Best 5 Plant Based Protein Foods to Include in your Diet
In recent years, we have seen a spike in veganism and vegetarianism. A lot of people are adopting these environmentally sustainable and ethical ways of eating. So, though both these might appear to be a bit similar due to the avoidance of animal product consumption, there is a slight difference in their level of restriction. Vegetarians typically avoid meat, however, they might still consume dairy products, eggs, and other animal by-products. On the contrary, vegans, eliminate all animal products from their diet, including dairy, honey, eggs, and gelatin. Now, an average individual requires 7 grams of protein each day for every 20 pounds of their weight. However, when it comes to these lifestyles, a question pops up: where do you get your proteins from? Irrespective of whether you are a vegan, a vegetarian, or are just considering including a plant-based diet in your meal schedule, or seeking answers to this question, we have listed the five best sources of vegetable protein that you could include in your meal plans.
Five plant-based protein foods that you must include in your diet
There are many plant-based sources of proteins for vegans, including beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products. Listed below are five such foods rich in plant proteins that are easily available in the supermarket. You might even find some in your kitchen right now! Include these protein-rich foods in your meals and give your health the desired boost.
Pulses are a regular in every household and consist of lentils, beans, and peas. They are a high source of fibre, protein, iron, potassium, folate, and manganese and are low in saturated fat and sodium. Some of the common varieties of lentils available are green, black, red, brown, yellow, and orange lentils. You can find these sold in your stores as split lentils or whole lentils. Now, lentils are among the high-protein plant-based foods; one cup of cooked lentils will give you around 15 grams of fibre and 18 grams of protein! Use them in your salads, hummus, stews, or as a substitute for meat in meatballs and burger patty. You can find many varieties of beans like kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans or chickpeas, etc., which can be included in your regular diet. All you need to do is get creative with your recipes and you will find a way to include these protein-high vegan foods in them. For example, the Moroccan stew can be given a healthy twist with some apricots and olives like the Apricot and Olive Tagine, which will keep you asking for more!
- Tofu, edamame, and tempeh
If you are looking for incredible proteins for vegans, then these three food items are exactly what you need.
Tofu: Tofu, made from soybeans, is a popular plant-based protein source in numerous vegetarian and vegan dishes. It is rich in calcium, iron, and other minerals, including isoflavones. Isoflavones are plant compounds that have been linked to numerous health benefits like minimising the risk of breast cancer and improving heart health. Tofu is low in fat and calories which makes it a great choice for those who wish to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Try out Mapo Tofu, an excellent meat-free vegetarian dish that does an excellent meal post workouts as it is packed with proteins.
Edamame: You will find Edamame always served as an appetizer or snack. These immature soybeans are rich in fibre, protein, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, potassium, and folates. Studies indicate they are good antioxidants and can help protect against inflammation and cellular damage. It may also help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tempeh: If you love fermented soybeans, tempeh is perfect for your diet with its nutty flavour and firm texture. High in fibre, protein, and minerals including iron, zinc, and magnesium, it also is a good source of probiotics. It helps improve gut health, boosts the immune system, and supports overall digestive health.
- Brown Rice and Beans
A good and simple way to include plant-based food in your everyday meal is to have a bowl of cooked brown rice and some beans. Team your bowl of rice with some delicious Mung Mushroom Bolognese and make your lunch a power-packed one. Brown rice is known to have a lower glycemic index in contrast to white rice. This helps in ensuring your blood sugar levels rise slowly, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes type 2. Both brown rice and beans are rich in fibre, helping digestion, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of heart disease. They also have a lot of antioxidants that can protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. These plant-based protein foods are ideal for vegans and vegetarians.
- Chia Seeds
A great breakfast option or a snack or even a dessert! This versatile seed rich in plant-based proteins is a must-have in your kitchen. This tiny seed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help in lowering inflammation, reducing your blood pressure, and also lowering the risk of heart disease. It also has a high fibre content and supports your overall gut health. Chia seeds are a great plant protein that is nutritious and also supports weight loss. You can create breakfast bowls, add them to your salads or even make puddings for dessert!
Amaranth is a great cereal packed with proteins. You can powder it and use it to bake amazing food items or have it as porridge. Another creative way is to use it in your Homemade Granola bars, as it has a nutty taste and is quite crunchy. Those who avoid gluten in their diet will be quite happy with this plant-based protein source. Amaranth is rich in iron, manganese, and manganese phosphorus and helps in improving brain health.
Are you looking to start a vegan diet? Then, just ensure that you consume enough proteins for vegan diets!
To sum it up, plant-based proteins have a lot of benefits and can be a great substitute for animal-based proteins. Including more plant-based proteins in your regular diet is a simple yet effective way to improve your health, support a sustainable food system, and lose weight! Finally, Foodhak is an ideal place that will help you find delicious plant-based protein foods to include in your diet.