10 Top Sources of Plant-Based Protein, Ranked

When you think protein, you usually think meat. But these plant-based proteins are fantastic sources just waiting to nourish your body.

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Lentils (1 cup of cooked lentil = 18 grams of protein)

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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). Here's how to know if your diet is too low in fiber.

Edamame (1 cup of edamame = 17 grams of protein)

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Along with protein, edamame is another rich source of fiber. One cup provides almost 9 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. These other surprising salad tricks can help you lose weight.

Hemp seeds (3 tablespoons = 10 grams of protein)

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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. These other overlooked superfoods are another great way to boost health.

Quinoa (1 cup of quinoa = 8 grams of protein)

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Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, iron, copper, thiamin, and vitamin B. No wonder it's called a supergrain! 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! Here are creative quinoa recipes to experiment with.

Peanut butter (2 tablespoons = 8 grams of protein)

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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. Here's how peanut butter helps reverse a sugar binge.

Peas (1 cup of green peas = 8 grams of protein)

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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 salad or serve a side of these green goodies with dinner!

Potatoes (1 large potato = 7 grams of protein)

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Potatoes get a bad rap as a scary source of carbohydrates. But if you prepare a potato without loads of cream and butter, you have a very nutritious vegetable: one low in fat but high in vitamin C and potassium. Try baking a potato instead of doing the usual mash.

Sun-dried tomatoes (1 cup of dried tomatoes = 6 grams of protein)

Sun-dried tomatoes are a very underrated vegetable. They contain almost 30 percent of your recommend 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 (2 tablespoons = 5 grams of protein)

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The little chia seed is packed with health-boosting calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s. It even has more antioxidants than the infamous blueberry! (Check out the impressive health benefits of chia seeds.) When you make your next yogurt parfait be sure to add a sprinkle of chia seeds, or even add some on top of toast.

Spinach (1 cup of cooked spinach = 5 grams of protein)

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This leafy green is like a multivitamin in vegetable form. Spinach is a wonderful source of vitamin K (one of the most important nutrients for bone health), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Add it to your next spaghetti dish or to your morning scrambled eggs.

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