Best Plant-Based Protein:
- One of the big issues with eating plant-based protein sources, especially if you are eating vegan, is the common misconception that you need meat to get enough protein in your diet.
- As a nutritionist, I can tell you that’s simply not true and it’s much easier than you think to get all the protein you need from plant-based sources alone!
- Here are my top 10 favorite sources of plant-based protein according to a nutritionist!
Soybeans are probably one of the most common sources of plant protein. Tofu is made from soy, as well as miso and tempeh.
In addition, many people enjoy soy milk and other dairy alternatives like almond or rice milk that contain about 8 grams of protein per cup.
Soy is considered safe for consumption but can be controversial since it contains phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in our bodies. However, experts generally agree that these levels are still safe for consumption.
Almonds provide a nutty flavor and healthy nutrients, but their true value is in their protein content. Per ounce, almonds contain about 14 grams of protein—that’s more than double what you’ll find in peanuts or cashews.
And for those looking for plant-based protein sources that are free of gluten, almonds are also safe to eat. Just note that one serving size is 15 or 20 whole nuts. Most people eat way more than that when they snack on almonds!
Hemp is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains all 10 essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Hemp also provides valuable nutrients like iron, zinc and magnesium—and even B vitamins (especially B1), which are often rare in vegetarian sources of protein.
Unlike most legumes, lentils are low in carbs and calories. One cup of cooked lentils packs 18 grams of protein, which is 53 percent of your daily value. Lentils also contain 26 percent of your daily iron needs and 38 percent of your daily folate needs.
They are also rich in potassium (23 percent DV) and magnesium (17 percent DV). Iron is an important mineral that is crucial for oxygen transportation throughout our bodies, as well as energy production, immune system health and cognitive function.
Low levels may cause shortness of breath, pale skin tone and fatigue. Folate helps with red blood cell formation; low levels may cause depression, confusion or memory loss.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are probably one of your favorite protein sources because they’re so versatile and delicious.
There are several ways you can incorporate chickpeas into your diet: you can roast them and eat them as a snack, mash them and use as a sandwich spread or combine with tahini for hummus (which is also an excellent source of plant-based protein).
This little bean packs approximately 8 grams of plant-based protein per cup, making it an ideal option when adding more vegan meals to your day.
You can also add these tasty beans to soup or salad dishes. If you need help finding some great recipes using chickpeas, contact us today!
6) Brown Rice
Rice is a staple in many diets. It can be eaten by itself or prepared with other dishes, like casseroles and fried rice. Rice is not only high in protein, but it’s low in fat and calories too.
One cup of cooked brown rice provides about 3 grams of protein, which is about 8 percent of your daily value for protein.
Brown rice does have some drawbacks; it’s typically high in carbs (about 50 grams per cup) so you should monitor your intake if you are watching your carb intake.
The fiber content can be beneficial, however; each cup of brown rice contains 5 grams of fiber or 15 percent of your recommended dietary fiber intake.
Quinoa is not just for vegans and vegetarians anymore. You don’t have to be following a special diet or eating plan for quinoa. It’s actually good for you no matter what your lifestyle may be, and nutritionists are starting to sing its praises.
A one cup serving of cooked quinoa has 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and more than 5 grams of iron—which is almost twice as much as beef, in case you were wondering.
Quinoa also contains magnesium and folate (both important nutrients). This versatile grain also serves as a great base for other foods like soups or salads since it absorbs flavors easily.
8) Kidney Beans
These beans pack in 8 grams of protein per 1/2 cup. Kidney beans are also an excellent source of fiber, meaning you’ll fill up quickly without consuming too many calories.
They also contain phytochemicals, which help reduce your risk for certain cancers and cardiovascular disease. Try some kidney bean soup tonight!
You can buy dried or canned kidney beans—and yes, they taste totally different from one another. You can add them to salads or make hummus with them.
Kidney beans are a versatile legume that pairs well with other vegetables and spices like garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander (the spice not the herb). You can even make vegan veggie burgers out of them!
Walnuts are one of my favorite sources of plant-based protein. They’re high in polyunsaturated fats and other nutrients and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Walnuts are also delicious, making them perfect for snacking on raw or adding to your favorite trail mix. Just 1/4 cup of walnuts contains about 6 grams of protein.
- 1/4 cup (28 g) whole shelled
- walnuts = 6 g
- protein , 18.5 g fat
- 4.3 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber
- 0.9 g sugar
- 151 calories
A single ounce of peanuts contains 8 grams of protein. Peanuts are also rich in healthy fats, which is great for our metabolism and helps us feel full.
While they’re not technically considered nuts, they’re still packed with nutrients that are beneficial for health, including fiber and folate.
Plus, their taste makes them incredibly easy to add into any meal or snack. There are plenty of ways you can eat peanuts if you don’t have time to grab them straight from a shell.
You can throw peanuts into soups and stews as an extra source of protein or just enjoy them on their own as a snack—they’re delicious plain!
If you want something that’s more filling, try adding peanut butter (of course) or other nut butters into your day instead.