4 Foods Rich in Plant-based Protein
A frequent misunderstanding about protein is that the nutrient can be only found abundantly in non-vegetarian foods like meat and eggs. When actually, plants can also provide you with a daily intake of protein, minus the cholesterol. This makes vegetable protein an important nutrient for losing weight, overall fitness and health, and building muscle mass.
Getting more of your protein from plants also benefits the planet, too. That’s because meat and dairy production requires an abundance of resources and can be a significant factor to global climate change. Although there are smaller farmers now focused on sustainable sourcing of meat and dairy, the message is still the same – consuming less meat and eating more plant protein is an effective way to reduce the amount of resources required to make food.
Below, we highlight some plant-based proteins that are a must-have for all vegetarians and non-vegans alike. Foods like beans, peas, quinoa, seeds and nuts are some of the best plant protein sources. As a bonus, all plant proteins are cholesterol-free!
4 plant-based sources of proteins
Beans and Legumes: Beans are known to be one of the best sources of plant proteins. In fact, one cup of cooked soybeans contains around 29 grams of protein. That’s more protein than a 4 oz. fillet of Alaskan Wild Salmon.
Beans can be an effective weapon in your weight loss arsenal, too, helping you feel full for longer periods. Look for beans and soy in prepared foods at the grocery store, as they are added to increase protein in all sorts of dishes. If you like burgers and ground meats in tacos, check out Impossible Foods. They’re a cutting-edge food company making delicious plant protein-based comfort foods.
Peas: Peas got a bad reputation somewhere along the way. People often consider green peas as a cheap, lazy option for a dinner plate vegetable. However, peas are loaded with nutrition that can help elevate your health. Peas are low in fat but high everything else. A single cup of peas is about 95 calories but filled with protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals like folate, vitamin A, C and K.
Nuts: Nuts are among the best sources of plant-based proteins. Nuts are also a good source of fiber, healthy fats and other beneficial nutrients, like calcium and magnesium. Each type of nut offers different nutritional benefits. Look for walnuts, almonds and peanuts because of their nutritional content, availability and affordability. Since nuts can be high in calories, eating them should be done in controlled amounts.
Quinoa is often considered a whole grain but it’s really a seed of a leafy plant. What makes quinoa an exceptionally nutritious food for those who do not eat animal products, is that quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids, unlike most plant-based foods.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, while the same amount of brown rice contains only 5 grams of protein. Quinoa also provides you with more fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc than wheat or barley.
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