Ditch the Dairy: Top 5 Plant Protein Options

If you’re actively involved in the fitness community, you know full well that dietary protein is a necessity. This is especially true if your focus is muscle building. Protein contains amino acids, the building blocks of muscle tissue. Amino acids help to protect your current levels of muscle while promoting new growth for lean tissue. Most importantly, they promote recovery post-workout. If you are a vegetarian or you have an allergy to dairy, it may seem like finding enough protein is a challenge.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of amazing plant-based protein sources that have as much protein as animal sources. Let’s take a look at the best plant protein sources that are cost effective and delicious.

  1. Quinoa

While it’s not Paleo friendly, quinoa is ideal for those looking to eat healthy without worrying about carbohydrate content. It’s a gluten-free grain and it contains protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Use it to replace rice or pasta.

How much protein?

  • ½ cup of cooked quinoa provides you with 8 grams of protein
  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins have been in the nutritional spotlight recently. Everything from pumpkin puree to pumpkin oil has been hailed as a health food. Pumpkin seeds are no different. Not only do they contain essential fatty acids but pumpkin seeds are also packed with protein.

How much protein?

  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds provides you with 12 grams of protein
  1. Lentils

Lentils are an excellent addition to any meal. As a starchy protein, lentils provide you with plenty of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. When cooking lentils, they will absorb the flavor of whatever they are cooked with, making them a tasty side dish.

How much protein?

  • 1 cup of cooked lentils provides you with 18 grams of protein
  1. Hemp Seeds

If you haven’t jumped on the hemp foods bandwagon, now is the time to start. Hemp seeds have a sweet and nutty flavor, making them ideal for baking, smoothies, or by themselves as a snack. Hemp seeds have plenty of protein but they also contain essential fatty acids, primarily omega-3s. Even if you don’t need the protein, hemp seeds make an excellent overall health food.

How much protein?

  • 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds provide you with almost 10 grams of protein
  1. Plant Protein Powder Supplement

There is no better way to get plant protein than with a high-quality plant protein powder supplement. Just as popular as its whey counterpart, plant protein is becoming a serious contender in the supplement industry. Studies show that whey and plant-based protein provide the same results. If you’re a meat eater looking to give your body a healthy alternative, plant protein may be the way to go. Made with a combination of plant proteins such as pea, hemp, cranberry, and pumpkin, this supplement can be used in place of any whey protein.

How much protein?

  • It varies according to brand but on average, you can expect between 18 to 25 grams per serving.

Tell Us What You Think!

Do you use plant protein sources?

Which ones are you favorite?

Let us know in the comments below!

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