Do you want to incorporate more plant-based sources of protein into your diet but don’t know where to start? Thankfully there are plenty of delicious options that offer an excellent source of plant proteins for those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This article will give you the rundown on some fantastic vegan-friendly sources of protein that are packed with nutrition and can help keep your body healthy and strong. So whether you are considering going entirely plant-based or just trying to add some variety to your diet, read on to discover all the benefits of these top vegan protein sources.
Why Protein Is Important
Protein plays an essential role in your body, helping to create and maintain cells and tissues, as well as giving you energy and supporting physical activity. It is also vital for proper hormone development, metabolism, digestion, and strong immunity. Eating foods that are high in protein can help you feel energized throughout the day so you can accomplish your goals.
Protein helps your body heal after an injury or illness. Foods rich in protein have essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, which are necessary for tissue growth and repair. Like exercise and eating a balanced diet, protein is essential to staying healthy overall and should be incorporated into your everyday eating habits.
Top Plant-Based Sources Of Protein
Tofu, Tempeh, And Edamame
Plant-based protein sources such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame are becoming increasingly popular due to their health benefits. Not only do these ingredients contain important vitamins such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, but they also help you get the daily protein your body needs for optimal functioning. This makes tofu, tempeh, and edamame perfect for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
Furthermore, these proteins are easy to prepare and add to meals – they easily pair with an array of other flavors to make tasty dishes while still providing necessary nutrition. Beyond being protein-rich and providing essential nutrients, tofu, tempeh, and edamame also have antibacterial properties, which help support a healthy gut microbiome. Eating any one of these three ingredients is guaranteed to introduce a healthy alternative to any diet.
Lentils are a type of legume that has been fueling humans for centuries, offering a well-rounded source of plant-based nutrition. Now, more than ever, people are catching on to the many health benefits of eating lentils. Not only do they provide a powerhouse of valuable nutrition, but scientific evidence confirms their role in promoting improved longevity, weight loss, and healthy digestion.
As far as protein sources go, lentils rank right up there with the very best. With 9g of protein per cooked cup, these versatile little beans will keep your engine running strong while supplying lots of other vital minerals and vitamins throughout the day. Eating a regular portion of lentils also helps to reduce cholesterol levels and regulate subtle shifts in blood sugar levels. There is even evidence that they can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer thanks to their concentration of dietary fiber, as well as regulating bowel function by eliminating toxins from your system before they can damage cells and organs.
Green peas are popular for a reason—they are an excellent plant-based source of protein that also happens to be quite tasty! With just one cup providing eight grams of protein, adding green peas to any dish is an ideal way to up the nutrition content. As well as being high in protein, green peas also offer many other health benefits; they contain vitamin A, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Along with that, they’re a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants, helping protect your body from oxidative stress. Green peas are incredibly versatile and pair well with salads, sandwiches, casseroles, and even blended into smoothies. All in all, green peas have earned a good reputation among plant-based proteins and should definitely become a staple on your grocery list!
Peanuts And Almonds
Peanuts and almonds are among the most well-known plant-based sources of protein. They both contain healthy fats, calcium, zinc, vitamin E, and many other essential minerals and vitamins. Peanuts have seven grams of protein per ounce, while almonds provide six grams per ounce, making them excellent nutritional choices for vegetarians and vegans who don’t get as much protein from non-plant-based sources.
Eating these nuts also helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body, which helps control your overall cholesterol levels. Furthermore, routine consumption of peanuts and almonds can help manage blood sugar levels by steadily releasing glucose into the bloodstream instead of an abrupt spike. Other beneficial health effects associated with these superfoods include reduced risk of heart disease and improved brain function due to the presence of muscle-building omega fatty acids and B vitamins.
Spirulina is a nutrient-rich source of plant-based protein and other essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Gram for gram, it contains more protein than beef, chicken, or fish, making it an ideal source of complete protein for vegans or vegetarians. Rich in B vitamins like thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin, spirulina is an excellent source of energy for your body and mind. Additionally, it’s packed with antibacterial compounds that can help fight infections and improve digestive system health.
High in gamma linoleic acid (GLA), spirulina also helps reduce inflammation associated with allergies, arthritis, and other autoimmune conditions. Studies have even indicated that it may help increase metabolism and has antioxidant properties to protect the body from cell damage due to oxidative stress caused by pollution. With such a potent combination of nutrition and disease-fighting potentials, no wonder spirulina is so high on the list of plant-based sources of protein!
Hemp seeds are an amazing superfood: they are not only packed with protein but with other vitamins and minerals as well! They are one of the best plant-based sources of protein available, containing all twenty amino acids. They also have an outstanding balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids—providing a 3:1 ratio. There is even evidence that shows that hemp seeds can be beneficial for your heart health, as the Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and promote good cholesterol (HDL). Studies suggest that these fatty acids also play a role in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Additionally, hemp seeds contain iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, which all help support your immune systems, build strong bones and reduce fatigue. Eating hemp seeds is a great way to get an array of nutrients while giving your body a dose of plant-based proteins
Oats are some of the most nutrient-dense plant-based sources of protein available. A single cup of oats contains 16g of protein, making up 30% of their overall calories. Evidence shows it increases energy throughout the day, reducing fatigue after a workout or a long day at work. Oats also have many other beneficial nutritional qualities. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can aid digestion and help regulate blood sugar levels while providing a lasting feeling of fullness and reducing cholesterol levels.
Not only are oats incredibly nutritious, but it is also incredibly versatile in food recipes. From breakfast bowls to baked goods, this plant-based source can be incorporated into almost all meals for a delicious boost of protein and needed nutrition. All these features make this type of grain one of the most popular plant-based protein sources – truly making them a great choice for everyone, regardless of age or lifestyle!
Reap The Benefits Of These Plant-Based Sources Of Protein
When it comes to nutrition, plant-based sources of protein are an excellent way to provide your body with the essential nutrients needed for growth, immune function, and energy levels. They can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. So start incorporating these top plant-based sources of proteins into your diet today!