Fortified and nutritious plant based VEGAN protein food options have paved a way for people to move to a more vegetarian and even vegan diet, reducing their consumption of animal products.
The shift is remarkable and many people take it for healthier lifestyle, animal welfare or religious reasons, but the impact is astoundingly positive.
A plant based shift is great but it requires one to know all about the nutritious plant based protein food options to ensure the right amount of protein, calcium & iron in the diet. In fact knowledge about the same is even more important since nutrients like vitamin B-12 is otherwise at core to only an omnivore diet, and not easily found in plant based protein foods.
Fret not, if you are someone figuring out what plant-based food sources to include in your daily routine, we are all the help you need! For more information on veganism and recipes check vegevega.com
Let’s get straight into it.
Before we even begin, why this one tops the list is simply because quinoa is a complete protein.
Wait. What’s that?
Complete proteins are those which have a full 9 amino acids profile otherwise difficult to find in many forms of plants.
1 cup of quinoa is easily 8-10g protein which is a lot, considering 1 serving, that too as a base food.
Out of the many ways in which quinoa can be used, the most followed is its use as a rice replacement. Additionally, it is gluten-free which means people with celiac disease can also have it.
It generally has a bland taste but this nutritious protein source can be mixed with other foods to make a power meal. It’s versatility is what makes it go great with almost any food.
Mix it with burritos, smoothies or use it as pasta in soups and stews. You can always simply choose to sprinkle it on salads.
Quinoa is rich in nutrients like: magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese making it even more amazing.
Next up, we have beans, and do we even need to talk about their awesomeness? Well, vegan or non-vegan, we all can easily find a good ratio of people who love chickpeas and blackbeans for all the good reasons.
1 cup cooked beans (serving size) is 13-16g of protein. Just like quinoa, they too are pretty versatile making them a great add on to almost anything, be it stir fries or soups and salads.
Best part, you can cook with them, bake with them or simply make them hummus! Moreover, they can be blended into smoothies.
Not to forget, beans are a great plant based source of protein that are also an affordable option.
Although a part of the beans family, they deserve their own place in this list because they comparatively have more protein.
So, if you aren’t a huge lentil fan, then you should definitely be! Because, 1 cup cooked lentils is a whooping 18-19g protein.
Another amazing thing about them is the fact that they are available in a bunch of different varieties. You can look up for green, brown and red lentils. Even there are black lentils which are smaller and crunchier.
A detox lentil soup as you might want to call it, is all you need to keep you charged and healthy.
Seeds are known to be a super important part of the plant based protein food sources. Hemp seeds especially are complete protein (like chia seeds) with 10g protein in just 3 tablespoons.
They are also high in omega-3 acids, making them superior and a must, as this is hard to find on a diet lacking fish components. So, yes you need them handy always.
Nuts & Seeds
Great protein profile with ¼ cup providing for 7-9g protein. But, that’s not it. They are on this list for reasons even bigger than this.
Nuts and seeds are packed with good fats another macronutrient and this fact cannot be neglected. This makes them a great plant source with a balanced protein-fat profile.
Say yes, to almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts (not technically nuts but a great protein source nonetheless).
You can use them by making nut butters or almond milk out of it.
2 tablespoons of peanut butter easily makes up for 8-10g of protein which is actually pretty good and the taste is something that one cannot simply resist.
Alert! If you are allergic to peanuts then go for almond butter.
Coming back to peanuts, we feel there’s not much to say as everyone knows about this amazing food source. Use it in cookies, smoothie, sandwich, salad toppings or simply consume in a spoon full as something you can always rely on.
You can make peanut butter at home or purchase it. A fortified one with b12 which is again very rare is already available in the market with 12.54g protein in one serving. Check-out the bGREEN Vegan Protein Peanut Butter.
People allergic to peanuts can turn to this. Similar to peanut butter and a replacement to it this is something you will instantly fall in love with.
2 tablespoons is 8-10g protein. You can bake with it or else use it in smoothies, brownies cookies and a million more ways as you like. Works wonders as salad dressings.
Rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate and vitamins like B,C, A & K, ‘peas’ are easily an amazing protein source. They happen to be low in calories and help lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.
1 cup cooked green peas give you 8-10g of protein.
They are the most widely used vegan protein supplements source in the fitness industry partly for being a complete protein (full in the 9 essential amino acids profile) and rest because of their benefits. One reliant pea plant protein source in the market happens to be bGREEN plant protein which is 100% vegan, gluten and dairy free plant-based option.
A list without the beloved meat replacement won’t do justice. Tofu, a plant based protein food source which takes the flavor of the dish it is prepared with, is a versatile option for vegans and vegetarians.
This soy product being a complete protein contains about 10 g of protein per ½ cup along with good levels of calcium and iron making it a healthy substitute for even dairy products.
You can try it as a substitute for kung pao chicken and sweet and sour chicken
Last, but not at all least, our favourite blue-green algae which comes in a powder form is the heart of this list.
2 tablespoons of spirulina have 8g of protein, a little bit high for the amount one might consume in one serving due to its seaweed-like taste. But, trust us, it should nonetheless be a part of your diet for its incredibly high protein, vitamins and minerals profile.
This oldest form of plant based life on earth is an important food source and since many would step back from taking this daily, an alternative is getting the benefits of it in supplement form. Maybe with a masala variant of supergreens multivitamins that is rich in spirulina and other powerful greens that are necessary for covering the gap in daily nutrition.
This list contains ingredients that we feel should have a place in your diet. However, you are free to choose your own sources of plant based protein foods but ensure consuming those that have a full amino acids profile, else making a balance by clubbing all the necessary veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.