Today I’m talking all about my favourite, top 10, plant-based proteins that anyone and everyone can start incorporating into their diets! “So where do you get your protein” is probably one of the most common questions those practicing a plant-centric lifestyle get, and now you can supply them will all this knowledge and say “here!”
TOP 10 PLANT BASED PROTEINS TO INCORPORATE DAILY
Lentils are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre; according to the Emma Olliff Nutrition food pyramid, lentils are considered to be a starchy protein. Split green peas can be added to this category of having a good source of protein
Nutrition: 1 cup cooked lentils = 18g protein, 1 cup of green peas = 8g protein
2. HEMP SEEDS
Hemp seeds not only contain protein, but also contain heart healthy fats mainly omega-3 fatty acids. They have a delicious subtly sweet and nutty flavor and are so small in size, they can easily be used and added to any recipe to boost the protein content.
Nutrition: 3 tablespoons hemp = about 10g protein
3. CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are an ancient seed used for centuries for their amazing properties to absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance because of the soluble fiber content contained in the seeds. Due to this unique characteristic, chia seeds are great to add to meals and foods to thicken naturally, while also boosting the fibre, protein, and healthy fats. mainly omega-3’s
Nutrition: 2 tablespoons = 4g protein
Quinoa is a gluten free grain, technically a seed, but used as a carbohydrate. It’s considered a starchy protein because it contains carbohydrates as well as protein and fibre.
Nutrition: 1/2 cup cooked quinoa = 7-9g protein
Spirulina is incredibly protein rich, it’s one of the few sources of plant-based proteins that are mostly protein by dry weight, about 70%. It’s deep blue-green in color and changes everything you mix with it that color green. It tastes subtly sweet and nutty (hints of vanilla and chocolate), but with a background seaweed flavour.
Nutrition: 2 tablespoons spirulina = 8g protein
6. NUTRITIONAL YEAST
Nutritional yeast is a staple food item in plant-based diets due to it’s cheesy flavor, versatility, high amounts of B vitamins, and protein. Nutritional yeast contains no dairy or active yeast, it’s found in a powder/flake form and creates a paste when mixed with liquid- i.e. it’s great for making sauces, dressings, and more with.
Nutrition: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast = about 12g protein
Seeds such as sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp, flax, and pumpkin seeds are all not only mineral rich but also protein rich. Seeds vary from type, some are more nutty in flavor whereas others are more sweet and neutral tasting. Pumpkin seeds has an earthy flavor, sesame seeds are very nutty tasting, sunflower are slightly sweet and nutty, and flax and chia seeds taste mildly nutty.
Nutrition: 1/4 cup seeds = around 7-9g protein
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and more are not only rich in minerals, Vitamin E, and healthy fats, but also protein rich. Nuts vary from type, some are more nutty in flavor whereas others are more sweet and neutral tasting. Cashews are one of my favorite nuts as they’re incredibly versatile to use in sweet and savory dishes; brazil nuts are my close second favorite because they’re rich in selenium- just eating 1 a day makes up 100% of your DV for selenium.
Nutrition: 1/4 cup nuts = around 7-9g protein
Beans are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber; according to the Nutrition Stripped food pyramid, beans are considered to be a starchy protein similarly to be used like lentils.
Nutrition: 1 cup cooked beans = around 15g protein
10. TEMPEH/ORGANIC TOFU/EDAMAME
Soy containing foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame all offer a complete protein, containing all amino acids. Often these sources also carry fiber and healthy fats as well as the protein. Tempeh is the most nutritious out of this bunch, and an exception to soy foods as it contains natural occurring healthy bacteria from the fermentation process.
Nutrition: 1 serving of tempeh/tofu/edamame = around 20g protein
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!