A lot of people are turning towards plant-based proteins. It could be because of many reasons such as religion, becoming vegan, or animal welfare. A shift from meat is a lot easier than you think, as you can find most of the proteins in many plant-based-foods. According to a study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a vegetarian diet can provide all the necessary nutrients to children, adults, pregnant, and breastfeeding women.
Read on as we will try to guide you through some best plant-based foods for protein.
Sources of Best Plant-Based Proteins
Plant-based food can be an excellent source of nutrients as well as proteins. It often comes with fewer calories than animal products, which is good for your health.
If you are looking to eat plant-based protein, the following list will help you a lot. Here is a guide for healthy plant-based foods that are rich in proteins.
Soy is a plant-based food that is a complete protein. It contains all of the nine crucial amino acids that the human body requires. Other plant products are missing some of the amino acids, and only when combined, they make a complete proteins.
Quinoa is also a plant-based food that is a complete protein. It also has all of the nine amino acids that our body can not make. Quinoa is the best dish if you have an intolerance for gluten. It is naturally gluten-free.
Tofu holds 13 grams of protein per 85 gram serving portion. Keep in mind that this quantity of proteins depends on the quality and the brand of Tofu you are using. You can find different textures of Tofu such as silken texture (best for pudding-style sweet dishes, added to a smoothie or mixed into sauces like ceasar salad dressing), soft texture (nice in miso soup or as a starter), medium texture (pan-fry it or try it in a scramble), and firm/extra-firm texture (marinate it, then pan-fry, toss it in a stir-fry, try it roasted, or use it in a curry).
Tofu is the best-known meat substitute, and it is used in many dishes like kung pao chicken and sweet & sour chicken.
Edamame, fresh soy beans, contain 9 grams of protein in a half-cup. You can buy it frozen in the pod or pre-shelled. Here is a recipe for a quick snack, steam the pods with a splash of water in a microwave for about 2 minutes and finish it with a sprinkle of sea salt. Shelled beans can also be used in soups and stir-fries, or you can use in salad after steaming.
You will get 8 grams of protein in one cup of soy milk. This amount of protein is higher than non-dairy beverages. Try to avoid flavored versions of it, they contain lots of added sugar. You can use soy milk in smoothies and cereals.
Lentils contain a high level of fiber and 10 grams of protein in a half-cup. You will be inevitably full after having a meal of lentils. Canned lentils are readily available in supermarkets, or you can try dried lentils that are easy to cook and cheaper. Lentils can be perfectly used in burger patties, with rice, in grain bowls, or in a pot pie. For a perfect lunch, try lentil soup with a whole-grain roll.
Chickpeas contain 7 grams of protein in a half-cup, and they can quickly turn a grain bowl or salad into a complete meal. Moroccan stew or chickpea burgers are also worth trying. Roasted chickpeas are a famous snack for any time of the day. Chickpea flour makes delicious protein-filled pancakes.
Whether it is black beans, kidney beans, or white beans, all are a good source of protein and full of taste. Beans contain around 8 grams of protein in a half-cup. Soups and stews work great with the beans, but there are lots of other ways to use them, such as rice dishes, and toppings for toast or nachos.
Almonds give you 16.5 grams of protein per half-cup. It is a very good source of Vitamin E, which is highly beneficial for your skin, hair, and eyes. Almonds are used in many meals, sweet dishes, and often consumed as a snack.
A large baked potato contains 8 grams of protein. Potatoes also contain potassium and Vitamin C. Potatoes are widely used worldwide in many dishes, and they are one of the most frequently used vegetables around the globe.
Whether it is pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or any other kind of seeds; you will find 6 grams of protein in 2 tbsp. Chia pudding is a delicious breakfast when it is topped with frozen cherries. Try putting pumpkin seeds on top of your cereal or yogurt. If you want to try something tasty, try tossing some sunflower seeds into your salad.
Seitan is not very well known, and most people are unaware of it. It is made from wheat protein, also known as gluten. It is a high level protein as it contains 21 grams per 85 gram serving. Its texture is very similar to meat, and it can easily be used as a meal substitute depending on the dish.
Many leafy green vegetables contain protein, but they do not provide enough protein per serving to meet your daily requirements. These vegetables are surely going to increase protein intake, especially when they are combined with other plant-based proteins.
- A medium stalk of broccoli contains around 4 grams of protein.
- Kale can give you up to 2 grams of protein per cup.
- Five medium mushrooms can provide 3 grams of protein.
Try a protein-rich meal by making a salad of baby greens with quinoa sprinkled on top of it.
Plant-Based Protein “The New Alternative”
With the right plant-based diet, you can avoid meat products. You can have a healthy lifestyle with less health risks when you choose plant-based foods. Before you plan to make significant changes in your diet, consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to get all the information about nutrients and protein present in a plant-based diet. It will help you to include the necessary foods in your diet that are required for your body.