A common question that people on a plant-based diet get asked is “where do you get your protein?”. The fact is, we’ve been raised in a society that has been led to believe that animal products are the only reliable dietary source of protein. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Introducing a variety of veggies, nuts, grains and seeds into your diet can increase your protein levels while having far lower levels of fat and cholesterol than meat and dairy products. The following are fantastic vegan protein sources.
Plant-Based Foods High in Protein
Protein:18g per 1-cup serving (cooked)
What is Edamame?
Edamame are young soybeans that are harvested before they have ripened. You can purchase them within their pods or shelled plus have the option of fresh or frozen. Soy products are controversial because some people believe that high amounts of soy consumption can lead to thyroid issues. However, you can avoid GMO’s by eating organic edamame. Edamame has been shown to reduce cholesterol and studies have linked abnormally high levels of cholesterol with an increased risk of heart disease. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves soy protein as a method for the prevention of heart disease.
What to Make with Edamame
Protein: 9g of protein per cup of green peas
What are Green Peas?
Green peas are high in protein, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. They’re also a great way to add protein to many recipes without changing the flavor.
What to Make with Green Peas
Protein:16 g per 3 oz serving
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is another soy-based food, but it’s less processed than tofu and whole soybeans are pressed into patties, slabs or tube shapes. It’s one of the best meat substitutes because its texture is similar to meat and it has a very high protein count – making it one of the best plant proteins.
What to Make with Tempeh
Protein: 8-15 g per 3 oz serving
What is Tofu?
Tofu is made from condensed soy milk that is processed and pressed into blocks. It’s an inexpensive and versatile ingredient that is often found in the cuisine from various Southeast Asian countries.
What to Make with Tofu
Protein: 18g protein per 1 cup lentils (cooked)
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a cousin to the pea and a rich source of protein and carbohydrates. Plus, compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare.
What to Make with Lentils
Protein:15g protein per 1 cup black beans
What are Black Beans?
Black Beans are a protein-rich bean that you’ll often find in Latin American dishes.
What to Make with Black Beans
Protein: 10g protein per 3 tablespoons
What are Hemp Seeds?
In the past, hemp seeds have gotten a bad rap because of their association with the cannabis plant. Despite popular opinion, hemp seeds don’t actually cause any psychotropic reactions and provide significant health benefits. Not only are they high in protein but they’re also rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals.
What to Make with Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are great sprinkled on top of salads or mixed into smoothie bowls. They’re also a great additive to baked goods. If you’re searching for a sweet treat, try these hemp seed and oatmeal no-bake cookies.
Protein: 25g protein per 3.5 ounces
What is Seitan?
Seitan is very different from Tofu or Tempeh even though it is frequently used as a meat-substitute. It isn’t made of soy, it’s made of gluten though it has little in common with bread or flour. It’s both tasty and healthy.
What to Make with Seitan
Protein: 6 grams of protein per one-cup of buckwheat
What is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat is an incredibly nutrient-packed, gluten-free seed that is high in protein. Buckwheat is often used as a substitute for flour in baked goods. Buckwheat noodles also make a great gluten-free alternative to soba or ramen noodles.
What to Make with Buckwheat?
Protein: 7-9g protein per 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a great wheat-free alternative to rice or pasta. It’s a great source of protein and is high in fiber, iron and a variety of other nutrients.
What to Make with Quinoa
I hope I’ve inspired you to try some plant-based proteins in your next meal. Which of these plant-based proteins will you try adding to your diet?
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