One of the healthiest ways to eat is by eating a plant-based diet. It is low in fat and high in essential nutrients. People assume that those who eat a plant-based diet are lacking in protein and other vital nutrients. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Plant protein is high in vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. Plant-based protein is high in fiber and low in calories, which is excellent for weight loss. You actually can drastically cut your calories by incorporating plant nutrition into your diet, and it’s not that hard to do. As long as you include a variety of plant sources, you will get all the vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that you need.
Below are healthy plant-based protein sources.
Tofu is a complete protein. Which means it supplies the body with all the essential amino acids that it needs. Tofu is made from bean curds that are squeezed together, and it is done similar to making cheese. Tofu has minimal flavor itself, but it absorbs the taste of other ingredients that are in the meal. You can make burgers, soups; it is quite a versatile food and protein.
Lentils contain slowly absorbed carbs that are super high in fiber. One cup of lentils supplies 50% of the body’s requirements of fiber. Lentils also feed the good bacteria in the gut. They also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a few types of cancer. They are rich in iron, folate, manganese, and antioxidants. It can be used in soups, salads, and many main dishes.
Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis sativa plant, which belongs to the same family as the marijuana plant. But hemp seeds don’t make you high as they only contain trace amounts of THC, a substance that makes you high. Hemp seeds are easily digested and contain magnesium, iron, calcium, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and more. It is also high in fiber. You can put it in smoothies, salads, and many more things. It has a nutty taste.
These are usually served as a side dish, but they are a high source of protein themselves. They are also high in fiber, covering 25% of the daily requirement. They are also an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper energy vitamins. They can be served alone or in a dish like split pea soup.
This is also known as wheat gluten or wheat meat. It’s made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. It is super high in protein, 5 grams per 3.5. ounce serving. Many people say it tastes like meat and that it’s hard to tell the difference. Unlike meat, it’s low in fat and high in fiber. Seitan can be made into almost any meal, even some that call for meat.
This is made from actual yeast. It comes as a yellow powder or flakes and has a cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is a complete form of protein and is high in fiber. Fortified yeast is high in zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and B vitamins. It can be sprinkled on food or used in main dishes, especially ones that call for cheese.
Chickpeas are legumes, and they are rich in protein, folate, fiber, iron, phosphorus, and Omega 3 fatty acids. A half-cup serving will give you seven grams of protein. They are used in many different ways, but the most famous is the hummus, in which chickpeas are the main ingredient.
No matter which nut it is, it is high in protein with having 5-6 grams per serving. Almonds have the most protein out of all the nuts. They are also an excellent source of healthy fats. There are many to choose from almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnut, hazelnut, pistachios, and more. They are easy and convenient for a snack being ultra-portable. Either eat them plain, or there are hundreds of other ways to use them.
Quinoa is commonly called a whole grain, even though technically it is a seed. It can be used instead of rice or pasta. Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids. You could eat it like a bowl of breakfast cereal, healthy salad, or replace the pasta in your main dinner dish.
It’s not that hard to get healthy plant protein in your diet. There are so many kinds to choose from and so many ways to use them that you should have no trouble at all, incorporating them into your meals. Try these healthy plant proteins and give yourself a leg up on a healthy and happy lifestyle.