Looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet? Although a great idea, diets high in plant-based foods can sometimes lack enough protein. The average diet should include anywhere from 1.0-2.0 gm protein/kg body weight. Check out our 5 favorite plant-based protein sources for a nutritious diet high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
|1.) Chia Seeds, a sure superfood, are packed with 5 grams of protein and 140 calories per 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce (one serving). One serving also packs:10 grams of fiberOver 20% of your daily needs for CalciumOmega-3 fatty acidsAll nine essential amino acids To ensure top quality, make sure seeds are black or white, not brown, when purchasing. Mix with 4 times the amount of liquid (almond, soy milk or 100% juice) and top with nuts, dried fruit, or coconut shavings for chia pudding or mix into oatmeal, smoothies, or yogurt also for an added crunch with extra nutrition.|
2.) Quinoa, an ancient grain, can be mixed into salads, prepared as a side, or even ground into flour for baking. One cup, or 200 calories worth, adds:8 grams of protein 5 grams of fiber3 grams of ironPlenty of B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and potassium Check out millet, wild rice, freekeh, amaranth, and farro for other protein-packed whole grains. Use in place of rice or pasta at a meal or make cookies, muffins or pancakes with flour. Even, pop it like popcorn for a healthy snack!
3.) Lentils: Did you know that less than 10% of Americans take advantage of this delicious legume? Considering it’s packed with plenty of nutrients and protein, Americans are missing out! 1 cup of 230 calories serves up:18 grams of protein16 grams of fiber Almost 7 grams of ironPlenty of potassium, zinc, phosphorus and B-vitaminsA cheap alternative to meat-based proteins, mIx lentils into soups, chili, or as a side dish. Check out these recommended recipes from Real Simple.
4.) Tofu, one most well known vegetarian sources of protein, is sometimes looked at as bland and undesirable. However, this vegetarian favorite is versatile, tasty (when prepared right), and nutritious. ½ cup serves up 180 calories and is packed with:20 grams of protein3 grams of fiber 3 mg of IronOver 75% of your daily Calcium needsWhen concentrating on protein intake, think the firmer the better! Tofu’s bland flavor is actually what makes it so versatile. Marinade it for 10 minutes with any acidic-based marinade to pack it full of flavor!
5.) Beans, whether Black, Cannelini, Garbanzo (Chickpeas), or any types of beans, it really doesn’t matter! They’re all packed with 12+ grams of protein per cup cooked and act as nutrition rockstars. Both cheap and versatile, 1 cup provides:About 240 calories50+ grams of carbohydratesAbout 10 grams of fiberPlenty of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamin AGreat for after a hard workout, pile on to soups, cooked whole grains, salads, and even to top off healthy tacos! What’s your favorite plant-based protein source?