Plant-based diets are becoming more popular as people reduce their use of animal products – for environmental reasons, ethics, or for health purposes.
So whether you’re currently following this journey, or would even like to set aside one ‘meat-free’ day per week – these plant-based proteins can be incorporated into your everyday life while fuelling your body. It’s important to follow a well-planned diet consisting of a variety of high protein foods to ensure that you are obtaining the necessary amino acids.
Here are five sources of plant-based protein:
Tofu is high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs which makes it a complete protein. It provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and also contains iron, calcium, magnesium and healthy polyunsaturated fats.
Even though tofu is considered as typically bland when uncooked and unseasoned, it’s often added to stir fry or curry and is great at absorbing flavours from other foods.
Not only are chickpeas high in protein but they are high in fiber too.
Chickpeas can be eaten hot or cold, and are highly versatile with plenty of recipes available online. They can be added to stews and curries, or spiced with paprika and roasted in the oven.
Red or green lentils contain plenty of protein, fiber and nutrients including iron and potassium. They are part of the legume family.
Lentils are a versatile food that can be added to many cuisines – including soups, dahl, salads, curries, or rice to give an extra portion of protein.
Quinoa is also considered to be a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. As a highly versatile dish, it can be sprinkled on a salad or eaten as the main course.
According to healthline, it has been eaten for thousands of years in South America and only recently became a trend food, even reaching superfood status. Quinoa is also gluten-free.
Black beans are amongst many other beans recognised for being a great source of protein and complex carbohydrates.
Black beans are a versatile food that is common in Mexican dishes, and a great meat replacement in chilli con carne, added to tacos, in black bean soup, vegetable quesadilla or even a burrito.