As you tell your friends and family about this challenge, you will likely hear, if you haven’t already, “But, where do you get your protein?”! This is a common question for vegetarians and vegans, and YES, it is important to get an adequate amount of protein in every diet. Adopting a plant-based diet, you will have to find your protein from a variety of sources. Today we will explore the following three sources of plant-based proteins: 1. Seeds and Nuts, 2. Legumes and 3. Grains.

Now you’ll be well equipped to answer your friend’s questions!

  1. Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and Nuts are an excellent source of protein, as well as healthy oils like omega 3s, B Vitamins and other essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. The protein content varies among the different groups, yet there are many combinations of the two sources as well as other complete protein sources. Almonds and Cashews, interestingly enough, are actually seeds but most people think of them as nuts (1). An important thing to note with regards to proteins is obtaining the essential amino acids, which make up a complete protein. Seeds and nuts like Hemp, Flax, Cashews, Pistachios, Pumpkin and Squash contain all the essential amino acids to provide a complete protein source for your diet (2).

  1. Legumes

Legumes are defined as a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils. These are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available, containing a good source of protein (3). Peanuts, which are actually defined as legumes, are great examples of legumes that are high in protein. Beans, lentils and peas are also good sources of protein. Lentils offer over 17 grams of protein per cup (4). It’s important to have a variety of legumes as they each offer individual benefits and have unique nutritional profiles.

  1. Grains

Whole grains are a great source of protein, especially quinoa, the queen of whole grains when it comes to protein. Just one cup of cooked quinoa packs and delivers 18 grams of protein (5). Additional sources of whole grain proteins include whole grain bread, brown rice and barley.

 

These are the 3 main categories to get your proteins while implementing a plant-based diet. Another category to note, although not an abundant source of protein, is green leafy vegetables. 1 cup of kale provides 2.5 grams of protein. You can always supplement greens through Amazing Grass powders and nutritional bars, providing greens as well as protein in many or our product offerings.

 

  1. LaBarbera, Maggie. “List of Seeds and Nuts from the Protein Group”. 12 May 2012. October 6, 2014 nourishinteractive.com/healthy-living
  2. Frazier, Matt. “Vegetarian Protein Foods”. October 6, 2014. http://www.nomeatathlete.com/vegetarian-protein/
  3. The Mayo Clinic Staff. “Beans and Other Legumes: Cooking Tips”. October 7, 2014. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/legumes/art-20044278
  4. Goff, Corinne, Demand Media. “Which Legumes Are Protein?” October 6, 2014. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/legumes-protein-4800.html
  5. Hackett, Jolinda. “How to Get Protein on a Vegetarian Diet”. October 7, 2014. http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/tp/protein.htm