The best plant-based protein sources
Protein is the most essential substance in the body after water. In fact, our body is
made up of more protein than we think. It’s role is to grow, maintain and replace the
tissues in our bodies and so without protein, our body can’t function properly.
For the reason that our body can’t make its own amino acids (which is what protein
is made of), it’s important that we fill our diet with a variety of high-in-protein foods.
Also, having a rich protein diet aids to fat loss, maintaining body weight and helps to build lean muscle.
What’s misunderstood about protein is that most people think that it’s found in meat, and the vegan/vegetarian community worry that their diet might lack sufficient protein.
Have no fear!
Thankfully, this is the 21 st century and there are a lot of sources that protein is
naturally found that aren’t necessarily meat. Here is a small list of nutritious food that perhaps many of them are already in your regular diet!
Keep in mind that the number of grams of protein you should eat each day depends on your age and lifestyle. To calculate your protein, take your body weight in pounds and multiply it by 0.36 or advice your dietician.
Okay, now that we have cleared this up, let’s look at the list of plant-based protein
sources that are healthful and high in protein:
Being a product of soy, tofu is among the richest sources of protein and it’s a popular choice for meat substitute. Tofu is considered a complete protein since it contains all nine essential amino acids that a person needs. Tofu has about 10g of protein per ½ cup, but it also contains good levels of calcium
One of the most powerful sources of protein you will find in a veggie, a raw broccoli
has about 2.6g of protein. It contains other healthful nutrients such as folate and
potassium and…drum roll… it’s only 31kcal per cup!
A peanut may be small, but it can do big things! Not only it’s rich in protein, it’s good for the heart and whatever fats it has, they are all healthful. They contain about 20.5g of protein per ½ cup, but don’t confuse it with peanut
The amount of food that one can think of to combine with peanut butter and instantly make it tastier…! Peanut butter is the healthier option from Nutella as it is a good source of protein and vitamin B-6! It contains 7.02g of protein per two tablespoons.
It’s good to balance peanut butter in our diet because it can help us lose weight or
put extra pounds during exercise.
Fun fact: Peanut butter improves a person’s heart health and lower blood sugar
What’s good about quinoa is that it can be used as a topping for salads and pasta or be eaten as a main course! It’s a complete protein, containing 8g of protein per cup.
When cooked, quinoa is rich in magnesium, iron, fiber and manganese, making it the ultimate plant-based source for your diet.
Chia and Hemp seeds
Seeds are in general low-calories foods, rich in fiber and heart-friendly with Omega-3 fatty acids.
Both chia and hemp seeds are rich in protein, chia seeds containing 2g of protein per tablespoon while hemp seeds offer a little bit more, around 5g of protein per
Seeds are fun to use in your everyday snacks, for you can add them into your
favourite (healthy) smoothie, pour them on top of a plant-based yogurt or soak them in water or any plan-based milk and make a delicious pudding.
Even though potatoes have a reputation of being an amylum carb, they are a good
source of protein. A medium potato with skin contains about 4g of protein while a
large baked potato offers 8g of protein.
You should be careful how you prepare your potato not to add more unnecessary
calories. A good way to eat meal with potatoes is to spread hummus (2 tbsp) instead of butter and in that way you increase your protein count since hummus contain about 3g of protein.
Lentils have the whole package! Not only are a great source of protein containing
8.84g of protein per 64g, they offer fiber and other important nutrients such as iron
Did you know that almonds because of its richness in vitamin-E, can help improve
your skin from acne and give you a softer complexion when added regularly into your diet? Oh, it’s also a powerhouse, offering about 16,5 g of protein per 64g.
Oats are friendly to any diet. They are delicious and although are considered
incomplete protein, containing about 6g of protein per 120ml (half a cup of dry oats), they offer more protein than other grains such as rice and wheat.
They are a good source of magnesium as well and can be used in a variety of
recipes, like oatmeals topped with fruits and nuts or homemade vegie burgers.
Seitan is made from gluten which is the main protein in wheat. From all the soy
products like tofu, seitan has feels more like meet when its cooked that’s why is also knows as wheat meat.
It contains about 25g of protein per 100g which makes it our winner of our plant-
protein source list. Just like meat, it can be pan-fried, sautéed and grilled and added to easily to all of your regular meals.
However, seitan should be avoided by people who are sensitive to gluten or have
Chickpeas (and other beans)
You name it, black, pinto, kidney, fava beans; they are cheap and very easy to
prepare. Chickpeas are what they call the garbanzo beans and they are very high in
protein. They all contain about 15g of protein per 240grams, and they are great
sources of other nutrients such as fiber, iron, potassium and manganese.
What’s more, studies have shown that a diet that includes beans and other legumes
can lower blood sugar levers, blood pressure and decrease cholesterol AND even
reduce belly fat!
Soy milk is the most common alternative to milk and for a good reason. Made from
soybeans, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium, soy milk is high in
protein and it’s ideal for those who are lactose intolerant, or who just doesn’t like the smell of cow’s milk. It also offers omega-3 fatty acids and it’s anti-inflammatory.
It’s a good alternative if someone wants to lose weight and wants to replace cow’s
milk with a plant-based milk that is unsweetened. A normal cup of unsweetened soy milk contains 80kcal and 7g of protein.
Fun fact, wild rice contains about 1.5 times more protein than other long-grain rice,
including brown rice and basmati. 240grams of cooked rice provides about 7g of
protein. Unlike white rice, wild rice gets to keep its bran so it makes it rich in fiber and packed with vitamins such as vitamin B and minerals.
However, due to its bran, there is risk of arsenic since bran grows in polluted areas.
Wild rice must be cooked in plenty boiling water in order to reduce its arsenic
Avocados are good for the heart thanks to their unsaturated fat, but they also contain a good amount of protein, fiber and other nutrients such as potassium.
However, it’s good that you control the portions since avocados have many calories- 160kcal in each 100g to be exact.
We are talking about the small yellow bits that bring such a sweet flavour in all of
foods. Corn has about 15.6g of protein per cup but it’s also rich in fiber and minerals.
Cauliflower is low in calories and high in protein which make them a perfect side dish to your meal! About 64g of cauliflower makes about 27 calories and 2g of protein.
They are delicious and an excellent addition to every dish! They are a good source
of protein and they offer extra nutrients and fiber.
Brussel sprouts are just adorable vegetables don’t you think? They are delicious and packed with protein, fiber and vitamins. Approximately 64g of brussel sprouts contain about 3g of protein.