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If we’re omnivores, it’s likely we get a good chunk of our protein from animal foods; mostly red meat, chicken and fish. For people looking to eat less meat and more plants, there can be the worry that cutting out that animal food might mean we’ll go short on protein.

In fact though, it’s easy to get plenty of good-quality protein in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs will have no problems; both foods will give you a good protein boost, and the bonus is they’re versatile and delicious. I don’t know what I’d do without eggs or cheese, personally.

There’s also good protein to be had from plant foods. Look to legumeslentilschickpeas and beans can all add to your daily protein and make great meal bases. Again, these are versatile ingredients that can be taken in tons of different directions, from hummus to dhal. Nuts are another super-useful food that gives a protein boost and can be a snack or a meal component. And legumes and nuts are also full of fibre, adding to that satiety we need.

When we’re thinking about protein, keep in mind the whole day’s food. You’ll get small and larger amounts of protein from almost all the foods you eat; grains, seeds, nuts, legumes, milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, rice, pasta etc. They’ll all add up to a good amount every day, especially if you pay attention to eating as wide a variety of different foods as you can.

If you’re just dipping your toe into the waters of vegetarian eating, the team at WOOP has got you coveredThe meals in their new Vegetarian box are all well-balanced and delicious and have plenty of protein, so you won’t have to think about anything but putting it all together and enjoying.

Interested in giving Woop Vegetarian a try?

By nutrition expert – Niki Bezzant

Niki Bezzant is a writer, speaker and commentator who is passionate about food and health. Niki has been involved in the food media for 20 years. She was founding editor of Healthy Food Guide magazine, and is a columnist for the Herald on Sunday, the Monday Herald Be Well, and a frequent contributor to broadcast media. She is a proud ambassador for the Garden to Table  programme which helps kids learn how to grow, cook and share food. She is a member of the Council of Directors for the True Health Initiative and a board member for the NZ Nutrition Foundation.

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