Most of us are now aware that cutting down our meat consumption is good for both the planet and our health, but many are worried that if they wish to eliminate or reduce their meat intake their diet won’t provide them with adequate protein...
The good news is that there are many plant-based protein sources, some of which pack more protein than their animal-based counterparts and have the added benefit of being easier for our bodies to digest. But how much protein do you need each day? According to the British Heart Foundation, most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men).
Here are some recommendations for delicious plant-based foods that offer even more protein than meat.
Black beans: Black beans have 15 grams of protein in each one-cup serving, which is about the same as two chicken drumsticks. The black bean is a small, shiny variety of the common bean especially popular in Latin American cuisine, though it can also be found in the Cajun and Creole cuisines of south Louisiana. Like all varieties of the common bean, it is native to the Americas, but has been introduced around the world.
Soybeans: Soybeans, native to East Asia, serve up an impressive 18 grams of protein for every cup, which is comparable to a hamburger patty.
Almonds: A great between-meal snack that both fills you up and provides a nutritional punch. One handful of nutrient-dense almonds gives you 6 grams of protein.
Nut butter: Spread the equivalent of 4 tablespoons of almond butter on your toast in the morning for 12 grams of protein, or peanut butter, which gives you eight grams of protein for every two tablespoons.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a breakfast of champions with 12 grams of protein per serving. Top it off with some nut butter and soy milk and you’ll be fueling yourself for a productive day with over 20 grams of protein in a single plant-based meal.
Hemp seeds: Per serving, hemp seeds provide 31 grams of complete protein, while a chicken breast only gets you 26 grams. As it’s a complete protein, hemp offers you all nine essential amino acids. They are also easily integrated into a wide range of dishes, like smoothies, granola, oatmeal, and salads.