Fat, carbohydrates and protein are the three most important macronutrients for our body, because they allow the body to remain healthy with proper function or our organs and be healthy. Protein and amino acids are essential to repair and protect cells and tissues. This is why it is so important that we eat high quality protein rich foods.
Protein can be found in foods from both animal and plant origin. However, in this article we will focus only on the latter. Whether you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or not, these 9 foods are a great source of healthy plant protein and should be part of your regular diet.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds, a food source rich in protein and of plant and mineral origin. 100 grams of nuts or seeds provide can provide a healthy 12 and 20 grams of protein, depending on the type. Quite a high percentage of protein for the size of them! You can add them to your salads, as a topping on vegetables or include them in other recipes such as vegan cheeses on top of a pasta or oven baked dish.
Pulses, better known as beans like chickpeas, soybeans, or lentils are a great source of fibre, complex carbohydrates, and protein. For example, a cup of cooked lentils, rich in vegetable amino acids, provides 18 grams of protein per 100 grams. You can cook beans with spices and vegetables, use them in salads, make vegan and vegetarian burgers, and even make hummus. Beans are also a good source of iron with Chickpeas and Black eyed beans being the best source of iron in this food group.
Chia seeds are a really good source of protein and also a source of protein with especially high nutritional value and vitamins. They also are a source of carbohydrates and unsaturated fatty acids. 100 grams of these seeds contain about 20 grams of protein for our diet. They are a super healthy super food with many beneficial properties. They are again suitable for a vegan and vegetarian diet and you can eat them in salads and with vegetables. Our favourite way to eat them is in cereals and smoothies as they absorb a high liquid content and add texture.
One of the most versatile sources of plant protein you can eat is Quinoa. Quinoa can be used as an alternative to rice, to make salads, sautéd in the wok with vegetables or one of the many health food eaten as a cereal. It is great for our diet with proteins, carbohydrates and fibre. Just 100 grams of boiled quinoa provides about 13 grams of protein.
Oats are rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals. In addition to being an important source of plant-based proteins. Oats can be filling and provide a large amount of energy, which is why they are popular with athletes. There are about 12 grams of protein in every 100 grams of oats. and you can use them in so many foods from baking, smoothies, cereals and even vegan or vegetarian burgers to fill them out as well as other recipes.
Miso is a paste made from soy beans fermented with sea salt. This food rich in vegetable protein is very typical in the cuisine of China and Japan and is often used to make marinade for meat and fish, as well as sauces or patés or to make the traditional miso soup. For every 100 grams of miso, there are 12 grams of protein.
Mushrooms, in addition to being delicious, provide 3 grams of protein per 100 grams and can be consumed in different ways. You can make cream of mushrooms, sauté them with other vegetables, make pasta sauce, omelette, or grill it with cheese, egg or vegetables on top and many more recipes. They are a great food for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet as they can be quite filling and have many health benefits.
Spirulina is a micro-algae that contains about 70% protein so it is a great source of plant protein. It has many benefits for our health and also for the health of our skin. You can add it to recipes for smoothies, juices and desserts and it is packed with vitamins.
Peanuts are one of the foods with the highest sources of protein and unsaturated fats. In every 100 grams of peanuts there are 24 grams of protein. But it is also a food high in calories, so you have to be careful since 100g of peanuts provide 567 calories. Yikes!