The best sources of plant protein for a healthy, balanced diet
Plant-based diets have gained popularity in recent years due to their many health benefits, including weight control, reduced risk of chronic disease, and improved digestion. For individuals looking to incorporate more plant-based proteins into their diet, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best plant-based protein sources for a healthy, balanced diet.
Lentils are an excellent source of protein, with one cup of cooked lentils containing about 18 grams of protein. They are also high in fiber, which can aid digestion and keep you feeling full longer. Lentils are versatile and can be added to soups, salads and curries for a nutritious and filling meal.
Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. One cup of cooked quinoa provides about 8 grams of protein, making it a great addition to any vegetarian diet. Quinoa can be used as a base for salads, added to soup, or even used in place of rice for a protein-packed meal.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in many vegetarian diets. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 15 grams of protein, as well as a good amount of fiber and other essential nutrients. Chickpeas can be used to make hummus, added to salads, or roasted for a crunchy and satisfying snack.
Tofu is a popular plant-based protein source, made from soybeans. It is high in protein, about 10 grams per 3.5 ounces, as well as being a good source of iron and calcium. Tofu can be added to stir-fries, used in salads, or blended into smoothies for an extra boost of protein.
5. Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood, packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain about 10 grams of protein, making them an easy addition to smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal for a protein-rich snack or meal.
6. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are another superfood that is high in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide about 4 grams of protein, making them a great addition to smoothies, desserts, or baked goods for an extra nutritional boost.
Almonds are not only a good source of healthy fats, but they also contain a good amount of protein. One ounce of almonds provides about 6 grams of protein, in addition to being high in fiber, vitamin E, and other essential nutrients. Almonds can be eaten alone as a snack, added to salads, or mixed with almond butter for a protein-rich spread.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is high in protein, with about 15 grams per cup. It’s also a good source of probiotics, which can help with digestion and gut health. Tempeh can be used in place of meat in sandwiches, stir-fries, or roasts for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Edamame, or baby soybeans, are a great source of plant-based protein, with about 17 grams per cup. They are also high in fibre, iron and other essential nutrients. Edamame can be eaten alone as a snack, added to salads, or used in stir-fries for a protein-packed meal.
Seitan, also known as wheat gluten, is a popular meat substitute that is high in protein, with about 25 grams per 3.5 ounces. It is also a good source of iron and other essential nutrients. Seitan can be used in place of meat in sandwiches, added to French fries, or grilled for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Overall, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources to choose from when following a plant-based diet. By incorporating a variety of these protein-rich foods into your meals, you can ensure you get all the essential nutrients your body needs for a healthy, balanced diet.