Protein is a vital macro-nutrient as most everyone knows. Amino acids from different foods pair together to form protein in your cells. These essentially fuel your muscles, keep your bones strong, and even influence neurotransmitter function in the brain. Without enough protein, a loss of energy, hair, muscle loss, and even mental focus can all be seen rather quickly. However, the good news is, getting enough protein is possible without meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, or anything else derived from an animal. Since animals get their protein from the earth, so can we. A variety of foods from the earth are full of amino acids that combine together in the body to form proteins to keep you strong and healthy.
Many of these foods you’re probably already familiar with, and the great news is, these foods are so much better for your body than animal sources. Plant-based sources of protein are abundant in whole foods. These foods contain incredible amounts of nutrient-dense properties that your body and brain can use to help you feel your best. They also don’t lead to inflammation like animal sources and they’re much better for the entire planet.
Below you’ll see some foods that are rich in protein and get access to some high-protein recipes. You’ll also be able to see how much protein you need for your activity levels, and even get some more resources about protein, and our best high protein product recommendations.
Get powered up with protein the plant-based way!
There are many delicious forms of protein that you can include (and it’s not all tofu!) that can be used in limitless ways to get enough amino acids. Many of these foods are higher in protein per ounce than animal sources and include fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These foods support the body’s muscular system and promote an alkaline environment, while animal-based foods promote inflammation and lead to an acidic body.
Protein supports the muscles, tendons, and collagen production in the body. The amino acids that make up protein also propel a healthy neurotransmitter function and aid in mental focus. Protein also keeps the body aging gracefully to prevent muscle deterioration or weak bones that can lead to osteoporosis.
Recommended Daily Intake
You don’t need a lot of protein to obtain the amino acids your body needs to form complete proteins. One pound of protein per pound of body weight is more than twice the amount that most people need daily. If you’re active or into bodybuilding, you may need more, but generally speaking, 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight is more than enough (much people need less).
Whole food sources of plant-based protein include:
- black beans
- green peas
- pumpkin seeds
- chia seeds
- hemp seeds
- peanut butter
- kidney beans
- navy beans
- adzuki beans
- black and wild rice
- whole food-based, plant-based protein powders
You can also use transitional forms of plant-based ‘meats’ that include: tempeh, tofu, meatless ‘meat’ crumbles, seitan, and other forms of vegetarian protein if they help you transition away from meat. While they’re not necessary to obtain enough, some people do find they help fill in the gaps and they enjoy the taste of them.
Recipes High in Plant-Based Protein
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- Plant-based Nutrition 101: Protein (CURRENT PAGE)