Plant-based protein options during Coronavirus
The other day I was at my local supermarket and noticed a group of folks in the fresh meat section looking a little stressed.
The cause of their distress?
There was no ground beef to be found.
I’m sure you’ve witnessed similar scenes in your neck of the woods.
One week there’s no chicken breast. Another, no steak.
From coast to coast, the food supply chain has broken down due to the pandemic.
And for meat shortages, there’s really no end in sight.
So, what are we going to do?
Those of us over 50 need quality protein for our energy and muscle strength.
And we need it to keep our skin looking young and healthy.
With less meat on the shelves, many Americans have become resourceful, turning towards plant-based protein to ensure they get an adequate amount.
A recent survey found that one-fourth of U.S. adults are eating more protein from plant sources since the outbreak began.
Some have turned to plant protein as a necessity due to meat shortages, while others have made a conscious decision to eat more healthful during quarantine.
No matter the reason, there are plenty of plant protein options to choose from.
I’ve written about one of my favorite plant-based protein sources before. Edamame.
Edamame is simply steamed soybeans in their unripened form and it’s packed with protein – 17 grams in just one cup.
I usually get edamame frozen, but you can sometimes find it fresh in your produce section.
Enjoy it as a snack. Or, throw it into your stir-fry.
Lentils are another protein-packed legume.
One cup cooked gives you a whopping 18 grams of protein. Plus, lentils are a good source of fiber, folate, manganese and iron.
Throw them on top of a salad or mix them into a hearty soup to give your meal a protein boost.
Another good option for plant-based protein? Hempseed.
Also called hemp hearts, these tiny seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are packed with nutrition.
They’re exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids – linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) – and loaded with protein.
In fact, 25% of hemp seeds’ calories come from protein.
You get about 10 grams of protein in each serving (about 3 tablespoons).
I like to shake them on my salads, or sprinkle them on my yogurt.
The seeds provide a nice crunch, without changing the flavor of what I’m eating.
They say good things come in small packages, and few veggies are smaller than the nutrient-dense pea.
A cup of cooked peas will give you 9 grams of quality protein – a little more than you would get from a cup of milk.
Plus, a serving of peas is loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Look, if you’ve been with me a while, you know I love a big, juicy steak as much as the next guy.
But in these times of lower supply, a ribeye isn’t as easy to come by.
Thankfully, Mother Nature has blessed us with a bounty of delicious, plant-based protein sources to keep us energized and strong.
Give them a try because eating less protein, even during a pandemic, is not an option.