Plant Based Protein Sources
The interest in vegetarian diets has grown over the past years with many more people reducing their use of animal products. The reasons for going vegan range from health, animal welfare or religious reasons. Despite the growth in interest for vegetarian diets, many people are still in the dark about the exact sources for plant proteins. It is important to be aware of the other sources of protein besides meat and animal products. Plant based proteins are excellent sources because they have fewer calories. Furthermore, some of these plants have all the nine essential amino acids needed by the human body.
So, what are the best plant-based foods for protein?
Tofu, tempeh and edamame
Products from soy are top of the list for the richest sources of protein. The different methods of preparation of the soy accounts for the different protein content per ½ cup:
• Firm tofu from soybean curds contains 10g protein
• Edamame beans or immature soy beans contain 8.5g of protein
• Tempeh contains 15g of protein
Tofu is a versatile addition to any meal because it takes on the flavour of the food it is prepared in. it can also be used as a substitute for meat.
The red and green varieties of lentils are rich in protein, fibre` and key nutrients. Their richness in proteins makes lentils ideal for add on to a lunch or dinner routine. You can also add them to stews, curries, salads or rice.
Cooked chickpeas are high in protein can be widely used in many recipes. E.g. for stews and curries or roasting in the oven. Eaten hot or cold, chickpeas are ideal plant-based proteins.
More than being a rich source for protein, peanuts are also rich in healthy fats and may improve heart health.
Almonds provide the body with proteins and good amounts of vitamin E. vitamin E is great for the skin and eyes.
Spirulina is a blue or green algae available in powder form. It has a high content of protein. The powder can be added to water, smoothies or fruit juice or can also be sprinkled over salad.
Quinoa is a high-protein grain containing all the nine essential amino acids necessary for the body. Use quinoa in soups and stews or as a sprinkle on your salads.
Chia seeds are rich in protein, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. You can add them to a smoothie, yogurt or make a pudding.
Potatoes are rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals such as potassium. For instance, a baked potato has 8g of protein per serving.
Numerous dark-coloured, leafy greens and vegetables are excellent sources of plant-based proteins. Vegetables such as broccoli, kale and mushrooms have high protein content per cup serving. Other plant- based proteins like quinoa can be sprinkled on vegetable salads to create a protein-rich meal.
These are just a few of the many sources of plant-based protein. Meat and Animal products are not the only sources of proteins. Take a chance on these plant-based proteins and observe the difference in your general well-being.