Have you noticed that there are more and more vegan and vegetarian options available than ever before (like Dinner Twist’s very own Vegan box)? This is great news. It offers you a lot of variety to the standard diet, however, often some of the ‘meat alternatives’ are heavily processed foods that are manipulated to taste similar to the original. For example, ‘facon’ or vegetarian bacon may contain lots of heavily processed, artificial colours and flavours. This surge of meat-free foods seems to coincide with lots of media attention on the dangers of eating red meat. Often these studies are antiquated and poorly reported but we do know that we don’t necessarily need animal products three times a day, with every single meal!
Here’s my list of the best plant based protein sources that are also packed with nutrients:
Are part of the legume family and have about 18g of protein per cup serve, which is quite high. They’re also a rich source of fibre.
Is an Indonesian soybean and one of the best plant based proteins. It contains about 18g of protein per serve and is incredibly versatile as it tends to absorb the flavour of whatever you cook it with.
(Pronounced kin-wah) is a pseudo-grain or more like a seed! It has about 8g of protein per cup and is packed with amino acids. You can also use this in exchange for rice or other grains!
Are high in two amazing amino acids called leucine and lysine – these are usually absent in plant based proteins are leucine in particular is essential for maintaining metabolic stability and can aid in weight loss. Whereas lysine is protective against viruses and supports healthy gut function. Black beans contain 15g of protein per cup.
Now, this is not a complete protein in itself but it has 39g of protein in just one serve! This is something that I love to add to my green smoothies. Pairing spirulina with some nuts or whole grains seems to top up the other nutrients
is lower in its protein content than some of the other foods on this list but it does contain a fortified version of vitamin B12 that is usually lacking in most plant based proteins. It contains about 9g of protein per serve and is different to the yeast that you would use to bake bread! This is usually added to foods as a condiment or added to smoothies.
Are not only high in protein at 12g per serve but also contain high amounts of magnesium, lysine, zinc and are an excellent source of healthy fats. However, pumpkin seeds are higher in calories so use with a balanced diet.
Not only contain protein but also contain heart-healthy fats, mainly omega-3 fatty acids. Three tablespoons offer you about 10 grams of protein and are great to sprinkle over salads, add to your hummus or other home made sips, stir into soups, or add to smoothies.