Non-Animal Protein Sources
Plant proteins are key to a well-balanced diet. One big reason to reduce the animal products in your diet is so that you can make “room” for non-animal proteins!
Plant sources of protein are very important for your nutrition. Most people are not eating nearly enough of them. They boast high-quality protein along with many other plant nutrients and are easier on your body than animal proteins. Not all of these are “complete proteins” but that’s okay because they all at least have some key amino acids. You need a variety of amino acids in your diet and they don’t have to come in the same food or even the same meal for your body to use them as building blocks for protein!
The healthiest (and healthfully-skinny) people regularly incorporate non-animal protein sources in their diets. It really is one secret of eating the very best diet! Aim to regularly incorporate a variety of these great plant proteins in your diet.
Great plant protein sources:
- Bee pollen (Great sprinkled on top of smoothies and smoothie bowls!)
- Soybeans—tempeh, tofu, edamame, etc. Have you tried tempeh? Tempeh is one of my favorites, it has a great flavor and texture and works in a lot of different dishes. Tempeh is also fermented soy which makes it easier on your digestion than non-fermented soy such as tofu!
- Beans—black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, mung beans, etc. (Cooked beans are a great addition to salad! Or try sprouting mung beans at home for a super high-nutrient and tasty addition to salads.)
- Peas—green peas, black-eyed peas, split peas, etc. (Peas make great soups or can be used a other cooked dishes.)
- Lentils—yellow, orange, green, etc. (Lentils are so good in soup.)
- Quinoa (Technically a seed, but cook it similar to grains. A terrific high-protein substitute for rice, and it makes great muffins, fritters, and cookies.)
- Buckwheat (It’s gluten-free and not actually a type of wheat. Use buckwheat soba noodles in stir-fries or buckwheat flour in baking or pancakes.)
- Teff (Try it as a side dish in place of quinoa or rice, for variety.)
- Oats (Buy gluten-free oats for cooking, or gluten-free oat milk for a creamy milk alternative!)
- Wild rice
- Nuts (Healthiest forms are raw or dry roasted.)
- Leafy greens—spinach, chard, kale, romaine, collards, watercress, etc. (It’s easy to get in a lot of spinach, kale, or romaine by putting them in salads or smoothies!)
- Hemp (Seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, cereals, pestos, baked goods, etc.)
- Chia seeds (Make chia seed pudding, add them to yogurt or smoothies, or add them to baked goods!)
- Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, and poppy seeds (Great tossed into salads or rice dishes.)
- Sun-dried tomatoes (Great on sandwiches, burgers, in pasta dishes, or added to homemade salsa!)
- Guavas (Maybe my favorite fruit—they are excellent eaten like an apple! I eat tons of them when in season.)
- Other fruits with the most protein include cherimoyas, mulberries, blackberries, nectarines, bananas
- Vegetables with the most protein include broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, sweet corn, green beans
- Nutritional yeast (Love this! It has a cheesy flavor and can be sprinkled on salads and all kinds of dishes.)
What you’ll need: Plant proteins
GREENBOW Organic Bee Pollen
Sunfood Superfoods Bee Pollen Granules
KAL Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Nutiva Organic Premium Black Chia Seeds
California Organic Walnuts