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Soy is not the only option: Protein alternatives for vegetarians

The soybean has long been the favorite source of protein for vegans and vegetarians, but with more and more concerns being raised about the potential dangers of soy, it is becoming necessary to seek out alternative sources of protein.  Some fruits, vegetables and nuts are higher in protein than others, but these are often not enough. If you are already at risk for breast cancer or multiple scherosis, are allergic to soy, or are aware of an estrogen imbalance, herein are a few of the options available to you. 

The chickpea/garbanzo bean is one of the earliest cultivated crops and has been used a protein staple by many cultures.  The bean contains an average of 14 to 25 grams of protein per serving, and there's no limit to its culinary uses.

Whey protein powder is a popular option for those with no objections to dairy.  There are hundreds of whey-based protein drinks, bars and powders available in Albuquerque, but Trader Joe's in Albuquerque carries a great-tasting brand of protein shakes called Pure Protein. These shakes combine whey protein with minimal amounts of soy, rice and other proteins.  A single serving of Pure Protein provides 35 grams of protein.

For vegans and the lactose intolerant, there are protein supplements that draw from the natural proteins in vegetables and grains.  All of the following products can be found at your local Vitamin Cottage:

Nature's Life make a protein supplement called Green Veg Pro-96. This unique protein blend is made from hemp, rice, peas and chia (yes, you can eat chia!) and delivers 22 grams of protein per serving. 

Soy-free Vegetable Protein by Naturade is made with peas, potatoes & spirulina with added amino acids and B-12.   Naturade also produces soy and whey protein supplements.

Nutiva Hemp Protein is high in fiber and protein, organically grown, and minimally processed. 

Nutribiotic Rice Protein contains nothing but brown rice and water, making it the ideal choice for vegetarians with gluten allergies and anyone looking for the most natural product available.

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