Raw foods are some of the most energizing foods you can eat, but many people presume eating raw foods means eating leafy greens, juices, smoothies, and salads all day. This is definitely not true, friends! Some of the most beneficial sources of plant-based protein are all raw, and packed with energizing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to stabilize your blood sugar and enhance your metabolism and brain. They’re also much more friendly to your body than animal sources of proteins are, such as those from meat and dairy.

Certain raw sources of protein are especially beneficial because they contain living, enzyme-rich sources of nutrition to boost absorption and energy expenditure. This doesn’t mean that tasty cooked sources of protein like tempeh or beans are bad for you, but incorporating more raw sources of easy-to-digest protein may be easier on your body and boost your energy at the same time. A healthy diet is about balance, so be sure to include both raw and cooked foods into your diet to find what ratio of raw to cooked works best for you.

Try out these five, alive sources of protein that will pump your body up with plant-based protein goodness!

1. All Things Hemp

Hemp is the most complete, nutrient-dense source of plant-based protein, when you consider the wide range of nutrients it contains. Starting with fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, all essential amino acids to form complete proteins in your body, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and even some B vitamins. Hemp is also one of the easiest plant-based sources of protein you can eat. This is important since your body can only use what it digests properly. Use hemp protein in your grain and gluten-free eating plans, or in a high protein, athletic friendly lifestyle approach. Also check out some easy tips for how to use it more creatively!

2. Sprouted Grain Bread

If you tolerate grains, sprouted grain bread is a great option. It’s packed with protein, containing anywhere from 7-10 grams per variety you choose. It’s also higher in fiber than regular bread and has no flour. Made from only live, sprouted grains that are easily digested, it’s one of the best foods to consume in a whole foods, plant-based diet aside from whole grains such as quinoa, oats, millet, barley, etc. Use it on your sandwiches at lunch, or eat it in the morning as toast with some raw almond butter, cinnamon, chia seeds, and berries for a low-glycemic, high-protein meal.

3. Chia Pudding

It seems so boring and overdone, but chia pudding really is a fantastic living source of protein that fills you up, energizes you, and totally rocks a plant-based diet! Chia contains all essential amino acids, in case you haven’t gotten the memo yet. It’s also packed with iron, even more than meat per ounce and contains much more fiber, with 6 grams per tablespoon! Try out Lemon Meringue Chia Pudding, Creamy Chai Chia Pudding, or this Energizing Chia Pudding if you need some beginner recipe suggestions.

4. Sprouts

Sprouts including bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and other sprouted foods like grains are also great sources of living protein. They’re also easier to digest and lower in starches and sugars due to the way the sprouts enhance enzyme production in the foods and eat up the natural sugars and starches through the sprouting process. Learn how to sprout your own foods at home more quickly if you’d like to try it out yourself!

5. Green Foods

Green foods are packed with living protein to enhance your body! For starters, they’re much more friendly to your blood than acidic proteins such as animal sources are, and are incredibly underrated in terms of their protein content. Spinach has 5 grams in just one cup, and kale has 4 grams per cup. Broccoli contains 4 grams of protein per cup, and green peas have 8 grams per half cup. Spirulina is also another great source, containing 4 grams in just one teaspoon! Pack your diet out with these living foods, which will not only help give you a lean body, but also a healthy and happy one too!

Want more plant-based goodness? Check out 10 Vegan Sources Packed With Protein, the 5 Plant-Based Foods That Will Help You Build Muscle, and find out the truth about incomplete sources of protein in a plant-based diet for more information.

Now, pump your body up the plant-based way and liven up your diet with these living foods!

Image Source: Sushi With Sprouts and Tahini Ginger Miso Sauce