If you’re new to plant-based eating, are looking for new ways to increase your protein intake, or are just confused about what foods to eat, you’re in the right place. Unfortunately, plant-based eating often comes with the misconception that a vegan diet lacks protein, and you have likely been told this at some point or another as well. However, the truth is that certain plant-based proteins actually contain more protein than certain animal products! Shocking, right? But it’s totally true which is why there is no need to fear the not enough protein dilemma.
Get ready, because you are about to be shocked to learn that some of the following foods are some of the richest sources of plant-based protein available not to mention the abundant amount of other amazing health benefits these foods bring to the table!
Here are 5 of the best plant-based protein sources you should add to your diet.
Did you know that lentils are one of the riches sources of protein a vegan can add into their diet? With about 18 grams of protein per cup, you are looking at a plant-based protein superstar right here. Lentils also get bonus points for their high fiber content which not only helps fill you up but also keeps your digestion on point. Get creative with lentils by making vegan “meatballs” or tossing them into a sauce to make a “meat” sauce. Lentils are a much more nutritious source of protein as compared to heavy hard to digest meat products.
#2: Hemp Seeds
These little seeds pack in a healthy dose of protein at just about 10 grams per three tablespoons! That’s pretty amazing. In just three tablespoons you are packing in almost as much as the average protein powder would in one full scoop. Not only are hemp seeds packed with protein they are also an excellent source of heart-healthy omegs-3 fatty acids and are easily digested making them a perfect protein option for those with a sensitive stomach.
Quinoa, which is surprisingly not considered a grain but rather a seed is considered to be a plant-based complete protein source. Move over chicken because quinoa is making its debut as a much healthier complete protein source! This plant-based superfood contains about 10 grams of protein per one cup of cooked quinoa and is also an excellent source of fiber. Win, win! Try using quinoa in place of rice for a higher protein option, or try making vegan tacos with quinoa and beans for a super protein boost.
Spirulina is one of nature’s finest superfoods and is one of the very few plant-based foods that consists of nearly all protein! In just two tablespoons you will be packing in just about 8 grams of protein and amazing superfood health benefits. Try adding spirulina to things like smoothies for a protein-rich superfood breakfast.
#5: Nutritional Yeast
Other known as vegan “cheese!” Nutritional yeast has a delicious cheesy flavor to add to things like vegan mac and cheese, or sprinkled over salads, and adds a nice boost of protein. In just four tablespoons of nutritional yeast, you’re looking at close to 8 grams of protein! So, go ahead and add that extra sprinkle of “cheese,” you’ll be ramping up your protein intake and B-vitamins all at the same time. Talk about the perfect energy boosting food!
The theory that vegan diets lack protein is a total misconception. As you can see getting high-quality protein sources into your plant-based diet is incredibly easy, not to mention delicious! Ready to try more plant-based meals? Check out Purple Carrot.