12 Plant-Based High Protein Foods

Photo credit: PexelsAs the popularity of plant-based diets continues to soar, individuals are increasingly seeking plant-based protein sources to fuel their active lifestyles and support muscle growth. Contrary to the belief that protein is primarily derived from animal products, there is a plethora of plant-based options that are not only rich in protein but also packed with essential nutrients.

It is important to note that while plant-based protein sources may not provide all the essential amino acids, combining different plant-based protein sources can help create a complete protein profile. Here are some of the top plant-based high protein foods:

  1. Lentils:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 18 grams

    Lentils are a versatile legume that can be used in various dishes, from soups to salads, providing a substantial protein boost.

  2. Chickpeas:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 15 grams

    Whether roasted for a crunchy snack or blended into hummus, chickpeas are a protein powerhouse.

  3. Quinoa:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 8 grams

    Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for a balanced plant-based diet.

  4. Tofu:
    • Protein per 3 ounces: 8 grams

    Tofu, made from soybeans, is a versatile ingredient that can be grilled, sautéed, or blended into smoothies for a protein boost.

  5. Chia Seeds:
    • Protein per 2 tablespoons: 4 grams

    Chia seeds are a plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.

  6. Hemp Seeds:
    • Protein per 3 tablespoons: 10 grams

    Hemp seeds offer a complete protein profile and are a great addition to smoothies, salads, or yogurt.

  7. Black Beans:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 15 grams

    Black beans are a staple in many cuisines and provide a hearty dose of protein along with fiber.

  8. Green Peas:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 8 grams

    Don’t underestimate the protein power of peas, which also contribute to your daily fiber intake.

  9. Pumpkin Seeds:
    • Protein per 1 ounce: 9 grams

    Snack on pumpkin seeds for a crunchy, protein-packed treat that also delivers essential minerals like magnesium and zinc.

  10. Almonds:
    • Protein per 1 ounce: 6 grams

    Almonds are not just a satisfying snack; they also contain healthy fats and protein to keep you fueled.

  11. Spinach:
    • Protein per 1 cup cooked: 6 grams

    Popeye was onto something! Leafy greens like spinach are not just rich in iron, they are surprisingly high in protein. Sauté them as a side dish or add them to smoothies.

  12. Spirulina:
    • Protein per 2 tablespoons: 8 grams

    This blue-green algae is a potent protein source often used in smoothies or as a supplement, providing a variety of essential nutrients

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