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Protein-Boosting Foods to Eat During Lent

It might seem like there are little to no options for protein during Lent, however, Lent is a great time to explore other tasty forms of protein that are likely to stay as options in your diet post-Lent too. Here are some protein-boosting foods you could be eating during this Lent:

Cottage Cheese:
1 cup of delicious cottage cheese contains over 23 grams of protein. While it’s not the leanest source of protein out there, it’s delicious and can be topped with fruits, added to salads or served on toast for filling morning meal. Beside that it is rich in protein; cottage cheese is also rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium. However, those who have hypertension must pay attention to the sodium content of cottage cheese.

Yogurt:
Yogurt makes a great base for certain sauces and is crucial in a balanced breakfast. Just 1 cup of this delicious dairy product (the non-fat one) is packed with approximately 25 grams of protein. You can mix it with some fruit and granola in the morning and start your day healthy. Yogurt may protect against Osteoporosis. It contains some key nutrients for maintaining bone health, including calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Almonds and Almond Butter:
Ditch the unhealthy snacks in your cupboard and instead, fill it up with almonds and almond butter. With 30 grams of protein per cup, almonds are an incredibly efficient way to get some quick protein without having to make a huge meal. If you are not a fan of the crunchy nuts by themselves, you can try almond butter on a rice cake or blended into a shake. Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, magnesium and vitamin E. Almonds lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. They can also promote weight loss by reducing hunger.

Tuna:
3 ounces (approximately 90g) of this fish contain over 13 grams of protein. From the classic tuna sandwich to a tuna salad, enjoy many recipes that incorporate this delicious source of protein during Lent. Tuna improves the immune system, strengthens your bones, improves your skin health, prevents risk of cancer, and provides you with energy. It is also heart friendly.

Soybeans:
With 13 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, soybeans are both flavorful and incredibly nutritious. Enjoy them steamed with some low-sodium soy sauce or use them to make a salad. If you are in a rush, you can steam a bag of frozen edamame for a protein-filled snack. Soybeans are also a very good source of B vitamins and minerals.

Tofu:
Tofu is often regarded as a love it or hate it kind of food, but with 18 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, we’re head over heels. Besides being a good source of protein and containing all 9 essential amino acids, tofu’s also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. In addition, tofu is a good source of copper, zinc and vitamin B1.

Green Peas:
Pushing your peas around your plate will make you miss out on a lot of protein! Peas contain 8 grams of protein per 145 grams. That’s just over 100 calories that are almost all filled with good nutrients. Peas are also high in many nutrients and antioxidants, they’re filling and they support healthy blood sugar control, the fiber in them benefits for digestion and they may also be protective against some chronic diseases.

Therefore, all in all, meat isn’t the only answer to your proteins. There are plenty of healthy foods that will give you the energy you need all day long, and the above mentioned foods are just few options from many. Try incorporating them into new recipes and enjoy your Lent!

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian