Plant-based protein and where to find it

20/Mar/20 / 06:00

From everyday dinner staples like chicken, beef, pork and fish to more specialty meats such as venison, turkey and lamb, there is seemingly no end when it comes to animal protein sources. But what about plant-based protein?
 
For many people who follow a vegan, vegetarian or other ‘plant-based diet’ – where the primary source of nutrition comes from fruits, vegetables, grains and other edible plants – a commonly cited concern is whether or not the protein found in plants is sufficient for a nutritious eating plan and healthy lifestyle.1
 
However, many nutrition experts agree that eating a well-planned diet comprised mostly of plants can provide you with all of the nutrients your body needs.2
 
Here’s a quick list of common plant-based sources of protein:
 

  • Seitan. With its high protein content, seitan – sometimes known as wheat gluten – resembles the look and feel of meat, and can be used in a variety of recipes.1
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  • Soy products. Soy is a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs.4 Tempeh (a cultured soybean product with a chewy texture3) is a great addition to burgers, soups and chili, while both tofu and edamame are easily added to soups and stews.
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  • Pulses. An umbrella term for beans, lentils, peas and chickpeas, pulses are not only an easy-to-find source of plant-based protein, but they also contain a host of other minerals that are important to (and often missing from) our diets.4
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  • Nuts. Did you k now most nuts have nearly the same amount of protein as a boiled egg?4 Nuts and nut butters are familiar sources of protein, and make great additions to stir-fries, oatmeal and baked goods.
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  • Fruits and vegetables. Veggies that tend to be higher in the amount of protein they contain include broccoli, spinach and sweet potatoes. Fruits tend to have less protein than vegetables, but blackberries, nectarines and bananas are among those that contain the most protein.1

 
For more plant-based protein, check out our collection of recipes here.


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(1)Petre, Alina. “The 17 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 Aug. 2016.

(2)Craig, Winston J, et al. “Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2009.

(3)“Tips for Vegetarians.” ChooseMyPlate, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(3)Cassetty, Samantha. “Ask a Nutritionist:What Are the Best Sources of Plant-Based Protein?” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 15 Mar. 2019.