Plant-Based Protein: Top 20 Foods to get Enough Protein
Whether you hopped onto the Game Chargers bandwagon and are proudly waving a vegan flag or you were the first one to nosh on a tomahawk steak and show up for the Chris Kresser Game Changers Debunk, Plant Based Protein is all the talk lately.
Either way, since hitting your protein goals is vital for rockin' a lean and beautifully toned body you've been dreaming of, then protein is a priority! Don't rule out meatless options when stacking up items to hit your goals. OR, if you are exploring going plant-based, or are already meat-free and want to check in on your sources, this blog is for you!
This list is jam-packed with mega amounts of micronutrients that boost our health & beauty.
In today's episode, I'm exposing my top 20 list to racking up your protein grams outside of utilizing animal sources.
Now, in full disclosure, I am not a vegetarian and I'm not a vegan. However, I absolutely believe in balance. I think that there are so many ways that we can hit our protein goals, where we can also boost our micro-nutrient absorption and exposure.
I have absolutely had clients come to me not wanting to utilize animal sources for hitting their full, daily protein goals. I absolutely understand that A, from a cooking perspective, and then B, just wanting to be more balanced. I know for myself, I have had times in my life where I've had a little bit of an aversion to animal protein.
So if that's you, don't feel like anything is wrong with you. I believe in trusting the way our body leads us. And so if that's how you're feeling, or if you're just looking for ways to hit your goals outside of utilizing animal protein, this is a list for you.
We know how important protein is for our bodies, but I'm always good for a really quick reminder. Protein is vital for every cell in our body as it regenerates and turns over. Our skin, hair, brain, bones, ligaments, our entire structure needs protein.
Protein is something that makes our bodies tone and firm. If you're working out, it's imperative to make sure that you're hitting your protein goals. As a female, especially if you are active or trying to live an active lifestyle, or trying to change your body composition,
I think protein is probably the most important macronutrient that you should pay attention to. Normally, if you check that box first, our fats and carbohydrates fall into place.
So let's dive into plant-powered items that made my top 20 list and I'll share them from highest protein content to the lowest!
PROTEIN - ALTERNATIVES
- Seitan has 25 grams of protein for a one hundred gram serving but I will let you know that it does have wheat and gluten. So you are not allergic then it's absolutely one that you need to take a peek at.
- Tempeh, tofu, and edamame are all from the soy family, so if you try to avoid soy then these ones are not for you. If you are not avoiding soy these are absolutely awesome. Tempeh is fermented soybeans that are kind of made into a bar, like a smashed together pressed soybean bar and has between 10 and 19 grams of protein for a 100-gram serving.
- Lentils have 18 grams of protein for one cooked cup of them. It also has folate, manganese, iron, antioxidants, and 50% of our daily fiber. Fiber is also wonderful for balancing our hormones, so making sure we hit our fiber goals daily is awesome. Lentils is a great way to do it.
- Chickpeas have about 15 grams of protein per-cooked cup. Chickpeas will lower your cholesterol, they help balance blood sugar, and that is a lot of the reason that I love them. Plus they taste great. Chickpeas are also what you use to make hummus, so you may be getting it in that way as well.
5. Hemp Seed
- Hemp seed is made of cannabis sativa. It normally has about 10 grams of protein per serving, so you can definitely throw hemp into a smoothie or on your salad, that's a great way to up your protein levels. You are also going to get magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium. I mean the list goes on for micronutrients with hemp seed. Definitely one to check out.
- Spelt is considered an ancient grain. It does have wheat and gluten, but you're going to get about 10 grams of protein per-cooked cup with spelt.
- Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is an awesome nutritional powerhouse of food and has 8 grams of protein per serving. Loaded in antioxidants, it's known for being anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties, boosts our immune system, lowers our blood sugar, and balances out and lowers cholesterol.
- Quinoa is often thought less of a protein and more as a carb. However, quinoa is an ancient grain as well but is gluten-free. One cooked cup is going to give you between 8 and 9 grams of protein.
9. Chia Seeds
- Ground or just plain chia seeds are great to throw in oatmeal, like overnight oats as well as your smoothies. This is a super powerhouse for micronutrient as it has a great dose of Omega 3s, calcium, psyllium, iron, magnesium, and around 13 grams of fiber.
10. Nut Butters
- I don't normally put those higher on the list because they have a lot more fats than they do protein, which is fine, but those can kind of add up pretty quickly. Depending on the nut butter, you're going to get between 5 and 8 grams of protein per serving.
PROTEIN - VEGETABLES
1. Lima Beans
- Lima beans have 11 and a half grams of protein per-cooked cup.
2. Soybean Sprouts
- Soybean sprouts are next, coming in at 9.2 grams per cup.
3. Green Peas
- Green peas are 8.5 grams of protein for a cooked cup.
- Spinach has 5.3 grams of protein per cup.
5. Sweet Corn
- I do want to do a little side note on the corn. In the US, most of our corn is GMO. So make sure if you're purchasing corn, that you can find the little non-GMO sticker on there. Sweet corn has 4.7 grams of protein per cup.
- Asparagus has 4.3 grams of protein per cup
- A cup of cooked artichokes has 4 grams of protein.
8. Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels sprouts are exactly the same as artichokes and have 4 grams of protein per cup.
- Just regular button mushrooms have 3.9 grams of protein per cooked cup.
- Broccoli has 3.9 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Hopefully this helped you guys out. If you have any that you absolutely love, that you would totally add to this list, drop them in the comments below.
I'd love to see what you utilize to up your protein and hit your goals outside of animal sources.
Make sure to like and share if you found value! <3