Worried about whether you can get enough protein while eating a plant-based diet? No problem! Switching to a plant-based lifestyle can still meet your protein needs and keep you satisfied.
Following a plant-based diet sounds like a great idea, but can you really get all the protein your body needs from plant sources alone?
What Is A Plant-Based Diet?
It’s generally defined as eating primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes ― no meat, seafood, dairy or eggs.
How Does Plant-Based Differ From Vegan?
Veganism excludes animal-derived foods just like a plant-based diet, however, it also excludes any item that harms animals. For example, leather clothing, purses, shoes, personal care products, and medications that are tested on animals, etc.
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to incorporate more plants into your diet, you can easily get enough protein from plant sources. You’ll learn some delicious sources of plant protein to look for the next time you head to the supermarket.
EAT TO LOSE!
How Much Protein Do You Need?
How much protein you need depends on several things; activity level, metabolism, if you are ill, etc. However, typically the RDA is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so a person that weighs 165 pounds would need about 60 grams of protein per day.
Unfortunately, most Americans are ignoring less expensive and more nutritious plant-based proteins like chickpeas, black beans and soy products when reaching their RDA of protein. Some people think that if you don’t eat an animal, you won’t get enough protein.
The meat industry has spent millions of dollars to promote its products, but unfortunately, the growers of chickpeas, lentil and peas don’t have the funds to compete.
It’s time to ignore the ads and marketing and shop with the knowledge that you can get all of your protein needs from plants.
Remember this one thing and you will be set for plant-based success – every plant has protein!
You can discover the differences and similarities of a Vegan Diet vs Keto Diets.
Get plenty of protein by eating these 13 plant-based foods!
You may or may not have heard of some of these foods, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying them. Be curious, find a recipe from Pinterest, and enjoy!
You can find tempeh in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and right next to the tofu. It offers has 16 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. It’s fermented soy and tastes slightly nutty. You can eat it cold or cooked. It’s great in a stir-fry or anywhere you would have typically used sliced chicken, like a tempeh salad sandwich or a buffalo tempeh wrap.
A half-cup of beans has approximately 7 grams of protein and they are an inexpensive source, especially if you buy dried beans.
Beans are very versatile and can be eaten in soups, salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers, even pizza. No kidding! Check out this Great Greek Pizza.
It packs nearly 12 grams of protein in a half-cup and is easy to cook. You can buy it frozen, either in the shell or already steamed and shelled.
They make a great snack or additions to a salad, pasta or stir-fry. You can even blend them to make edamame hummus.
All plant-based foods have fiber, and lentils are a really good source of protein and fiber.
They pack 9 grams of protein per half cup and nearly 8 grams of fiber. Not only are they rich in protein and fiber, they offer vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, which are said to have anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetes properties.
They are inexpensive and versatile. You can purchase them dried or canned and use them in salads, soups, burgers, tacos, pasta and more.
Nuts and Seeds
Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Well, if you are allergic you might not be in love. However, there are alternatives like sunflower seed butter. These nut/seed butters are a simple way to introduce plant-based proteins into your diet.
Don’t just stop there! You can try hemp seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds and pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle them on salads, sandwiches, soups, chia seed pudding or use them to replace eggs in baked goods. Check out How To Make A Chia Egg. Seeds like hemp can provide up to 10 grams of protein in 3 Tablespoons.
There are many types of nuts to choose from besides peanuts. Try cashew, peanut, macadamia, hazelnut, pecan, almond, pistachio, brazil, walnut, chestnut or pine nuts. They can provide 5-6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. Remember to reach for raw nuts instead of roasted and salted to get all of the nutritious benefits.
Soy products don’t have the best reputation. According to one study it has been linked to breast cancer, however that study was in animals and doesn’t appear to be an issue for humans. With that being said, I strongly suggest eating organic soy products and paying attention to how your body and hormones react to the phytoestrogens.
Soy products include milk, edamame, miso, tofu, tempeh and soy nuts, so you can incorporate it in many ways. Tofu contains 8 grams of protein for 3 ounces, making it a great alternative to animal meat.
You can use extra-firm or firm tofu in stir-fry, sandwiches, pasta, curries or tacos. You can use silk tofu in puddings, soups, plant-based cheeses, smoothies and desserts.
Quinoa and Grains
Quinoa is a seed, however, it is usually referred to as a grain and can be used as such. One cup of cooked quinoa offers 8 grams of protein.
It’s simple to cook and can even be found already cooked in the freezer section of the grocery store.
You can enjoy it for breakfast instead of oatmeal, in salads, soups or in Mexican-inspired dishes like this Mexican Quinoa Skillet.
Other grains like oats, barley, teff, millet and amaranth add 5-6 grams of protein. They are simple to cook and inexpensive.
Don’t let the name fool you, this plant-based product is gluten-free. It has a distinct cheese-like flavor and can be used in soups, dips, plant-based cheeses or sprinkled on pasta, vegetables, pizza or popcorn.
You can find it in the health-food section of most supermarkets, typically near the spices or soy sauce or HERE. It has 8 grams of protein in 1/4 cup, plus it’s loaded with B vitamins.
It tastes amazing in this Spinach Artichoke Dip!
Vegetables & Fruits
Remember that all plants have protein. Research shows that all plants contain protein and at least 14% of the total calories of every plant are protein.
How can you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals? Add spinach, kale, or greens to soups or sandwiches. Grab a snack of cherry tomatoes, carrots, and cucumber slices to dip into hummus. You can enjoy a smoothie for breakfast or a snack and load it with berries, bananas, kale, avocado, and spinach. For dessert, blend a frozen banana or avocado for delicious “nice cream”. Try these Nice Cream variations.
Peas are so amazing they deserve a special mention. One cup of cooked peas has 8 grams of protein.
You can find pea based protein powder like this ONE to add to smoothies or baked goods. They are even beginning to make a pea based “tofu-like” product.
Grab your FREE Plant-Based Pantry/Fridge Checklist and make sure you have what you need to eat well!
Get Protein Eating Plant-Based
Regardless of which plant-based protein you reach for, you will be getting fiber, which cannot be said about animal protein. Plant protein is also low fat, typically low calorie, and has no cholesterol, again that cannot be said about animal protein.
You can feel good about choosing a plant-based diet and know for certain that you will be getting enough protein.
Hungry For More?
If you want more tips and great plant-based recipes get my plant-based breakfast mini-cookbook.
Grab your FREE Plant-Based Snacks, Smoothies, & Desserts mini-cookbook now!
Be sure to PIN for later!
Hey, I’m Cindy! I used to be morbidly obese! I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of heart disease and cancer.
Slowly, I began to steadily change my habits and nourish my body with a plant-based diet. Now, I weigh 125 lbs less, my blood pressure is 110/70, no more high cholesterol, and best of all – no medications!
If you’re interested in how I did it and if it will work for you, check out How to Start a Plant-Based Diet.
Or if you just want to dip your toe into plant-based eating… snack smart with one of these fantastic recipes for FREE!
Grab your FREE Plant-Based Snacks, Smoothies, & Desserts mini-cookbook now!
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