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20 of my favourite Plant-based Foods that are High in Protein

On my quest to include even MORE veggies in my diet and reduce the amount of animal products (to skip out on nasties like antibiotics, hormones and saturated fat) I've been deep-diving into protein sources to keep my muscles lean and refuelled.

Most people have no idea how much protein they’re actually supposed to get in a day (and often eat way too much), but meant-eaters always seem to wonder how plant-based peeps get enough protein. *EYE ROLL*. Whether you're onto meat-free Monday's, or going full vegan, there's no reason to miss out on this all-important macronutrient.

Here are my all-time favourite sources of plant-based protein:

Nutritional Yeast – 9 grams of protein per two tablespoons: Good source of fibre, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and all the B vitamins, including B12

Kidney Beans – 13 grams of protein per cup: Great source of calcium, vitamin C, fibre, and B vitamins

Seitan – 25 grams of protein per 100 grams (same as a steak): Great source of selenium

Soy Milk – 8 grams of protein per cup (same as cows’ milk): Great source of potassium, isoflavones, and vitamins A and B12, and often fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Tempeh – 41 grams of protein per cup (double that of chicken breast): Great source of probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus

Tofu – 20 grams of protein per cup: Great source of calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine

Peanut Butter – 7 grams of protein per two tablespoons: Great source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins B6 and E

Lentils – 18 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of fibre, thiamine, folate, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K

Ezekiel Bread – 8 grams of protein per two slices: Great source of fibre, folate, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E

Chia Seeds – 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons: Great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, niacin, and vitamins B, D, and E, and contains 8.7 times the omega-3 fatty acids found in wild Atlantic salmon

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Green Peas – 9 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and several B vitamins as well as fibre, folate, manganese, and vitamins A, C, and K

Chickpeas – 15 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese

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Asparagus – 4.5 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of B vitamins and folate

Almonds – 21 grams of protein per 100 grams: Great source of vitamin E, manganese, biotin, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, riboflavin, and phosphorus

Buckwheat – 24 grams of protein per cup: Great source of antioxidants, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, zinc, iron, folate, and vitamin B6

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Hemp Seeds – 15.5 grams of protein per half-cup: Great source of magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Pistachios – 21 grams of protein per 100 grams: Great source of copper, manganese, thiamine, phosphorus, and vitamin B6

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Artichokes – 8 grams of protein per cup: Great source of vitamin C, fibre, potassium, and magnesium

Spinach – 5 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6 as well as niacin, zinc, fibre, thiamine, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese

Quinoa – 8 grams of protein per cooked cup: Great source of fibre, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium

ADDITIONAL PROTEIN BOOSTERS

If you're doing a LOT of weight training or feel like you just need an extra boost, add in some plant-based protein powder. They usually contain either soy, hemp, rice or pea protein. I personally love Switch Nutrition and Botanica.

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Another hack is to use a plant-based milk high in protein, such as Like Milk from Australias Own, made from pea protein with 8.3g protein per serve.

Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).

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