People who follow vegan, vegetarian, or highly plant-based diets often get asked how they’re able to eat enough protein. Typical western diets use meat as the main source of protein, and that’s why we often see sausage at breakfast, turkey at lunch, and chicken or beef at dinner. With meat being such a staple in our culture, you might be wondering how a plant-based diet could possibly measure up.

The truth is, there are lots of protein-rich foods that don’t come from animals. Believe it or not, eating plant-based meals can help make your diet more clean, balanced, and nutritious. Whether you’re a high-performing athlete or not, everyone can get the protein, energy, and sustenance they need from plants. Here are some of the best sources of vegan protein.

SEEDS

Seeds have recently grown in popularity, and for good reason. Many of them are serious superfoods, packing lots of protein into their small shell.

Seed Grams of protein in 1 cup
Hemp seeds (or “hemp hearts”)   56g
Flaxseeds (or flaxmeal)   30g
Sunflower seeds   24g
Chia seeds   21g

All of these seeds are great in smoothies, baked goods, and power bowls. They also add some Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids to your dish! Each seed has different properties and uses, so experiment and see which ones you like best. For example, both flax and chia seeds become soft when mixed with water. Keep in mind that flaxseeds provide the best health benefits when ground into meal.

BEANS

You’ve probably heard that beans are high in protein, and that’s certainly true. Many varieties of beans, such as black, kidney, pinto, red, and garbanzo (chickpeas) have about 15 grams of protein in one cup, cooked.

Beans make a good side dish or addition to a salad, but they can be used for much more than that. They can be turned into hearty burgers, fillings, casseroles, fritters, and more. Beans are a great way to make plant-based meals that are both satisfying and protein-packed.

NUTS

Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts, are a good way to get plant-based protein from your snacks. Nuts also have lots of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium and zinc. Substituting mixed nuts for junk food will help power you through the day.

Nut      Grams of protein per 1 cup
Almonds        30g
Cashews        25g
Walnuts        16g

VEGETABLES

Here’s a secret: most vegetables actually contain protein. Although they’re known most for their vitamins and minerals, veggies like broccoli, spinach, and asparagus add a bit of protein to your meal. Don’t worry too much about packing in immense amounts of protein — it’s more plentiful in the plant kingdom than you might expect!

PROTEIN BARS

If you’d like an easy way to get lots of plant-based protein, check out TB12 Protein Bars. Many protein bars are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic additives that are detrimental to your health. TB12 Protein Bars are a completely organic, raw, plant-based, and gluten-free fuel source for your body. Each bar is packed with 20 grams of plant-based protein and has no any unhealthy fillers, making them a great, natural way to boost your protein intake.

 

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