Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources
If you’re looking to increase your protein intake without consuming animal products, here’s a list of foods that are satisfying and offer up protein:
Pumpkin Seeds. ‘Tis the season! Do you have any leftover seeds from your fall festivities? You can dry them and/or roast them for a tasty addition to a salad or a satisfying snack on their own. One ounce of pumpkin seeds provides 9.35 grams of protein. They’re also packed with other nutrients like zinc and phytosterols which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and elevate HDL (good) cholesterol.
Peanuts. You may have been raised on peanut butter sandwiches, but as a child you probably had no idea just how nutritious those peanuts are. One ounce of peanuts has 7.3 grams of protein. Peanuts also contain heart-healthy CoEnzyme Q10, niacin and cholesterol-reducing resveratrol.
Quinoa. It has the highest percentage of protein content per volume of any grain—16 percent per volume! This means that a ¼ cup (dry) quinoa has 6 grams of protein. Quinoa is also rich in magnesium, manganese, copper and phytonutrient lignans.
Cauliflower. One of cup cooked cauliflower gives you 2.28 grams of protein and a bunch of nutrients that reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, including carotenoids (beta-carotene and phytonutrients), cancer-fighting sulforaphane, vitamin C, manganese and all kinds of B-vitamins!
Broccoli. One cup of chopped broccoli gives you 2.7 grams of protein, and a whole lot more. Broccoli contains glucoraphanin (which the body processes into sulforaphane), which helps the skin to detoxify and repair itself, along with ridding the body of H. pylori which increases the risk of gastric cancer. It also contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant and anti-carcinogen, which may hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer along with boosting liver function.