One of the biggest dietary myths is that it is necessary to eat meat in order to get the best sources of protein. The truth is that there are many healthy plant-based sources of protein, and it is possible to get all of the nutrients that are needed by following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Protein is Important for Health
Protein is a necessary nutrient because it supports overall health and wellness. Many functions in the body depend on protein, but too much protein can actually lead to disease.
Doctors have found that meat consumption is connected with a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Even though meat is so common in the Standard American Diet, it doesn’t mean that meat is good for your health! If you want to improve your health, then you need to make sure that you are focusing on healthier sources of protein that come from plants.
Plant protein sources are superior to meat because the plants provide other health benefits as well, such as antioxidants and fiber that support digestion and immune function. These nutrient-dense foods are powerhouses of good compounds that your body needs. So, increase your plant consumption and decrease your meat consumption.
Healthy Plant Protein Sources
As you are making changes to your dietary habits, it is a good idea to use resources that can help you with recipes and meal prep ideas. We have plenty of main meal recipes here on our website, making it easy for you to plan dinner with healthier plant-based ingredients.
Here are five plant-based foods that are packed with protein and should be added in your diet:
- Beans and Legumes: Especially beans and lentils, because they have such high levels of protein. One cup of lentils has 18 grams of protein! Other options include peanuts, pinto beans, black beans, hummus, kidney beans, and more.
- Seeds and Nuts: When you need a snack, grab a handful of raw, mixed nuts. High protein options include almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, walnuts, pistachios, and nut butters such as peanut butter or almond butter.
- Green Vegetables: Did you know that spinach is packed with protein? Include green vegetables in your meal planning, such as all dark, leafy greens, peas, broccoli, and avocado.
- Organic Whole Grains: Certain types of whole grains provide the protein that you need, such as oatmeal, and sprouted grain products. Another option is quinoa, which is often called a grain but it is technically a seed.
- Protein Powder: For an extra boost of protein, add a plant-based protein powder in a smoothie each morning. Just make sure that you select a high quality organic brand to be sure that you are consuming the