Do you need more protein in your diet? Some people can benefit from consuming more of this essential nutrient to help them maintain a balanced weight, support muscle health, and more. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, it’s especially important that you eat plenty of high-protein foods, as it’s easy not to consume enough with those types of diets. Fortunately, there are many plant-based options that are full of protein and offer numerous other benefits to boot. Even if you do consume animal products, opting to get more protein from plant sources can be a great choice for you.
Good Sources of Plant-Based Protein
Lots of plants and products made from plants pack a high-protein punch. These options tend to have the highest amounts of protein per serving.
A plant-based protein shake is an easy and delicious way to ensure your body is getting more of the protein it needs to stay energized throughout the day. Most powder options are vegan or vegetarian but check the labels and ingredients carefully just to be sure. You can create a tasty vegan protein smoothie recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and enjoy a complete meal that comes together in less than five minutes.
This protein source has been synonymous with vegan and vegetarian lifestyles for years because it’s a popular meat alternative that’s high in protein. Made from soybeans, tofu is very versatile and works well as the star of a meal or a complimentary item. While it can have a bad reputation for being bland and mushy, tofu can be quite flavorful and texturally pleasing when you know how to properly season and prepare it.
Legumes and Beans
Another high-protein plant category that should be at the top of everyone’s grocery list is legumes and beans. While technically different, legumes and beans are similar in size, shape, and texture in most cases. Even so, they can be prepared in a wide variety of ways, making them soft and creamy or crisp and crunchy. These plants are high in fiber and can be a good source of iron, another nutrient that it’s important to consume more of when eating a plant-based diet.
Nuts are a good source of protein that also packs in plenty of other nutrients. Most nuts are a good source of protein, but few options contain as much per serving as the good old peanut. Nut butters are another excellent option for adding more protein to your diet. Just make sure you stick to the recommended servings sizes; nuts are high in fat and while it is the healthy kind, too much can have negative effects when managing your weight.
You might not think of grains as a good source of protein, but these popular products actually contain quite a decent amount. Wild rice and oats are some of the best options that are economical and easy to find at your local grocery store. Whole grain pasta is another excellent choice that is often enriched or fortified with other nutrients as well.
The Benefits of Choosing Plant-Based Protein
Foods from animal sources tend to have the highest protein content per serving. However, there are many good reasons to opt for plant-based foods instead. In general, they offer a more diverse and complete nutritional package, including many more essential vitamins and minerals. They’re also a great source of fiber.
Some animal proteins can be high in saturated fats. This includes not just fatty meats, but dairy products as well. While enjoying these in moderation can be fine, too much can cause cardiovascular issues and may increase your risks for an unhealthy weight level.
In general, plant products are significantly cheaper than animal products, making things easier on your budget and your wallet. Even more importantly, plant-based protein has a significantly smaller negative impact on the environment, making it a more responsible choice for now and for the future.
If you want to add more protein to your diet, plant products should be your go-to option. They’re a tasty and nutritious way to fuel your body and support overall health and wellness.