It’s been established that protein is vital to our body. We need protein for our bones, muscles, tissues, skin, and blood. This macronutrient also plays a role in our metabolism and immunity. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t store protein, so it’s important to get it from the food we eat.

Meat is known to be one of the best protein foods. Along with dairy products and fish, meat is said to be a “complete protein” that contains all essential amino acids. However, consuming too much meat leads to increased health risks like cardiovascular disease and kidney damage, and is sometimes associated with calcium loss and cancer.1 The truth is we only need 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.2 So here are other top protein foods we can eat aside from meat.

Beans
It doesn’t matter what kind of beans, they all provide sufficient amount of protein. Some of the high-protein beans are edamame, lentils, kidney beans, and black beans. Also, they have fibre that lessens your unwanted food cravings!

Buckwheat
Though buckwheat has lesser protein compare to other plant-based protein foods, it still has substantial amount of essential amino acids. It can also help enhance our blood circulation, reduce our blood cholesterol, and control our blood glucose levels.

Nuts & Seeds
Known as heart-friendly snacks, nuts and seeds also provide protein that’s almost the same amount as meat. Some of high-protein nuts and seeds are peanuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds.

Whole Grains
Aside from being full of fibre, whole grains are also filled with protein. Though they don’t have complete protein, consuming them with other protein foods like beans will help you get all the amino acids you need.

Quorn
For those who can’t give up meat from their diet, this delicious sustainable meat alternative is for you! Made with a source of sustainable protein called mycoprotein that is also high in fibre, low saturated fat, and has zero cholesterol, Quorn products contain all of the essential amino acids our body needs, making it a complete protein source.

1 http://www.healthline.com/health/too-much-protein
2 http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day