also a good source of vitamins C and B-6. Bake them and top ’em with low-fat cottage cheese and chives or chopped tomato with pesto.

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increase your protein intakePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

3. Green peas

Along with other legumes such as nuts and lentils, green peas are a big source of protein with a whopping 8.5 grams per cup. They’re also an impressive source of fibre and antioxidants, so toss them into your pastas, salads, soups, and stews.

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increase your protein intakePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

4. Guava

If you’re looking for a protein source that’s also full of vitamin C—and maybe a little sweetness, too—choose guava. With 4.2 grams of protein per cup, it contains more protein than any other fruit. But if you’re not into the flavour or find guava hard to source, a cup of kiwi, blackberries or dried apricots each contains about 2 grams of protein.

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increase your protein intakePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

5. Avocado

Good news for all those guacamole and avocado toast lovers! The creamy fruit has about 4 grams of protein per medium avocado and is also packed with good-for-you nutrients like potassium, B vitamins and healthy fat. Plus, it tastes delish in almost any dish including puddings, smoothies, and smashed over protein toast.

For adults, 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the standard daily benchmark for this essential macronutrient—though you may need more if you’re consistently lifting weights in an attempt to grow muscle. According to Canada’s food guide, it’s important to fill one quarter of your plate with protein sources for each meal.

Now get out there and add these meat-free protein sources into your recipes! They add flavour, texture and substance to any meal and ensure that you’re getting your required daily dose of one of the most important macronutrients.