The best plant-based sources of proteins

The best plant-based sources of proteins

  • 1 December 2020
Plant-based diets were huge in 2020, and their popularity is only set to grow with the rising interest in vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets. Some may think that getting enough protein on a diet without meat, dairy and eggs is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be - if you know what plant-based ingredients are the best sources of protein. These sources are simple, real, whole-food ingredients that are high in protein - not powders or shakes that are usually expensive and often contain funny additives.

Why is protein so important?


Protein is an essential macronutrient that we all need to eat every day. It makes up about 17% of the body’s weight and is the main component of our muscles, skin, internal organs, as well as our eyes, hair and nails.

Protein is made up of amino acids, 9 of which are essential for us because our bodies can’t make them. Generally, animal products are complete proteins which means they contain all these essential amino acids, but plant-based proteins don’t. That’s why it’s so important to include a variety of plant-based protein sources in your diet if you are vegan to make sure you’re getting all the essential amino acids.

Soybeans


Soybeans are arguably the highest quality protein source for vegetarians, as they contain all essential amino acids. And the great news is you can eat soy in a huge variety of forms so you won’t get bored.

Edamame beans and tofu are the most popular and versatile soybean products, and thisThai style choi veggie rice deliciously combines the two.

Lentils


Whether you prefer brown, yellow, green, or red - lentils are a great source of protein providing around 9g protein/100g. They also contain essential minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron too.

Make a “meaty” lentil bolognese or add lentils to a salad. We love this pumpkin, chickpea and lentil curry and this filling tomato and lentil salad

Chickpeas


So much more than hummus, Chickpeas have become one of the most popular foods recently and provide 7g protein/100g. Bake with chickpea flour or add chickpeas to salads.

These chickpea koftas are one of our top vegetarian dinner recipes. We also recommend making theseaprticot harissa chickpeas or keep it simple with this beets and hummus bowl.

Nuts


The protein content of nuts differs between different types, but whether you prefer almonds, macadamias or pecan nuts, know you’re getting a healthy serving of protein and healthy fats with every handful. Eats nuts as a snack as they are, bake with nut flours, like almond flour, or add them to salads to give them a nice crunch.

Quinoa


Quinoa is a popular superfood and another one of the only complete sources of plant-based protein. Quinoa is very versatile and makes a great base for a filling salad, like this Gado Gado bowl - simply omit the eggs to make it vegan.

Oats


Start your morning with a bowl of oats or muesli and you’ll be getting around 10g protein per 100g oats.