With time, more and more people are shifting toward vegetarian-based diets. In fact, 32% of the population consider themselves “mostly vegetarian.” That’s a lot.
Making a plant-based shift can be tricky– but thankfully, food providers are offering more plant-based options. These days, leading a healthy vegetarian lifestyle is both possible and easy.
Vegetarians (especially vegans) must ensure they’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals, Calcium, Iron, zinc, and protein. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers guidelines for attaining the proper protein and dietary needs.
With many options on the market, finding plant-based proteins is doable. This article will break down the best plant-based proteins to keep you healthy.
Why Do We Need Proteins?
Everyone needs proteins to keep their bodies running smoothly. But why?
Simply put, your body runs on proteins. Proteins appear in your organs, muscles, tissues, bones, skin, and hair. Protein helps keep cells healthy, make new ones, and create antibodies to fight off infection.
Without proteins, your body becomes more susceptible to illness. You may find yourself tired, with swelling and slow-healing wounds. Keep your body stocked on protein to stay healthy.
How Much Protein Do We Need?
Your necessary proteins vary based on your habits.
The general rule of thumb is 10-35% of your daily intake should be proteins. On average, the Dietary Reference Intake recommends 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. If you work out regularly or want to build muscle, the recommendation changes to 0.5-0.8 grams of body weight.
Assess your weight level to determine how much protein is necessary for you. Too much or too little will adversely affect your body. This protein calculator offers a quick way to assess your body’s needs.
The Most Popular Types of Protein
Unfortunately, many of the most popular types of protein are animal-based. Consider the following protein sources:
- Lean Beef
Without many plant-based options, vegans suffer. Let’s explore the best ways to eat plant-based protein.
How to Find Proteins as a Vegan
Though it may be harder to find suitable proteins, those on a plant-based diet still need them. We aim to make finding proper meals easier for you and your diet.
Here are a few of the best plant-based proteins.
With 31 grams of protein per cup, Soy is one of the best sources of plant-based protein and is the most similar in quality to cow’s milk. Consuming over time can lead to better health than eating proteins with saturated fats and dietary cholesterol.
This legume has a more complete amino acid profile than peas, peanuts, and lentils, making it a complete protein.
Seitan is a popular source of protein for many vegetarians, with 25 grams per 3.5 ounces. This plant-based protein gives the appearance and taste of meat, making the transition easier.
Soy-based product, Tofu, is a diverse food used in various dishes, from crispy tofu to tofu skewers. By offering 12-20 grams of proteins per 3.5 ounces, Tofu is an excellent source of proteins for vegetarians.
Though beans may seem like a boring addition to a meal, they can spruce up any plate with an additional protein blast. Many types of beans contain 15 grams of protein in a cooked cup.
From kidney beans to pinto beans – you can find a diverse range of proteins to accompany your meal.
Plant-based Protein Powders and Shakes
Plant-based protein shakes, like Soylent’s, offer the nutritional benefits you need to stay healthy. With 20g of protein per bottle and 28 immune-supporting vitamins and minerals, we provide easy ways to stock up on proteins. Our protein shakes are packed with soy protein – keeping your nutrition high.
Whether before or after, our shakes are great substitutes for workout meals. No need to make a dish; our plant-based protein shakes are complete, filling servings.
Lentils are another great source of protein, offering 12 grams per half cup. Lentils are perfect for soups or as fillings for other dishes. This food aids your gut, leading to a healthier digestive system.
Green peas are a great side and a hearty serving of proteins. With 9 grams of protein per cooked cup, green peas may be what you need to up your protein intake.
Forget regular milk. Soy milk offers a rich serving of proteins with 6 grams per cup. This milk is also a great source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 – all things needed for a plant-based diet.
Additional Plant-Based Proteins
There’s more. However, many other plant based proteins have to be eaten in combination in order to get the maximum benefit and full amino acid profile.
Additional plant-based proteins include the following.
- Nutritional Yeast – 8 grams of protein per 1/4th cup
- Spelt and Teff – 10 to 11 grams of protein per cooked cup
- Oats and Oatmeal – 5 grams of protein per half cup
- Hemp Seeds – 9 grams of protein per three tablespoons
- Spirulina -- 8 grams of protein per two tablespoons
- Chia Seeds – 5 grams of protein per ounce
- Nuts – 5-7 grams of protein per ounce
- Quinoa – 8-9 grams of protein per cooked cup
- Spinach – 5.2 grams of protein per cup
- Artichokes – 4.8 grams of protein per cup
- Avocado – 4.6 grams of protein per cup
- Brussel Sprouts – 4 grams of protein per cup
Remember, you don’t have to cram one source of protein. Instead, spread these sources across your meals. If you have green peas on the side of your dish, consider sharing it with a glass of soy milk.
It’s possible to get too much protein; follow your dietary guidelines to keep your body where it needs to be.
Soylent: A Plant-Based Protein Shake
If you’re nervous about finding plant-based proteins, hopefully, we’ve convinced you otherwise. The world is full of non-animal-based sources – and the number is growing daily.
Use any limitation as a chance to make diverse, healthy meals. We’re confident that you’ll find the diet needed for you.
At Soylent, we aim to make plant-based protein easy and accessible. Whether you’re building muscle or just looking for a good meal, our plant-based protein shakes offer what you need.
With 20 grams of complete protein per serving, our soy products are a good source of all you need. Our plant-based powders come in many forms. Try our Original Soylent Powder or our Cacao Protein Powder.
Don’t be discouraged. No matter the diet, protein comes in many plentiful forms. Just stay searching, cooking, and exploring. You’ve got this.