Let’s count down the best plant-based proteins to have in your diet.
The twenty first century is an amazing time to be alive. People have never been more health conscious than they are now, and as a result there are a seemingly infinite number of supplements coming out every year that are meant to make you the healthiest version of yourself.
There is also a whole lot of information out there regarding what you should and shouldn’t incorporate into your diet and why. If you don’t know where to begin to look, it can seem like a daunting task!
The health community doesn’t universally agree about many things, but one thing all health and nutrition professionals are in agreement about is that the human body needs different types of protein to make it through the day, and that some sources of protein are better than others.
But what are plant-based proteins?
Most health and nutrition professionals are also in agreement that it doesn’t get better than plant-based proteins. Plant proteins are nutritionally dense and make sure the human body is running in tip top condition without the side-effects that can be associated with increasing intake of different types of animal proteins according to some professionals.
Depending on your specific needs, there is a plant protein out there that can make a big difference in your health and energy levels. Read on for our favorite types of plant-based proteins to incorporate into your day-to-day diet!
If you’ve been dialed into what’s new and exciting in health and fitness over the past couple of years, then chances are you’ve already heard plenty about quinoa! This funky little grain is a multi-tasker that does amazing things when consumed on a regular basis.
Most plant proteins aren’t considered “complete proteins,” meaning they don’t consider all of the amino acids that the human body needs so you need to mix and match different protein sources to make sure all of your health needs are covered. Quinoa is the exception to that — a serving of quinoa has all of the different types of amino acids that you need to go about your day!
Quinoa is also great if you suffer from Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, as it can be turned into a flour that is used in baking and cooking as an alternative to wheat flour. Incorporate quinoa into your next recipe that calls for a starch or a grain and you’ll see what all of the fuss is about!
Oh, spirulina. Where would we be without you? The original (seriously, it’s ancient!) superfood, spirulina is packed with protein as well as other essential vitamins and minerals that make sure you feel your best as you go through your day.
Taking a spirulina capsule as part of your daily health regimen is an easy way to make sure you are getting not only enough protein but also enough iron, copper, and potassium in your diet, which are very common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Spirulina is also notorious for being not only packed with protein, but also densely packed with protein — almost three quarters of its dry weight is pure protein!
To best utilize spirulina, you can either take a capsule if you’re on the go or you can add it to a chocolate or vanilla based protein smoothie — it has a slightly nutty flavor, so it blends well with these flavors over fruit.
Spirulina is definitely the supplement you want to go for if you’re looking for maximum effectiveness from a single source. Between the protein content and the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that spirulina contains, you’ll see in no time why it’s considered a superfood!
3. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a lesser known plant protein that packs a big punch! While it hasn’t gained as much notoriety as quinoa, nutritional yeast is a plant-based protein that you’ll want to make sure you have in your pantry for several reasons.
First, the nutritional content makes yeast a powerhouse amongst plant-based proteins. Not only is nutritional yeast packed with protein, it’s also a fantastic source of B-vitamins, which many people are deficient in that eat the processed foods that are popular in the twenty-first century diet. Making sure your B-vitamin levels are normal ensures that your energy metabolism is where it should be, which means you won’t be dragging and feeling wiped out by the end of the day.
Aside from its nutritional punch, this plant protein also has a distinct cheesy flavor which means it is so easy to include in fun recipes! As a bonus, if you’re vegan or dairy-intolerant, nutritional yeast has no dairy content so it’s a great way to add a cheesy flavor without using cheese.
Throw some nutritional yeast into the next dinner recipe you’re using that can use a little cheese-flavored action. You’ll be doing your taste buds and your body a favor at the same time!
If you’re not familiar with chlorella, prepare yourself — your life is about to be changed by a bright green algae. Yes, you read that right! Chlorella is an algae that is native to Japan, and it’s cultivated because of its insanely dense nutrition profile.
Chlorella is a plant-based protein, so it goes without saying that the protein content is remarkable — in a small, 3 tablespoon serving, there are sixteen grams of plant protein. If you’re currently imagining how great it would be to be able a whole sixteen grams of additional protein to your next smoothie, consider adding chlorella into your health and fitness regimen!
Not only is chlorella packed with protein, but what sets it apart is how densely packed it is with vitamin A, zinc, iron, and chlorophyll among other nutrients. Instead of stressing about eating the recommended 5+ servings of vegetables a day that are required to make sure you’re consuming enough chlorophyll, you can put your mind at ease when you’re adding chlorella to your diet because it’s got you covered.
Throw some chlorella in your next smoothie or pick up some chlorella capsules to make sure you’re covering all of your nutritional bases and that you’re giving your body everything it needs to get you through the day!
Do you have a favorite plant protein that we haven’t included on this list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!