Are you worried that a plant-based diet will leave you protein deficient? You shouldn’t be. The average sedentary man needs 56 grams per day, while the average sedentary woman needs 46 grams per day. There are plenty of foods you can eat besides meat, that will give you more than enough protein to be healthy, and even bulk up your muscles. Here are five protein players you should incorporate into any meal plan.
Mentally, peanuts might not have the same health satisfaction as a plate of peas, but they still get the job done. Enjoy your peanut butter and jelly, because there are 7 g of protein per ¼-cup serving (or 2 tbsp peanut butter).
2. Sprouted bread
Not all breads are created equal, and not all bread will make you fat. Unlike white bread, sprouted bread has grains that were soaked in water until they began to grow a sprout. This process makes the grain low glycemic and easier to digest. Ezekiel bread falls into this category, and packs an impressive 5 g of protein per slice, and 18 amino acids. Bonus: it has no sugar!
Buckwheat isn’t usually on the menu at your average chain restaurant, but if you like Japanese food, you’ve probably eaten it in the form of soba noodles. It’s name may suggest it is a form of wheat, but it’s actually not a grain. The edible seed portion is from a plant similar to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat can add gluten-free heartiness to salads and bowls, along with 3 g of protein per 1/2 cup serving.
Tempeh is another underdog that has made a name for itself in the plant-powered community. At 16 g of protein per 3 oz serving, this dense brick of fermented soybeans is the nutty, chewy solution for tofu-haters. Try it mixed with sweet cranberries and tangy dressing in Veestro’s Kale and Quinoa Salad.
5. Black beans
Black beans bring the party in the can, with 7.6 g of protein per 1/2 cup serving (cooked). They can be added to almost any dish for a sprinkling of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6. Beans are often added to rice to make a “complete protein,” or a meal that provides nine of the amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own.