8 Must Try Sources of Plant-Based Proteins

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Protein is a very important to maintain good health.  Although many people get their daily protein from animal sources in the form of meat, dairy or eggs, there are many plant-based sources of protein that you use as well.

If you are trying to lose weight or just want a healthier diet, you can incorporate some of the best 8 plant-based sources of protein.

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1. Quinoa

 Quinoa is known as a “superfood” because of all its nutritional value. Not only is quinoa a grain, it is also a protein. This starchy protein that is great when served like a bed of rice or as part of a stir-fry. It can also be served as a hot cereal or as a topping on a salad. One-half cup of quinoa has about 7 to 9 grams of protein per serving.

2. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are known as a complete protein, because they contain all nine essential amino acids. Hemp seeds are also a great source for Omega-3 fatty acid.

You can increase the protein content by adding it to stews, soups, salads, baked goods, or even in a smoothie. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 10 grams of protein.

3. Lentils and Beans

Lentils and beans are starchy proteins, since they not only contain protein, but also carbohydrates and fiber.

Beans and lentils can be replaced with ground beef or turkey and used to make vegetarian meatballs, burgers, taco filling, or salad toppings. One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein; there are about 15 grams in the same size serving of beans.

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are an ancient grain that is very different from most other types of plant protein. When chia seeds are added to water, they turn into a type of gel.

Chia seeds can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, cold cereals, or in muffins to add to the protein content and add soluble fiber to your diet. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain about 4 grams of protein.

5. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is not really a yeast, but is a vegetarian staple food. Nutritional yeast comes in either powder or flaked form and can be mixed in sauces, dips and dressings to kick up the flavor with its cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast has about 12 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons.

6. Seeds and Nuts

There are many seeds and nuts that are good sources of proteins and minerals. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower, flax and pumpkin, cashews and pistachios on the nut side.

Seeds and nuts vary in taste and can be used in a variety of ways. They work good ground into a flour and used in baked goods or left whole as a topping on oatmeal, cereals, sprinkled on a salad or as a snack. One-fourth cup of either seeds or nuts has about 7 to 9 grams of protein.

7. Soy

Soy is a commonly used plant-based protein. Tempeh, tofu and edamame are all types of soy that have around 20 grams of protein per 2.5 tablespoon serving. Soy can be used as a meat replacement to make taco filling or spaghetti and “meatballs”.

Just be mindful with eating too much soy. Try to vary your diet so soy is not the main source of your protein.

8. Spirulina

Spirulina is a plant-based protein that comes from algae. Spirulina is a superfood because of all of its nutritional value.

Spirulina can be blended in a smoothie or mixed in a dessert or snack. Spirulina has about 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons.

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There are so many different sources of plant-based protein,that vegans and people looking to eat cleaner don’t have to worry about not getting enough protein in their diet. Make sure that you vary the types of food that you eat, so that way you can be sure to get enough of the essential amino acids found in protein.

How do you get your protein each day? Leave a comment below!