As one of the key macronutrients, protein plays an important role in your daily nutrition needs and is essential for building and repairing muscles and bones, and boosting heart health and energy levels.
Meats and dairy products are often referred to as the go-to protein sources and predominantly contain the nine ‘essential’ amino acids that the body can’t naturally reproduce itself. However if you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet, or trying to lessen your meat intake, it’s important to find plant-based protein alternatives.
Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to get your daily protein fix from plants alone!
We’ve rounded up 10 plant-based protein sources that will help you achieve your daily protein intake:
Great as a crispy snack, whizzed up into hummus, or added into a dish, chickpeas are rich in protein, fibre and healthy fatty acids. Expect around 7g of protein per 100g serving.
Made from pressed bean curd from soy beans, tofu is a ‘complete’ protein which means it contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s usually quite bland on its own however it’s great at absorbing flavours of food so we recommend to marinate it first or chuck it a curry or stir fry to soak up those delicious flavours. Firm tofu generally contains around 12g of protein per 100g serving.
Similar to tofu, tempeh is a ‘complete’ protein. Made from fermented soybeans which have been fermented and pressed while whole, tempeh has a slightly nuttier flavour than tofu and contains 18g of protein per 100g serving.
Part of the legumes family, lentils are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins, and protein (around 7g per 100g serving). They’re a versatile food that can be added to a number of dishes, including soups, curries, and salads.
A great source of protein (8g per 100g serving) and complex carbohydrates (23g), black beans are a flavour-filled bean that are great in Mexican dishes such as chilli con carne, tacos, and dips.
No matter which kind is your favourite, nuts are full of healthy fats, fibre and protein, making them a great healthy snack for on the go. With so many options - almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts - it’s easy to add some variety to your diet and chuck them in salads, with veggies, or in smoothies.
The ever versatile potato contains around 3g protein per 100g serving, and they’re also packed with potassium, vitamin C, and B6. Bake, mash, boil - they’re a great protein and carbohydrate source any day of the week.
A ‘complete’ protein with all essential nine amino acids, quinoa contains around 8g of protein per 100g serving. It’s a great protein source in your lunchtime salad or as a pasta replacement at dinner.
Bursting with goodness, chia seeds make a great addition to any diet. They contain 14g of protein per 100g serving, as well as antioxidants and Omega-2 fatty acids. Combine them with water or milk for a breakfast pudding or use as an egg substitute in recipes.
Made from algae, spirulina is a powdered supplement with high levels of protein and other nutrients such as iron and antioxidants. With 50g of protein per 100g it’s a great protein source to add into smoothies when you’re on the go.
You know we’re keen on tracking macros here at THE BOD and using them to support your fitness goals, and if you’d like to know more about how much protein you should be eating or where to begin with flexible dieting, try our free Macro Calculator or reach out to us on socials @thebod_