Plant-based foods can be excellent sources of vegan protein and other nutrients. Continue reading below to learn more about 6 affordable plant-based protein sources!
Plants contain a myriad of health benefits!
The scientific literature indicates that plant-based protein sources may help decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers 1,2,3
Plant-based foods contain important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that benefit overall health. For example, they are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), omega-3 fatty acid, and vitamins such as tyramine, vitamin B6, and zinc.
Additionally, the fiber in plant proteins lends to increased satiety and improved gut health.
Where can you find plant-based protein sources?
It is easy to find plant-based foods in the grocery store, online, or at a farmers market.
6 affordable plant-based protein sources:
Lentils are seeds from the legume family. There are excellent sources of protein with 15 g of protein per cup. Also, they are rich in non-heme iron, which make them a great meat-alternative. For minerals and other micronutrients, lentils are a good source of potassium and fiber, which helps promote gut health.
Beans are also included in the legume family. They contain 15.4 g of protein per cup. They are rich in potassium, which helps regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions.
Peas are also part of the legume family. They contains almost 8 g of protein per cup. They are rich in antioxidants which support your immune system.
Seitan is made by mixing wheat gluten with various spices. They contains 46 g of protein per half-cup serving. This is not a gluten-free food.
Tofu is a soy product made from dried soybeans that are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled. It contains 10 g of protein per cup. It has a high amount of calcium which supports your bones and teeth. Tofu can come in the forms of silken, regular, firm, extra-firm, and super-firm. The texture is determined by the water content.
6. Soy milk
Soy milk contains 8 g of protein per cup. Like tofu, soy milk is a good source of calcium. It is also a popular high protein alternative to cow’s milk.
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1 Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, Chiuve SE, Manson JE, Willett W, Rexrode KM, Rimm EB, Hu FB.
Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Jul 25;70(4):411-422. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.047. PMID: 28728684;
2 McMacken M, Shah S. A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. J Geriatr Cardiol. 2017 May;14(5):342-354. doi: 10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.009.
3 Hardt L, Mahamat-Saleh Y, Aune D, Schlesinger S. Plant-Based Diets and Cancer Prognosis: a Review of Recent Research. Curr Nutr Rep. 2022 Dec;11(4):695-716. doi: 10.1007/s13668-022-00440-1.