Some people like to eat vegetarian for animal rights, while others just enjoy feeling healthier. The vegetarian diet gets picked on, so to speak, because people think that eating meat is the only way to get protein. Little do meat eaters know that the protein you can get from plant-based foods are better for your body.
Protein is necessary for muscle growth, healthy nails, and enzyme and hormone production. For the average person, meat is the typical go-to when it comes to getting protein. Unless you are raised meat-free, it’s hard to imagine feeling sustained without meat in your diet. Believe it or not, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources. The body can absorb plant-based protein more easily than protein from meat because meat often contains chemicals and hormones that the body can’t process. Here are plant-based protein sources you need to know about.
These may not have the highest protein content, but these tiny seeds pack a nutritious punch. One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 2.5 grams of protein, being one of the best sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Additionally, they are rich in amino acids!
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, lentils are one of the top protein sources. Weighing in at 18 grams of protein per 1 cup, lentils provide carbs that the body slowly digests. This helps you stay fuller for longer.
Sometimes known as the vegetable protein from the sea (nobody calls it that but maybe it can become a thing???), spirulina is an awesome superfood that has 8 grams of protein in every 30 milliliters. It can be an excellent protein boost to your morning smoothie. Spirulina also contains thiamin and iron!
When it comes to quinoa, you have to make sure to cook it with spices. Most people don’t like it because it can be bland if left unseasoned. Quinoa is rich in fiber, which is beneficial for digestion, and essential amino acids that help to promote muscle growth. Oh yeah, it’s got protein too!
Beans are rich in amino acids, making them a complete plant-based protein source. When we say “complete,” we mean that the protein source contains the 9 essential amino acids that the body can’t make on its own. Plus, beans help you feel full and they enhance brain, muscle, and heart health.
Other Notable Plant-Based Protein Sources
- Green Peas
- Hemp Seeds
- Steel Cut Oats
- Wild Rice