Best Plant Protein Sources You May Not Have Thought Of
Many people worry about getting enough protein in their diets when it comes to going plant-based. Don’t let that stop you! Despite what you think, there are plenty of ways to create a protein-rich plant-based diet that included rich and full sources of protein. Many plant-protein sources are very rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. By focusing on protein sources rich in amino acids, you can round out your diet with good nutrients that can sometimes be overlooked on a vegetarian or vegan diet. With fewer calories than animal protein, plant-protein sources can also be a great way to ensure you get all the macros you need when you’re focusing on losing weight while gaining muscle.
Many articles will point you to beans, rice, tofu, and broccoli as your staple protein sources. At PlantX we talked a little bit about how to get protein as a vegan, but we know that diets can get boring, and it’s always fun to try something new every once in a while! Below we’ve included some of our favorite protein-rich plant sources that readers may not have thought of.
For every ½ cup of lentils, you can get up to 9 grams of protein into your meal, along with other significant nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You can easily include lentils into a veggie-packed soup that’s rich in protein for a quick meal that you can set up in your crockpot in the morning and come home to after work. Whether you enjoy, brown, red, or green lentils, all of them contain polyphenols, which has been shown to reduce obesity, and inflammation in a recent study published in the 2017 International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Also commonly known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas contain about 7 grams of protein for every ½ cup serving. Whether you’re enjoying it as a crispy roasted snack over potato chips, or blending it into hummus and enjoying with a whole-wheat pita chip, chickpeas are an incredibly versatile plant-protein source that is rich in healthy fatty acids, fiber, iron, and phosphorus. Looking to make chickpeas the star of your dish? Try using chickpeas in a delicious falafel recipe, or check out our tasty chickpea and zucchini pasta recipe!
Like couscous, quinoa is a type of grain that has a nutty and crunchy texture that is naturally gluten-free. A single cup of quinoa provides 8 grams of protein alongside other essential nutrients like magnesium, fiber, iron, and zinc. Quinoa makes an excellent replacement for rice and can be used as a base in delicious plant-protein bowls or a decadent Green Goddess Salad. You can also enjoy it in the morning in a breakfast porridge alongside some of your other favorite fruits, berries, and nuts.
Dense in nutrients, Ezekiel bread is a wonderful alternative to your traditional slice of white bread. This bread is jam-packed with barley, wheat, millet, spelt, legumes, and other whole grains. Ezekiel bread is also an excellent option for plant-based eaters who can’t kick their bread habit but are looking for healthier options. Each slice of Ezekial bread contains 4 grams of protein and can be used to boost a vegan BLT sandwich or enjoyed in the morning alongside peanut butter or avocado toast.
Looking to find more delicious plant-based recipes? Check out PlantX’s recipe section for some great meal ideas to try out with the family.