Protein sources for vegetarians
I’ve recently turned vegetarian and everyone seems to be worried that I’m not getting enough protein. What are some good sources of vegetarian protein? Shaun.
Hi Shaun. Choosing a goodquality vegetarian diet (there are poor-nutritional-quality vegetarian diets) means the majority of your diet is plantbased, which is fantastic. Here are some great vegetarian sources of protein:
GOOD SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR VEGETARIANS:
Lentils are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in protein and contain good amounts of other nutrients. They may also help reduce the risk of various diseases.
Beans are health-promoting, protein-packed legumes that contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds.
Amaranth and quinoa provide you with protein, too. They can be prepared and eaten in similar ways to traditional grains such as oats and rice.
Eggs – some vegetarians still consume eggs, which are a great source of biologically available protein. No matter what I eat I often find myself with reflux and heartburn. What’s the best way to deal with this? Thank you, Craig.
Hi Craig. Adults with reflux or indigestion tend to assume that the burning sensation they experience with heartburn means they are producing too much acid when the reality is usually the opposite. They may not be making enough stomach acid and/or the pH of it is too high. To understand this, consider that your food is a string of circles and that stomach acid plays a vital role in breaking the circles apart.
A pH that is much higher than the ideal 1.9 cannot effectively break the circles apart, leaving larger, undigested segments that cannot be further broken down to continue along the digestive tract. Rather than allowing that food to proceed down into the small intestine for the next part of its journey, the body regurgitates the food in an attempt to get rid of it. We then experience the acid burn and assume it is too acidic when in fact it is not acidic enough to break the food down properly and allow it to pass into the small intestine.
It ‘burns’ you because anything with an acid pH that is too acidic for the tissue to which is exposed will create a burning sensation. When the acid is contained inside the stomach itself, all is well, but when it escapes out of this area, it affects the lining of the oesophagus, which is not designed to cope with such acidic contents. Many people with reflux respond very well to the stimulation of stomach acid and experience
much fewer symptoms as a result. For others, they are eating foods that they can’t currently tolerate and a dietary trial omitting the suspect food/s may be warranted under the supervision of a health professional.
Stomach acid production is stimulated by the aroma of food and by chewing. Historically, we used to take much longer to prepare our meals and the aromas of the upcoming meal generated by slower cooking processes signalled to the stomach that food was on its way.
Chewing also alerts the brain to send a message to the stomach to let it know that food is on its way. When we inhale our food, however, this doesn’t happen.
Another way to physically stimulate the production of stomach acid is by consuming apple cider vinegar. If you haven’t had this before, it is initially best to dilute it and, ideally consume it five to 20 minutes before breakfast (or all of your main meals if that appeals).
Lentils are rich in protein and contain good amounts of other nutrients.