Top Plant-Based Natural Protein Sources for Your Next Meal
Protein is crucial for the human body since every cell contains this nutrient. It’s especially popular with fitness enthusiasts since it participates in building muscles. It’s a common misconception that your protein should come from meat sources. Plant based protein is much better since it packs more nutrients in fewer calories. Additionally, meat contains more LDL cholesterol, which can increase heart disease risk.
It’s 2021, and we have the blessing of finding different foods easily. It’s easy to come across natural protein sources if you know where to look. Check out this nutrient’s top sources and its critical benefits below!
Why Is Protein Important for Our Bodies?
You’ll find experts discussing which is more vital for the human body – fat or carbohydrate. However, nobody ever questioned that protein is important for our organism.
Here are the main reasons why you should look for high protein foods:
- Boost muscle size and strength. Protein is crucial for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It promotes muscle growth and helps to keep muscle mass when on a diet.
- Reduces hunger levels and appetite. Scientific reports confirm that protein contributes to satiety. That makes it vital for any weight loss plan.
- Optimizes blood pressure. If you choose high protein foods with healthy fats, you could lower blood pressure.
- Promotes regeneration. Proteins are building blocks in most cells. They can help your organs and tissues to repair after an injury or damage.
- Supports your immunity. This nutrient helps to form antibodies, which can help to fight viruses and other foreign invaders.
How Much Protein Should You Consume Daily?
The Harvard Health Blog explains you need 0.36 grams of protein per pound of your weight. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should consume 36 grams of protein daily.
The exact amount varies on your daily habits. Those working out regularly will consume more than people leading a sedentary lifestyle. However, the percentage of protein in your daily diet should be at least 10%. The experts also suggest it shouldn’t cross 35% to ensure it’s well-combined with other nutrients.
Top Plant-Based Protein Sources
It’s not an exaggeration to say that healthy food is everywhere. The trick lies in choosing meals that fit your diet but secures a sufficient nutrient intake. Here is how to get protein as a vegan easily!
Protein amount: Up to 18 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat (0-1 g/c), fiber (10-15 g/c), 200-250 calories
You’ll often hear that legumes are a natural substitute for meat. Black beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all high-protein foods. You can get creative when preparing food with legumes. From bean burgers to soups, burritos, and even pasta, the options are endless. If you don’t feel like preparing legume food often, meal deliveries can help to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Protein amount: 3.5 grams per spoon
Other nutritional information: Fat (8 g/c), fiber (1 g/c), 95 calories
Have you ever thought that this tasty treat is among the best sources of protein? A single tablespoon will secure 3.5 grams of this nutrient. Apart from offering lots of protein, peanut butter is rich in fat. You can probably think of dozens of ways to consume this ingredient. You can put it on bread, mix it with fruits, or even eat raw peanut butter.
Protein amount: 31.3 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat (27.5 g/c), fiber (10 g/c), 400 calories
Although vegans often consume soy, they might be unaware that soybean is among the best sources of protein. You can find this bean in a can and whip up homemade hummus to enjoy for breakfast.
The ingredient itself doesn’t contain a lot of carbs. That makes it suitable for ketogenic and other low-carb diets. If you don’t mind the extra carbs, use soybeans to make a tasty falafel. Some other soy forms rich in protein include defatted soy flour (TVP) and tempeh.
Protein amount: 2 grams per teaspoon
Other nutritional information: Fat (0 g/t), fiber (0 g/t), 10 calories
Spirulina is an option on how to get protein as a vegan. Unlike other ingredients listed, you primarily use this powder in drinks. You can make a latte or smoothie for an additional protein boost. If you feel like including it in foods, how about making a cheesecake or spirulina balls?
Protein amount: 5 grams per tablespoon
Other nutritional information: Fat (0 g/t), fiber (2 g/t), 34 calories
Many people are unaware that nutritional yeast is a vegan-friendly food. It’s a plant-based protein that also contains minerals and vitamins. Many compare it to Parmesan cheese by its appearance and flavor. You can use it to make treats like vegan cheese dips or include it in a nutritious salad.
Protein amount: 32 grams per cup (raw)
Other nutritional information: Fat (56 g/c), fiber (8 g/c), 640 calories
Pumpkin seeds are your ideal snack at any time. This vegan protein will secure that energy boost whenever you need it. This ingredient is suitable for consuming raw, but you can add it to oats, smoothies, and even create butter. Apart from being among natural protein sources, pumpkin seeds are also a high-calorie food. That’s why you should consume them in moderation.
Protein amount: 24 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat (60 g/c), fiber (16 g/c), 680 calories
Almonds have a similar nutritional profile to pumpkin seeds. Fitness enthusiasts love this ingredient as a snack. That’s because it offers a powerful combo of plant-based protein and healthy fat. It’s convenient you can eat almonds on the go. If you are at home, consider an almond cheese spread, and don’t hesitate to consume almond milk, too.
Protein amount: 6 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat (3.5 g/c), fiber (4 g/c), 160 calories
Oats are incredibly popular with children and vegans. They are a favorite meal in the morning, and you can combine them with virtually anything. Do you feel like eating sweet oatmeal pancakes? How about making an egg-oat omelet? If prepared correctly, oats can stay overnight and ensure you have breakfast ready tomorrow. Read our guide to keeping food fresh and safe to learn more about preserving ingredients.
Protein amount: 20 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat (11 g/c), fiber (2.9 g/c), 180 calories
It’s a common myth that tofu is a type of cheese. This product actually comes from soybeans, and it’s also called bean curd. A cup of tofu will secure over 20 grams of vegan protein, which is impressive. You can mix this ingredient with anything. It has a gentle flavor, but it absorbs it from other foods. That makes it the perfect addition to any meal.
Protein amount: 8 grams per cup
Other nutritional information: Fat 3.5 g/c), fiber (5 g/c), 220 calories
Quinoa can be the perfect basis for breakfasts and lunches. You can make salads, pies, and even yogurt parfaits as a quinoa-filled treat. It’s a valuable plant-based protein with eight grams of this nutrient per cup.
The numerous plant-based protein options allow you to get creative when preparing meals. You’ll never run out of choices to prepare tasty food rich in protein. And if you don’t feel like cooking, that’s perfectly fine. We reviewed Martha & Marley Spoon and other top meal delivering companies. Check out our detailed descriptions to pick a brand that will deliver high-quality food to your doorstep!
*The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice. You are advised to consult your physician, nutrition or other qualified health provider before consuming any meal or beginning any dietary program.. The information is not intended to be relied upon for medical treatment, recommended diet or diagnosis. Reliance upon any opinion or advice provided is at your own risk