Top 5 Sources of Plant-Based Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that consists of amino acids. It provides a large range of health benefits from boosting metabolism and aiding in weight loss to improving muscle recovery and is essential for building muscle, repairing cells, and producing new ones.
Protein really does live up to its own hype; so it’s no wonder that if you follow a plant-based diet, you’ve probably been hit with the question “Where do you get your protein from?” more than just a couple of times. When most people think of protein the first things that come to mind are steak, chicken, eggs, fish, and a slew of other animal products. Fortunately, the seemingly elusive plant-based protein not only exists but is abundant in a variety of plant foods. Here are just five of the best animal-free protein sources:
Tofu and TempehTofu and Tempeh are both made through different methods of processing soybeans. Tofu uses soybean pulp and presses it into a block in a similar process to the one used to make cheese. Alternatively, Tempeh is made by pressing whole soybeans together and fermenting them. They are both rich in a variety of nutrients including calcium, manganese, and iron and are an excellent source of plant based protein.
Tofu provides a powerful 10 grams of protein in only a half a cup. Tempeh is even more potent with a whopping 15.5 grams in a serving the same size.
EdamameEdamame refers to young, green soybeans that are harvested when they are still immature. In addition to protein, they are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin K. This delicious super food also packs 8.5 grams of protein in every half cup.
Beans and LentilsBeans and lentils both come in many varieties and are both versatile and delicious. In addition to protein, legumes are an excellent source of fiber and folate. One half cup serving of lentils provides 9 grams of protein and a serving of beans the same size packs in 8 grams.
Nuts and SeedsNuts and seeds are a tasty snack on their own, and they also make excellent toppings to add a protein boost to your favorite meal. A half cup of walnuts comes with 6 grams of protein, and a half cup of mixed nuts could contain as much as 13 grams. Pumpkin seeds also offer 6 grams of protein per half cup, and sunflower seeds are an even more potent source with 15 grams!
QuinoaQuinoa is a tasty, fluffy grain that can be used in place of rice or as a base for many plant-based recipes. In addition to being a good source of fiber, folate, manganese, and magnesium, one cup of quinoa also comes with 8 grams of protein.
Protein is present in a wide variety of nutritious and delicious plant foods and this list is only the tip of the iceberg. Next time someone asks where you get your protein, we hope some of these foods will be a part of your response!