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Plant-based foods that are rich in protein

variety of vegan, plant based protein food

Plant-based foods that are rich in protein

Plant-based foods that are rich in protein

1) Lentils: Lentils are a great source of protein. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads and soups to stews and curries. Lentils are high in fiber and a good source of plant-based protein. They are also high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this is a rough nutritional breakdown for 1 cup (about 198 grams) of cooked, boiled lentils. Lentils are also low in fat, salt, and gluten, making them an excellent alternative for anyone with certain dietary needs or restrictions.

      • Calories: Approximately 230
      • Protein: Approximately 18 grams
      • Fat: Approximately 1 gram
      • Carbohydrates: Approximately 40 grams
      • Fiber: Approximately 16 grams
      • Sugars: Approximately 4 grams

It’s crucial to know that the nutritious content of lentils varies depending on the variety and method of preparation. Furthermore, while lentils are high in nutrients, they should be consumed as part of a well-balanced diet to guarantee enough nutrition.

2) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): Chickpeas are versatile and can be used in dishes like hummus, salads, and curries.

      • Calories: Approximately 269
      • Protein: Approximately 14.5 grams
      • Fat: Approximately 4.2 grams
      • Carbohydrates: Approximately 45 grams
      • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 12.5 grams
      • Sugars: Approximately 8 grams

Notably, chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, which can help maintain gut health, decrease cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss.

Chickpeas, like lentils, contain antinutrients such as phytic acid, which can interfere with nutrient absorption. Antinutrients can be reduced by soaking, sprouting, or boiling chickpeas.

3) Quinoa: Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein and also contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

  • Calories: Approximately 222
  • Protein: Approximately 8.1 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 3.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 39.4 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 5.2 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 1.6 grams

Quinoa is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Manganese: Approximately 58% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Magnesium: Approximately 30% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 28% of the RDI
  • Folate (B9): Approximately 19% of the RDI
  • Copper: Approximately 18% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 15% of the RDI
  • Zinc: Approximately 13% of the RDI

Quinoa is also gluten-free, making it an excellent grain alternative for persons with celiac disease or those following a gluten-free diet.

Quinoa’s high fiber level aids digestion, and its high protein content makes it a satisfying food that can help with weight loss. Quinoa’s magnesium content also benefits heart health and helps to manage blood sugar levels.

4) Tofu and Tempeh: Both tofu and tempeh are soy-based products and are high in protein. They can be used in a variety of dishes including stir-fries, salads, and sandwiches.

  • Calories: Approximately 144
  • Protein: Approximately 15.8 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 3.9 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 1.9 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 1.9 grams

Tofu is also a good source of several minerals, including calcium and iron, and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs, making it a complete protein.

Tempeh:

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a compact cake. Here is the nutritional content for 100 grams of tempeh, according to the USDA as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021:

  • Calories: Approximately 195
  • Protein: Approximately 20.3 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 10.8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 7.6 grams
  • Fiber: Approximately 3.7 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 2 grams

Tempeh is also high in calcium and iron, and it is considered a complete protein since it includes all of the essential amino acids.

Tofu and tempeh are both versatile ingredients that may be used in a variety of cuisines. Because of their mild flavors, they absorb the flavors of the other ingredients with which they are cooked.

5) Edamame: These are immature soybeans and can be enjoyed as a snack or added to salads and other dishes. Edamame, or immature soybeans, are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are very popular in East Asian cuisines, where they are served as a snack or added to salads, soups, and stir-fries.

  • Calories: Approximately 189
  • Protein: Approximately 18.5 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 15.4 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 8.1 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 3.4 grams

Edamame is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin K: Approximately 41% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Folate (B9): Approximately 121% of the RDI
  • Manganese: Approximately 52% of the RDI
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 13% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: Approximately 24% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 22% of the RDI
  • Copper: Approximately 24% of the RDI

Notably, edamame is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids required by the body. This makes it a good alternative for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone trying to increase their plant-based protein intake.

Edamame, like all soy products, includes isoflavones, which are plant components that can have estrogen-like effects in the body. While most people are safe with moderate soy consumption, those with particular health concerns or hormonal sensitivities should contact with a healthcare provider about recommended intake levels.

