Want to get more protein in your diet but don’t want to overdose on the meat? Animal proteins contain critical nutrients, but sometimes it’s better to get more plant-based proteins to ensure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet. Here are some of the best plant protein sources to add to your diet now:
Each serving of soy contains a lot of protein; in fact, soy contains more protein than almost any other plant-based food. A single cup of edamame beans, for example, has 18 grams of protein, while a single 4-ounce serving of tofu has 11 grams of protein. The high-fiber protein is also a great source of iron, which makes it one of the best plant protein sources to eat now.
Beans are one of the staples of a vegetable-heavy diet thanks to the fact that they contain a lot of protein. Each serving of beans contains as much as 15 grams of protein, along with vital micronutrients. The downside of beans is that they don’t contain all the essential amino acids, so you’ll need to pair them with brown rice, quinoa, or some other whole grain. However, they’re incredibly versatile and make for a delicious addition to any diet.
As the only whole grain with all nine essential amino acids required for muscle-building, quinoa is one of the best foods you can eat today. Not only for the complete proteins, but also for its high fiber and mineral content. Each cup of quinoa packs 8 grams of protein, but a whole lot of iron, fiber, calcium, and other critical micronutrients.
Like beans, lentils are an amazing source of protein. You get a whopping 18 grams of protein per cup, and they’re versatile enough to be added into just about any salad, soup, or stew. Once again, you’re dealing with incomplete proteins (not all the essential amino acids), so make sure to pair the lentils with whole grains to give your body all the amino acids needed for building muscle.
In just two tablespoons of these little seeds, you get fully 5 grams of protein. Of course, that’s not to mention all the calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber, and other vital micronutrients that are delivered via your daily dose of chia. However you eat them, they’re an amazing addition to your diet.
Of all the nuts, none are quite as healthy as almonds. They contain less saturated fat than peanuts, and they’re on par with peanuts for the protein content—6 grams of protein per ounce of roasted almonds. You’ll find few protein sources as delicious, either!
Chickpeas are an awesome addition to any salad, soup, stew, or rice bowl, thanks to their high protein content and delicious flavor. You get 15 grams of plant-based protein from every cup of chickpeas, which is why hummus is such a popular choice among dieters looking to increase their plant based protein.
Though not technically nuts (they’re really legumes), peanuts are typically considered nuts—but are no less healthy, regardless how you think of them. A single ounce of peanuts delivered 6 grams of protein, so it’s always worth adding peanuts or peanut butter (unprocessed, of course) into your diet.
Green peas are more than just a colorful addition to your diet; they’re also an amazing source of protein, packing a whopping 8 grams per cup. They’re easy to eat, incredibly simple to cook, and add protein and flavor into whatever dish you add them to.