The Best 15 Sources of Plant-Based Protein
When you think protein, you usually think meat. But these plant-based proteins are fantastic sources just waiting to nourish your body.
Lentils (1 cup of cooked lentil = 18 grams of protein)
Lentils could be the new red meat. One cup has almost 37 percent of your daily value of iron. Not to mention the 16 grams of fiber it has to fill you up (and stop you from reaching for that mid-afternoon doughnut). These are the best vegan protein sources.
Edamame (1 cup of edamame = 17 grams of protein)
Along with protein, edamame is another rich source of fiber. One cup provides almost 17 grams, the amount you would find in a few slices of bread. Ditch the bread with that salad, and instead add a heaping cup of edamame.
Almonds (1 cup = 20.2 grams of protein)
Almonds are the perfect snack to bring with you anywhere you go. They contain a massive amount of nutrients including fiber, protein, fat, vitamin E, and much more. Almonds are also very filling, so they can satisfy your hunger between meals. Try out these ways that nutritionists sneak more protein into their diet.
Seitan (1 ounce = 21 grams of protein)
Seitan is a popular plant-based protein source made from gluten. When cooked it looks similar to meat and even has a meat-like texture. One ounce contains 21 grams of protein. This source of plant-based protein also contains small amounts of iron, calcium, and phosphorous. Seitan can be grilled, sauteed, and pan-fried to easily be incorporated into a variety of recipes.
Hemp seeds (1 ounce = 9.2 grams of protein)
What one seed contains all the essential amino acids your body needs? You guessed it, hemp seeds. These little brown seeds add a health boost to any baked good. You can even sprinkle some over that birthday cake! You won’t even taste it.
Quinoa (1 cup of quinoa = 8 grams of protein)
Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B. No wonder it’s called a super grain! Quinoa also helps you get your daily dose of magnesium and manganese, essential nutrients for bone health. Replace rice with quinoa at your next meal! Try these other healthy ways to load up on protein.
Nutritional yeast (1 ounce = 14 grams of protein)
Many people use this plant-based protein as a dairy supplement because of its cheesy flavor. It is sold in the form of yellow powder or flakes. One ounce of nutritional yeast contains 14 grams of protein. It’s also a great source of fiber, zinc, and magnesium.
Peanut butter (2 tablespoons = 8 grams of protein)
Did you know peanut butter is a diet food? It has the perfect combination of protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. Additionally, one serving of this rich-tasting goodness has tons of vitamin E, vitamin B6, and potassium. Buy a brand with no added sugar and salt.
Peas (1 cup of green peas = 8.6 grams of protein)
Did you know that peas are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat? Peas contain a lot of lutein, an antioxidant that can help heart health by lowering cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup. Pile them on top of a salad or serve a side of these green goodies with dinner! Eat these foods to help build more muscle.
Sun-dried tomatoes (1 cup of dried tomatoes = 7.6 grams of protein)
Sun-dried tomatoes are a very underrated vegetable. They contain almost 30 percent of your recommended daily value of magnesium. Additionally, these tomatoes provide a good amount of vitamin K, something many plant-based foods lack. Add these tasty tomatoes to your next pizza for a nutrient boost!
Chia seeds (1 ounce = 4.4 grams of protein)
The little chia seed is packed with health-boosting calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s. It even has more antioxidants than the infamous blueberry! When you make your next yogurt parfait be sure to add a sprinkle of chia seeds, or even add some on top of toast.
Tofu (1/2 cup = 10. 3 grams of protein)
Tofu is the perfect source of plant-based protein because it takes on the flavor of whatever dish you cook it in. Made from soybeans, a half a cup contains about 10 grams of protein. It can serve as a meat substitute for anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet as well. Also, try adding these high-energy foods to your diet.
Tempeh (1 cup = 30.8 grams of protein)
Just like tofu, tempeh is also made from soybeans. It has a very nutty flavor and also contains a good amount of calcium and iron. One cup contains more than 30 grams of protein.
Ezekiel bread (2 slices = 8 grams of protein)
If you’re trying to get more protein in your diet, try substituting out your regular sandwich bread for Ezekiel bread. It’s made from organic sprouted whole grains and legumes so it’s a great source of plant-based protein. For even more protein, top your sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes as well.
Soy milk (1 cup = 7.9 grams of protein)
Switch out your milk with soymilk to get more protein in your diet. One cup contains almost 8 grams of protein. Try to substitute soy milk when making coffee or baking, you probably won’t even taste the difference. It’s also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Next, read about these healthy foods that are even more nutritious than you thought.