Plant-Based Protein Sources: These Are The Top Ones

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Plant-Based protein sources are becoming excessively common in today’s world. People of today’s generation are very much conscious about their health. Gone are the days when we ate just to suffice our hunger.

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The rapidly developing society is demanding more out of each and every human being. In order to cope up and sustain in the rat race, health is of utmost importance. A healthy body will keep the mind fresh and provide enough energy to actively function throughout the day.

The modern world is full of junk and processed food options. The main reason for this is that they are very easy to eat. People do not have much time to prepare their meals. Thus eating on the go has become a practice.

This process of grabbing a quick bite is one of the most unhealthy habits one can inculcate. Junk foods are of no good. The nutritional value of those foods is as good as zero. They are usually high in sodium or sugar content or are deeply fried foods.

Regular consumption of such foods will make your body unhealthy. Problems like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc will be on the rise. Thus, it is very much important to follow a healthy diet. By the word ” diet”, most people get the wrong idea. They believe that diet means eating less to get lean.

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However, that is not the truth at all. A proper diet means cutting off unwanted calories and replacing junk food with cleaner and healthier options. Wholesome foods, vegetables, fruits, etc are all examples of healthy foods. A proper diet must have a balance of protein, vitamins, fiber, carbohydrates, and good fat. Out of all these, protein is the most important component of a healthy diet.

Protein is one of the most complex nutrients. Our body takes a significant amount of time to break the protein and digest it. This process requires a lot of energy. Protein is widely used today as a key component for losing fat.

You can incorporate protein from a couple of sources- plants and animals. Animal-based protein is the more popular form of protein. These include chicken, eggs, pork, etc. However, in recent times a new trend has been set. People are opting for plant-based protein options over animal protein.

A lot of eminent personalities and celebrities have gone vegan and have opted for plant-based protein. Even professional athletes are preferring plant-based protein over animal products. There is a myth that protein from plants is not as effective as that from animals. To break the stereotypical myth, we are listing down some of the top sources of protein that are entirely plant-based. 

1. Tofu 

Soy products are one of the best sources of plant-based protein available today. Tofu contains 9g of protein per half-cup on average. The amount of protein usually varies depending on the preparation. These are some of the richest sources of protein and can be prepared in different ways.

Since tofu does not have a definite taste or preparation style, one can customize it according to their own choice. Tofu can be incorporated as a substitute for meat and used in sandwiches and curries. 

2. Lentils

Lentils offers a handsome 8g of protein per half a cup. These are one of the tastiest and naturally occuring sources of protein. Lentils usually come in either green or red color. They are nutrient-rich foods.

Apart from being high in protein, lentils also contain fiber, potassium, and iron. Lentils can be eaten in a number of ways. You can incorporate them as a lunch or dinner option. 

3. Chickpea 

The amount of protein per half a cup of serving is 7.25g for chickpeas. Chickpeas are different from the usual peas and are very high in protein. It is one of the best plant-based proteins you can get from the market.

One can prepare chickpeas as per their wish. These can be consumed in either cold or hot form. You can make stews or opt for spicier preparations. 

4. Peanut 

One of the cheapest sources of protein is peanuts. They offer 20.5g of protein per serving. Apart from protein, peanuts are a great source of healthy fats. These fats are very much essential for the proper functioning of the body.

Healthy fats improve the health of the heart. Another alternative to peanuts is natural peanut butter. They can be substituted for processed butter which is unhealthy. 

5. Almonds 

If we speak of improving heart health, there is no better option than almond. Almonds are one of the richest sources of healthy fats. These nuts are medically prescribed for their usefulness. Half a cup serving of almonds will provide 16.5g of protein.

It also contains Vitamin E which helps the skin glow and the eyes see better. However, almonds are not as cheap as peanuts. They are slightly on the expensive side. 

6. Spirulina

Spirulina is a type of algae. It is usually found in two colors- Blue and Green. Two tablespoon servings of spirulina will provide around 8g of plant-based protein. It also contains vitamins and iron that will aid your health.

The powdered form of spirulina is now available online. One can simply mix it with fruit juice or water. 

7. Quinoa 

Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that must be included in your diet. One cup of quinoa will give you around 8g of protein after being cooked. One can make various dishes out of quinoa.

They can serve as a substitute for pasta and noodles. It can be used as a garnishing option on salads. The grain also contains fiber, magnesium, and iron. 

8. Mycoprotein 

Mycoprotein is a form of plant-based protein that is obtained from fungus. Products containing mycoprotein provide around thirteen grams of protein per half a cup of serving. These products are highly advertised as an alternative to chicken and meat. 

9. Chia Seeds 

Chia Seeds are easily available in the online market. The protein content is a bit on the lower side but it has a lot of healthy nutrients. Chia seeds contain 2g of protein per tablespoon. However, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds can be eaten with smoothies or juice. 

10. Hemp Seeds 

Hemp Seeds are similar to chia seeds. The protein content is slightly more in these seeds. Hemp seeds offer 5g of protein per serving. Almost every online platform has an abundant supply of these products. 

11. Beans And Rice 

Beans and rice are a great combination to incorporate plant-based protein into your diet. They provide 7g of protein for one cup. However, rice and bean separately are not as useful as they are when eaten together. 

12. Potatoes 

As amusing as it might sound, potatoes do contain a high amount of protein. It is arguably the cheapest and the most easily available form of plant-based protein. A fully cooked potato will provide 8g of protein per serving. It also contains vitamin C and potassium. 

13. Protein Rich Vegetables 

Protein-rich vegetables are another choice of cheaper sources of protein. A variety of vegetables can be found in the market that is high in protein content. Some examples of such vegetables are mushrooms, Kale, Broccoli, Spinach, etc. 

14. Seitan 

Seitan is one of the most complete forms of plant-based protein. It is made by mixing wheat gluten with a variety of spices. One-third of a cup will provide a handsome 21g of protein. However, this should be avoided by people who are sensitive to gluten. 

15. Ezekiel Bread 

While the usual bread is an unhealthy option, Ezekiel bread is a great alternative. This is made up of wheat, lentils, barley, and millet. One slice of Ezekiel bread will provide 4g of plant-based protein. 

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Apart from all these sources of plant-based protein, people can also opt for protein supplements. Supplements come in powdered form and are very easy to consume. It is perfect for people with busy lifestyles.

One of the main upsides is that supplements are very easy to digest. The plant-based protein gets absorbed by the body very quickly. Whey protein is one of the best protein supplements. It contains around 25g of protein per serving. Whey protein can be found both in online and offline markets. 

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