Even if you don't want to commit to a vegetarian diet full-time, finding low-calorie, protein-packed foods to replace high-calorie, pricey meats can be beneficial for your diet habits. According to Matt Frazier, creator of NoMeatAthlete.com, there are plenty of alternatives.
"Everyone always wants to know where I get my protein," says Frazier, who qualified for the Boston Marathon while training on a plant-based diet. "There are plenty of other foods that can help athletes satisfy their needs."
Here are seven foods with surprisingly generous amounts of the macronutrient our muscles crave.
Whole-Wheat Pasta1 of 8
Whole-wheat pasta is more than just a carb-loading meal. Each cup of this grain has seven grams of protein.
Broccoli2 of 8
For decades, parents have been asking their children to eat their broccoli at dinner—and for good reason. This green treat supplies an average of 17 grams of protein per bunch.
Edamame3 of 8
Edamame is more than just your go-to appetizer at a sushi restaurant. This bean has an unexpected 17 grams of protein per cup.
Seitan4 of 8
Made from wheat gluten, seitan is a relatively unknown source of protein. Sometimes called "wheat meat" thanks to its look and texture after cooking, seitan's 21 grams of protein per cup makes it worth a try.
Quinoa5 of 8
Quinoa is one of the latest trends to hit the nutrition world, and rightfully so. The eight grams of protein per cup is just one of the many benefits of this grain.
Split Peas6 of 8
A great addition to soups, cooked split peas have 16 grams of protein per cup.
Spinach7 of 8
Popeye knew what he was doing with this plant. One cup of boiled spinach contains five grams of protein.