Getting enough protein seems to be the biggest concern for those trying to keep their diet plant-based. Luckily, protein comes in all shapes and sizes – not just meat!
Plant-based protein sources aren’t just for vegans and vegetarians. Everyone can benefit from eating a plant-filled diet. Eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds naturally increases your daily intake of fiber, minerals, and phytonutrients, but with a few simple additions, your colorful plate could offer more protein than you think. Vegetables and fruits have protein themselves, however, there are a few specific sources you should be aware of when eating a plant-based diet.
4 Sources of Plant-Based Proteins That We Love
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have such fibrous properties which allows it to absorb liquid, transforming it into a gel-like substance. Adding this super food to meals as the main star, as an addition to a smoothie, or as a simple garnish, chia seeds will increase the meal’s dosage of protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Two tablespoons of chia seeds equal 4g of protein. One easy way to increase your chia seed intake is with a chia seed pudding. At DEFINE foods, we know the importance of protein, which is why our Meal Cleanse Program starts each day with a satisfying chia seed pudding for breakfast. Simple, delicious, and starts your day on the right note.
By this time, most of us are familiar with this grain-like seed. It’s used as a carbohydrate in most dishes due to its starchy quality. It can be swapped for your traditional white rice for lunches or dinners. Half a cup of quinoa is equal to 7 to 9g of protein. Our Kale + Quinoa salad yields a whopping 14.5g of protein due to the combination of quinoa and seed topping. And with the tahini dressing (which is made from ground sesame seeds), you can enjoy another 4.6g of protein. Together, this kale salad clearly offers more than expected.
Seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds are all super high in protein and minerals. Each seed varies in flavor, some tasting more mild and nuttier than others, but each are very easy to incorporate into your day-to-day meals. Simply sprinkling your favorite variety on salads or creating your own granola, seeds supply a hefty dose of protein. A quarter cup of seeds equals 7 to 9g of protein.
It’s time to go nuts for nuts. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and brazil nuts not only supply us with minerals, vitamin E, and healthy fats, but they are known for their impressive protein content. A quarter cup of nuts equals 7 to 9g of protein, and with so many ways to enjoy, you’ll be sure to reap the benefits. Roasting nuts to create your very own trail mix blend is one delicious option. If you’re feeling adventurous, blending raw nuts will give you homemade nut butters. DEFINE foods loves nut butters, and we use organic cashew butter in our Energy Bites and almond butter in the dipping sauce for our Thai Chili Salad Rolls. That dipping sauce has over 9g of protein and that’s without the main dish!
You’re probably beginning to notice just how easy it is to enjoy a boost of protein without the addition of any meat. Regardless of what lifestyle you practice, expanding your diet to include more plants can benefit everyone. And now that you’re in the know, you can make your life even easier by enjoying our handcrafted Meal Cleanse Program where each meal is created with these intentional, protein-packed, ingredients.