Getting enough protein is a common dietary concern and for good reason. Protein is required by every cell in our bodies, essential for building everything from hormones to muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, meals don’t need to include a large piece of meat to meet your protein needs – and you don’t have to rely on soy or heavily processed fake “meats” either. Many plant-based foods are good sources of protein. Eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods each day will put you well on the way to meeting your daily protein intake – no tofu dogs required!
Eat your greens
You knew they were good for you, but did you know dark leafy greens like spinach, collards and kale contain five grams of protein per cup? True super foods, there is a place for greens in every meal from smoothies to salads.
A handful of raw, unsalted nuts is protein-packed and also offers healthy fats and fiber. The ultimate convenience snack, keep some in your bag or desk for whenever hunger strikes.
Power up your smoothie
Protein powders aren’t just for bodybuilders! High quality, plant-based protein powders made from seeds such as pumpkin or hemp provide 15 grams of protein per serving. Mix a scoop into your morning or after-workout smoothie.
Spill the beans
With thousands of varieties and countless ways to enjoy them, beans and lentils are fast, easy and affordable. Cook and freeze dried varieties in batches or keep cans on hand in the pantry (look for low sodium and BPA-free linings) to instantly add protein to a meal.
Get with the grain
Great for more than just fiber, whole grains also contain protein. Think outside the box of brown rice, oats or quinoa and try lesser-known grains like buckwheat, millet or amaranth to switch up your meals.