6) Green Peas: Green peas are surprisingly high in protein. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from side dishes to soups. Green peas are high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They also contain plant-based protein, making them suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets.

  • Calories: Approximately 134
  • Protein: Approximately 8.6 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0.4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 25 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 8.8 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 9.5 grams

Green peas are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A: Approximately 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: Approximately 97% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: Approximately 48% of the RDI
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 33% of the RDI
  • Folate (B9): Approximately 24% of the RDI
  • Manganese: Approximately 22% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 15% of the RDI

Green peas are also high in heart-healthy nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Green peas’ nutritional composition can benefit your overall health when consumed as part of a balanced diet. They are adaptable and may be used in a variety of meals, ranging from soups and stews to stir-fries and salads.

7) Seitan: Made from gluten, the main protein in wheat, seitan is a popular protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

Seitan, commonly known as wheat meat or gluten, is a popular vegetarian and vegan protein source. It is formed from gluten, the primary protein found in wheat. Despite its wheat roots, seitan cooks to a surprisingly meat-like texture, making it a popular meat substitute.

  • Calories: Approximately 370
  • Protein: Approximately 75 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 14 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 0.6 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 0 grams

As you can see, seitan is extremely high in protein. However, it’s important to note that wheat gluten does not provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids, making it an incomplete protein. This means you should consume other protein sources as well, particularly those high in lysine (an essential amino acid that’s limited in wheat), such as legumes, to ensure you get all the amino acids you need.

Seitan is also a good source of several minerals, including:

  • Selenium: Approximately 16% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Iron: Approximately 8% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 7% of the RDI
  • Copper: Approximately 6% of the RDI

Because seitan is made from gluten, it is not suitable for people who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy.

 

8) Black Beans: Like many legumes, black beans are a great source of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Black beans are a type of legume that is also known as turtle beans due to their hard shell-like appearance. They’re high in protein, fiber, and vitamins, and minerals, making them a great complement to any diet.

  • Calories: Approximately 227
  • Protein: Approximately 15.2 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 40.8 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 15 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 0.6 grams

Black beans are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Folate (B9): Approximately 64% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Manganese: Approximately 38% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: Approximately 30% of the RDI
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 28% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 20% of the RDI

Furthermore, black beans are high in antioxidants, which help the body neutralize damaging free radicals, potentially lowering the risk of some chronic diseases and improving general health.

Because of their high protein and fiber content, black beans can be especially good for weight management because they enhance feelings of fullness and may lower calorie consumption during meals.

 

9) Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. They can be sprinkled on salads or cereals, or used in baking.

Hemp seeds, commonly known as hemp hearts, are packed with nutrients. They are high in plant-based protein and have an excellent balance of vital fatty acids, as well as vitamins and minerals.

  • Calories: Approximately 166
  • Protein: Approximately 9.5 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 14.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 2.6 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 1.2 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 0.5 grams

Hemp seeds are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Magnesium: Approximately 45% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 48% of the RDI
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 13% of the RDI
  • Zinc: Approximately 21% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 15% of the RDI

Hemp seeds are high in vital fatty acids. They have a healthy mix of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in an around 1:3 ratio. They’re also one of the few plant foods that contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an anti-inflammatory fatty acid.

Hemp seeds are a complete protein source, which means they contain all of the important amino acids. These amino acids are not produced by your body and must be obtained through your food.

 

 

10) Spirulina: This blue-green algae is a protein-rich food and can be added to smoothies or sprinkled on salads or cereals.

Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae that is high in protein and minerals. It is frequently sold as a nutritional supplement in powder form and is praised for its high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

  • Calories: Approximately 20
  • Protein: Approximately 4.02 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 0.54 grams
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 1.67 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 0.3 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 0.3 grams

Spirulina is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin K: Approximately 25% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 11% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin (B2): Approximately 15% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: Approximately 3% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 11% of the RDI

Spirulina includes significant amounts of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, and a variety of other minerals, including folate.

One of the benefits of spirulina is its high protein content; it is a complete protein, which means it contains all essential amino acids. As a result, it is a very helpful nutritional complement for vegetarians and vegans.

11) Peanuts and Peanut Butter: Peanuts are high in protein and healthy fats. Enjoy them as a snack, or in the form of peanut butter.

Peanuts, sometimes known as groundnuts, are high in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. Peanuts, while commonly classified as nuts, are actually legumes. They do, however, have nutritional characteristics similar to tree nuts.

  • Calories: Approximately 161
  • Protein: Approximately 7.3 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 14 grams (with 1.9 grams of saturated fat, 6.9 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 4.4 grams of polyunsaturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 4.6 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 2.4 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 1.3 grams

Peanuts are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Niacin (B3): Approximately 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Manganese: Approximately 27% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: Approximately 21% of the RDI
  • Thiamin (B1): Approximately 12% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 11% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: Approximately 11% of the RDI

Peanuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and high in antioxidants such as resveratrol and coumaric acid.

12) Almonds and Almond Butter: Similar to peanuts, almonds are high in protein and can be enjoyed raw, roasted, or as almond butter.

Almonds are a nutrient-dense tree nut strong in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re well-known for their multiple health benefits, which include heart health, bone health, and potential weight loss impacts.

  • Calories: Approximately 164
  • Protein: Approximately 6 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 14 grams (with 1 gram of saturated fat, 9 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 6.1 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 3.5 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 1.2 grams

Almonds are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin E: Approximately 37% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Manganese: Approximately 32% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: Approximately 19% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin (B2): Approximately 17% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 13% of the RDI

Almonds are high in antioxidants, which are mostly found in the brown layer of the skin. They are abundant in monounsaturated fats, which are the same sort of heart-healthy lipids found in olive oil and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

Although almonds are high in calories, they do not appear to cause weight gain due to their high fiber and good fat content, which encourage feelings of fullness.

13) Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a good source of protein and also provide a hefty dose of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that grow on the Salvia hispanica plant. Despite their small size, they are high in critical nutrients such omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

  • Calories: Approximately 138
  • Protein: Approximately 4.7 grams
  • Fat: Approximately 8.7 grams (with 0.9 grams of saturated fat, 0.7 grams of monounsaturated fat, and 6.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 11.9 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: Approximately 9.8 grams
  • Sugars: Approximately 0 grams

Chia seeds are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals:

  • Manganese: Approximately 30% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Magnesium: Approximately 23% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: Approximately 27% of the RDI
  • Calcium: Approximately 18% of the RDI
  • Iron: Approximately 12% of the RDI

One of the most notable features of chia seeds is their high fiber content and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Chia seeds have a good amount of protein and an outstanding balance of key amino acids when compared to most plant foods.

Chia seeds have been shown to contain a variety of beneficial plant chemicals, including antioxidants, which can contribute to a variety of health advantages, including inflammation reduction and heart health improvement.

14) Whole Grains: Foods like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain bread or pasta can also contribute to your daily protein intake.

Whole grains contain all portions of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. Foods prepared from these grains are high in fiber and a variety of other essential elements. Whole wheat, brown rice, barley, oats, and quinoa are among them.

  1. Whole Wheat:

    • Calories per 1 cup (cooked): Approximately 126
    • Protein: Approximately 4 grams
    • Fiber: Approximately 5 grams
  2. Brown Rice:

    • Calories per 1 cup (cooked): Approximately 216
    • Protein: Approximately 5 grams
    • Fiber: Approximately 3.5 grams
  3. Oats:

    • Calories per 1 cup (cooked): Approximately 166
    • Protein: Approximately 6 grams
    • Fiber: Approximately 4 grams
  4. Quinoa:

    • Calories per 1 cup (cooked): Approximately 222
    • Protein: Approximately 8 grams
    • Fiber: Approximately 5 grams

They are high in beneficial plant ingredients such as antioxidants and phytochemicals, which contribute to general health and may lower the chance of acquiring chronic diseases.

Whole grains are linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer when consumed on a regular basis. They also play an important function in digestive health by promoting the growth of healthy gut flora and promoting regular bowel motions.

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