Many people worry that they can’t get enough protein when adopting a plant-based diet. And if they have been suffering from food intolerances and allergies that require restrictive dietary requirement without gluten, soy, grains, and legumes, that challenge may seem even more difficult.
Well, we are here to bust that myth!
There are plenty of healthy, soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and legume-free plant sources of protein that you can easily add to your diet.
Here are our top 12 plant sources of protein (soy-free and gluten-free too!) that you can add to your diet:
Similarly to chia seeds, hemp seeds are a complete protein. Hemp seeds yields 10 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. They can be used in a similar way to chia seeds.
A one serve portion (1/4 cup) provides about 120 calories, 15 grams of good fat, just a few grams of carbs, and an impressive 8 to 10 grams of plant protein. They’re also nutrient-packed, and health protective.
This hearty, grain-like food (it's actually a seed) is an excellent substitute for rice, oats, and other grains. Add to soups or salads or have as a side. One cup of cooked quinoa adds 8 grams of protein to your diet.
This lush green fruit actually contains all 18 essential amino acids, making it a source of complete protein. They also offer omega-3 fatty acids, and trace minerals including zinc and selenium.
Almonds yields 16.5 grams of protein per ½ cup. They also provide a good amount of calcium and vitamin E, which is great for the skin and eyes as well as the bones.
One serving of sunflower seeds contains 175 calories, 5 grams of protein, 14 grams of good fats and 3 grams of fibre. Sunflower seeds are a healthy way to consume protein due to the high content of good fats and low content of bad fats. So sunflower seeds are, for practical purposes, a complete protein.
Pistachios are a rich protein source. Most nuts contain large amounts of protein relative to their size, and pistachios are no exception. One serve of pistachios (approximately 49 pistachio kernels) contains 6 grams of protein.
One serve of walnuts (7 whole, 14 halves, or 1/4 cup) contains 2.5 g of ALA and is about: 183 calories, 18 g fat, 1.7 g saturated fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g fibre, and 5g protein. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain high amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids (also known as ALA), which promote heart health and help lower blood pressure.
These tiny seeds are 20% protein, as well as offering a ton of fibre and 5 times more calcium content than milk. Enjoy sprinkled on your meals, added to soups, or grind them up and add to smoothies for an extra protein boost.
Tahini (Sesame butter)
Nearly every nut out there also has a nut butter to accompany it - not just tahini, but almond butter, cashew butter, etc., so you can liven up your gluten-free crackers or bread or spread some on celery. Two tablespoons of tahini have an impressive 7 grams of protein.
Greens like spinach, romaine and kale may not contain as much protein as nuts or beans, but if you eat several servings a day, you'll boost your protein intake by 4-5 grams per cup, as well as adding important vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Spirulina is blue or green algae that contain around 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. It is also rich in nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins — although not vitamin B-12 — and manganese.