Protein,the celebrity among macronutrients, is essential in our body for a long list of processes. Often times, when we think about protein, we usually associate it with animal products; however, it is important to know that there are a lot of plant-based foods that are full of this amazing nutrient.
This being said, vegans and vegetarians can also meet their protein needs through non-animal products. Before we head out to show you 10 amazing plant-based sources of protein, let us learn more about this nutrient.
Protein: What Is It & Why We Need It?
Protein is a “long string” of amino acids and when digested, the string of amino acids is broken into separate amino acids. This being said, as The Hearty Soul explain, every amino acid has a distinct role, for example, one ends up being transformed in dopamine, a mood neurotransmitter.
An amino acid can be of two types, i.e. essential or non-essential. The latter can be created in from the essential ones only. On the other hand, we need to acquire the essential ones from our diet and thus,produce the non-essential ones.
Protein is necessary for the following bodily processes:
- Repairs and builds muscle mass
- Contributes to the creation of important neurotransmitters
- Needed for the creation of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies
The most popular sources of protein are meat products,including meat, eggs, and fish. And, the healthier the animal, the healthier will the products be. However, nowadays, there are a lot of people who have gone vegan or vegetarian for multiple reasons or people simply want to decrease their meat consumption. Therefore, the most common question they have is ‘Where do I get my protein from?’.
With this in mind, we prepared a list with 10 amazing plant sources of protein. Check it out below…
10 Foods Rich in Protein: Plant-Based
- Almond butter
50 grams of this butter will supply you with 10 grams of protein. It also contains other important nutrients, including healthy fats,vitamin E, biotin, and manganese. It goes great when added to smoothies. You can purchase it in supermarkets or make your own.
- Hemp seeds
Believe it or not, 50 grams of these seeds will provide 16 grams of protein. They will also boost your omega-3 fat levels. You can sprinkle them on top of oatmeal or salads or add them to smoothies and homemade juices.
- Pumpkin seeds
50 grams of these seeds have 8 grams of protein. They will also boost your magnesium levels and destroy parasites in the body. You can snack them, add them to salads- the options are endless!
This sea veggie contains 16 grams of protein per 50 grams! Wow! In addition to protein, it also elevates the fiber, potassium, and iodine levels. You can use it to make wraps or combine it in salads, soups, and smoothies.
This condiment is made from roasted and crushed sesame seeds and it contains 10 grams of protein per 50 grams. They are known to reduce inflammation and are abundant in other important nutrients such as manganese, zinc, and magnesium. This condiment makes the ideal dip for roasted cauliflower and broccoli or an excellent spread for whole-wheat bread.
9 grams of flaxseed will supply your body with 50 grams of protein. They also contain omega-3s that can decrease inflammation, as well as fiber, that will regulate your bowel movements. Make sure you ground it prior to consumption for easier digestion. You can use it as an egg replacement in baking or add it to smoothies.
Did you know that 50 grams of chlorella will provide 29 grams of protein? Often referred to as superfood, this alga can detoxify your body of heavy metals. Other essential nutrients found in it are calcium, magnesium,iron, and vitamin A. Feel free to add it to smoothies or shakes.
- Nutritional yeast
Besides vitamin B12, this yeast will also supply you with 25 grams of protein per 50 grams. Its cheesy and nutty flavor goes great with salads and numerous other foods.
50 grams of spirulina will boost you with 28 grams of protein. This alga, similarly to chlorella, can help cleanse your body of heavy metals. It will also supply you with potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin K.
- Cacao nibs
50 grams of cacao nibs will provide you with 7 grams of protein. Cacao, unlike cocoa, contains enzymes that are highly advantageous for the digestive processes. Cacao is also rich in fiber, calcium, and magnesium. They make a great tasty and healthy snack.
Heading out already? No worries- just make sure you check out the video shown below to learn more about protein: