These plant-based protein alternatives give you the amino acids you need for your plant-based diet meal plan without resorting to meat or dairy!
Plant-Based Protein Alternatives for Your Meatless Diet
Plant Foods Rich in Protein
Protein is an important nutrient in the body, which is why you need to take it daily as it is one of the building blocks of the blood, skin, muscles, and bones. Drinking a whey protein shake may provide the protein you need, but you can always choose to get protein from plant-based foods instead.
Plant-Based Protein vs Whey
While whey is also an optional protein source for people going on meatless diets, it may pose a risk to your health.
Whey protein powder is basically a by-product when making cheese. The protein waste product from cheesemaking is then repackaged as protein powder.
Since it comes from animal milk, people with lactose intolerance will not be able to consume whey. Some symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Abdominal cramps
People with a dairy allergy may also experience the same symptoms.
So, is plant-based protein better? For those who want to commit to a vegan, gluten-free, or plant-based diet, it is.
Plant-based protein powders are made from nuts, soy, and other plants. With no animal-based ingredients, Sunwarrior plant-based protein powders give you the nutrients you need without the digestive problems.
You don’t have to consume it as a drink all the time, too. There are various recipes incorporating Sunwarrior blends to ensure you’re getting enough protein while on a plant-based diet.
List of Plant-Based Foods Packed with Protein
1. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are good protein sources. A 28-g serving already contains between 5 and 7 grams of protein.
The only thing to remember when eating nuts and seeds is they are best eaten raw because roasting and blanching them can destroy their nutrients.
Add them in salads, desserts, or even breakfast smoothie bowls to enjoy the protein they offer.
2. Wild Rice
This plant-based protein source possesses 1.5 times as much protein than long-grain rice, such as basmati and brown rice. 240-ml of cooked wild rice contains 7 grams of protein, plus B vitamins, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, manganese, and fiber.
Wash the rice prior to cooking. For every cup of wild rice, use 3 cups of water.
This helps reduce the arsenic content by up to 57%.
Oats are a popular source of protein. A 120-ml serving of it contains 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
This serving also has good levels of folate, phosphorus, and magnesium.
These high-protein foods may not be considered a complete protein, but they offer higher quality protein than rice and wheat. They also contain no cholesterol and trans fat so you don’t have to worry about eating as much as you want.
Oats can be cooked and eaten for breakfast or as a protein bar like Sunwarrior’s Sol Good Protein Bars. You can also ground oats up to make oat flour, which is a great substitute for all-purpose flour.
RELATED: The Dark Side of Whey Protein
4. Soy Milk
Soy milk is a good alternative for vegetarians who want to get protein from milk form and other essential vitamins and minerals. A 240-ml serving of this milk contains 7 grams of protein and other nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium.
When choosing soy milk in supermarkets, opt for the unsweetened ones to minimize taking in added sugars.
5. Breads Made from Sprouted Grains
Ezekiel bread, for example, is made from organic sprouted legumes and whole grains. Two slices of this bread contain about 8 grams of protein, slightly more than the regular type of bread.
Sprouting can lower the gluten content of the food slightly, which helps improve the digestive function of those who are sensitive to gluten.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that contains large amounts of nutrients. A 30-ml serving of this algae provides 8 grams of protein with copper, iron, and thiamine.
The protein in spirulina is considered comparable to eggs. You can take this as a whole food or in supplement form.
7. Green Peas
Typically served as a side dish, a 240-ml serving of cooked green peas gives you 9 grams of protein. It also contains other essential nutrients, such as manganese, folate, thiamin, vitamin K, C, and A, and fiber.
They also contain polyphenol antioxidants which offer various health benefits.
What are polyphenols? These are micronutrients that act as antioxidants. They protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.
You can always include green peas in your plant-based diet for a healthier option.
8. Nutritional Yeast
Manufacturers sell nutritional yeast in yellow powder with a cheesy flavor. 28-g of nutritional yeast provides 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
Several plant-based protein recipes for baked goods include nutritional yeast because of the nutrients it offers.
It is also a good source of B vitamins, manganese, copper, magnesium, and zinc. You can sprinkle it on pasta dishes and popcorn or include it as one of your ingredients in your recipes.
Know more about vegan protein in this video from Sunwarrior:
Consuming protein doesn’t mean you need to eat steak all the time. You can still get the protein you need by consuming plant-based foods.
You can also incorporate plant-based protein powders into your baked goods, smoothies, breakfast bowls, and other meals. For maximum performance, Sunwarrior Warrior Blend, an organic, plant-based protein powder, can give you the full amino acid profile you need.
What is your go-to plant-based protein? How do you use it in your meals? Share it with us in the comments section below!