Plant-Based Sources of Protein
Balancing plant-based sources of protein with meat can be very beneficial to your health. There are many plants, grains, and legumes that can offer lean sources of protein. Since meat is typically higher in saturated fat, replacing some of your proteins with high fiber, plant-based options can be great for your heart. They also come with vitamins, & minerals packed in, so there are many nutritional benefits. Keep reading to find out how you can reach your protein goals without relying solely on animal sources, and even eat a little bit cleaner!
Legumes & Beans
Green peas: 1/2 cup, 4 grams
Most beans (kidney, black, pinto, garbanzo, etc): 1/2 cup, 7 grams
Hummus: 2 Tbsp, 3 grams
Lentils: 1/2 cup, 9 grams
Black Bean Spaghetti: 2 ounces, 25 grams (Explore Asian bean pasta products)
Seitan (derived from the protein of wheat, meat substitution): 3 ounces, 15 grams
Nutritional yeast: 2 Tbsp, 6 grams
Buckwheat: 1/2 cup, 4 grams
Quinoa: 1 cup, 8 grams
Quinoa is especially nutrient-dense because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Our body uses amino acids to grow and repair. Some of these amino acids are not produced by our bodies, and therefore we must get them through our food. Quinoa has ALL of these essential amino acids!
Nuts & Seeds
Most nuts & seeds (flaxseed, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp) contain about 6 grams of protein per ounce or 1/4 cup. (pretty much a nice handful!)
Tempeh (made from soybeans): 1/2 cup, 15 grams
Tofu: 1/2 cup, 10 grams
Edamame/soybeans: 1/2 cup= 8 grams
There is a debate regarding soy consumption. Remember the motto, everything in moderation!
Plants & Greens
1 cup most veggies = about 2-3 grams
Try to eat deep green leafy veggies for more nutrition.
Non dairy/plant based protein powders
If milk products do not digest well, you can try some of these non-whey based protein powders for your smoothies or even to bake with! These include soy protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, & pea protein
Here’s an example of a meatless day that has a sufficient amount of protein:
1/2 cup oatmeal (3 grams)
1 scoop plant based protein powder (20 grams)
2 Tbsp flaxseed (3 grams)
Protein Flatbread (12 grams)
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) hummus (6 grams)
1/2 avocado (2 grams)
2 Tbsp Sunbutter (7 grams)
1 cup tofu (20 grams)
1 cup broccoli (3 grams)
1/2 cup quinoa (4 grams)
1 diced red pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp crushed peanuts (2 grams)
PROTEIN TOTAL: 82 grams!