When living on a plant-based diet, or one light in the meat department, it’s not always as easy to know what’s best or even most convenient when trying to add a variety of protein to meals. Protein is important for our health, whether we’re athletes or not. Every part of our body needs protein to thrive. When we have protein during a meal, we’re helping stabilize our blood sugar levels, manage our weight, regulate mood, and more. There’s more to protein than tearing into a hunk of meat during mealtimes. Below is a list of plant-based proteins that are an easy addition to any diet.
Fermented protein powder
This type of powder can be added to smoothies, juices and soups and, because it’s fermented, it promotes good gut health.
These nutritious seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein. They are able to absorb a lot of liquid, turning into a gel, and help keep the body hydrated. Chia seeds can easily be added to smoothies, on oatmeal or used as a breading for foods.
Like chia seeds, flaxseeds are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they’re high in fiber and exceptional for gut health. Ground flaxseeds can be used in a similar way as chia seeds. They’re great to use as part of an egg replacer, added to water to make an “egg”. Don’t worry, studies have shown that flaxseeds won’t lose their omega-3 content after being cooked.
First, they are delicious. Nut butters are packed with protein and high in healthy fats. They assist in balancing blood sugar levels, too. It’s best to purchase them (or make them) completely naturally. Nut butter can be easily spread on toast and baked goods, added to smoothies, and eaten straight from the spoon!
These seeds contain a great balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. For those health benefits and extra protein, add them to smoothies or even make a dairy-free milk with them.
Start out with just a little, but try adding spirulina to soups and smoothies. It does have a strong flavor. Spirulina is a green algae that is 65 percent highly-digestible protein. It’s also calcium rich!
Delicious alfalfa sprouts are high in protein (up to 35 percent highly-digestible) and packed with vitamin C, which is excellent for the immune system. You can buy these or easily grow them yourself. Alfalfa sprouts are good on sandwiches, in salads or, like so many plant-based proteins, perfect in smoothies.
The options for baked goods with protein are appealing…and very possible. Use chickpea flour instead of your usual, to add some energy to your baked foods. It’s just ground up chickpeas, so you’re receiving the same amazing health benefits as you would from your normal garbanzo bean dish. What a delicious way to receive the protein you need!