Try including some plant-based protein in your diet
Are you wondering about how to get enough proteins on a plant-based diet?
Protein is one of the main nutrients our bodies use to build and maintain muscle mass and bone health.
It is recommended, according to the Dietary Reference Intake, that adults consume 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 g per pound. On average, babies need about 10 grams a day, school-age kids need 19-34 grams a day, teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day, teenage girls need 46 grams a day, adult men need about 56 grams a day, and adult women need about 46 grams a day, but this recommendation rises to 71 grams if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Protein can be found in animal sources like meat, eggs, and dairy, as well as plant sources. Plant sources of protein include:
- Legumes—Legumes include beans, lentils, and peanuts. 1 cup of boiled lentils will provide 18 g of protein and 1 ounce of peanuts will provide 7 g.
- Nuts and nut butters—Nuts such as almonds (6 g per ounce), pistachios (6 g per ounce), and walnuts (4.3 g per ounce) are good sources as well.
- Grains—Grains contain a small amount of protein and this amount varies by type. For example, whole grains contain about 25% more protein than their refined counterparts. Quinoa, which is actually a seed, provides 8 g of protein per cup. Other high protein grains, like amaranth and spelt, will provide you with 9.4 and 10.7 g of protein per cup respectively.
- Tofu—Tofu is made from soybeans and provides 10 g of protein per ½ a cup.
- Leafy greens—Leafy greens will contain protein as well. Two cups of raw spinach, for example, contain 2.1 grams of protein, and one cup of chopped broccoli contains 2.6 grams.
- Seeds—Seeds such as chia seeds and pumpkin seeds provide about 5 g per ounce, the equivalent of two tablespoons.
While both animal and plant proteins are important for our bodies, plant proteins have the additional advantage of being lower in saturated fat, which can help with reducing our cholesterol levels and improving our cardiovascular health.
Getting the required amount of proteins from a plant-based diet is not so difficult and it can be achieved by planning ahead.