Plant-based lean protein sources:
The demand for plant-based protein has been on the rise in recent years, as more and more people are adopting vegetarian or vegan diets, or simply seeking to reduce their meat consumption. Fortunately, there are numerous plant-based options that are not only rich in protein but also low in fat and cholesterol. Here are some of the top plant-based lean protein sources to consider incorporating into your diet.
Lentils are a versatile legume that is packed with protein, fiber, and essential nutrients such as iron and folate. With about 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, lentils can be used in soups, stews, salads, or even made into veggie burgers.
Quinoa is a complete protein source containing all nine essential amino acids our bodies need to function properly. It offers approximately 8 grams of high-quality protein per cooked cup and can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to salads for an extra nutritional boost.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, provide around 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. They are incredibly versatile and can be roasted for snacking purposes or used in hummus recipes, curries, or salads.
Edamame refers to young soybeans that have been harvested before they fully matured. These green pods contain about 17 grams of protein per cooked cup and make for a delicious snack when lightly salted or added to stir-fries.
5. Hemp Seeds:
Hemp seeds may be tiny but they pack quite a punch when it comes to nutrition! Just three tablespoons offer around 10 grams of complete plant-based proteins along with healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
6. Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds might be famous for their omega-3 content but they’re also an excellent source of protein. Per ounce, chia seeds provide around 4 grams of protein and can be sprinkled on yogurt, oatmeal or used as an egg substitute in baking.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that boasts an impressive nutritional profile. It contains about 8 grams of protein per tablespoon and is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even contains some essential fatty acids.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that originated from Indonesia. With approximately 15 grams of protein per half cup serving, tempeh can be marinated and grilled or crumbled into stir-fries and sauces for added flavor.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten and provides about 21 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. It has a meat-like texture when cooked and can be used as a substitute for chicken or beef in various recipes.
10. Green Peas:
Green peas are not only delicious but also offer around 9 grams of protein per cooked cup. They can be enjoyed as a side dish or incorporated into salads, soups, stews, or even mashed to make pea patties.
With these plant-based lean protein options at your disposal, you can easily meet your daily protein needs without relying solely on animal products.