Think of protein. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Odds are you thought of meat, eggs, or dairy. If these are the best sources of protein, then how do vegetarians get their fill? Turns out, protein is packed in more than just animal products. So whether you are an animal lover, practicing lent, or just trying to cut down on meat, here are the best plant based sources of protein.
Green peas (8g)- 1 cup of peas is almost exactly equal to the same amount of protein found in 1 glass of milk.
Nuts (5-25g)- Although the type of nut depends on just how much protein you’re getting, nuts in general are a safe bet for vegetarians looking to add more protein into their diet. Pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts (20-25g/cup) are among the nuts that yield the most protein, where cashews (5g/cup) are more towards the bottom end.
Quinoa (24g)- Quinoa is packed not only with protein, but includes many other beneficial things for your body. 1 cup of quinoa delivers an impressive 24g of protein.
Tofu (10g)- Tofu is a staple crop in the vegetarian world, and for good reason. Just half a cup of tofu gives you 10g of protein.
Beans (15-50g)- Like nuts, beans are always a surefire way to add protein to any vegetarian meal. If you’re shooting for the top end of this range, go for black, navy, white, and mung beans.
Leafy Greens(5g)- If you are a vegetarian, I’m willing to bet a variety of leafy greens are already on your plate every day. Foods like spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are giving you approximately 5g of protein for every cup you consume.
Sunflower Seeds(29g)- Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they don’t pack a big punch. 1 cup of dry sunflower seeds yields up to 29g of protein. But be careful, as with other foods, the more you cook the seeds, the more nutrients you lose.