4 Plant-Based Food Groups That Provide a Great Source of Protein

Plant Based Food

Have ever decided to become vegetarian or vegan, or have you simply wanted to make more plant based nutrition choices? If you have, you might have been faced with concerns around getting adequate protein intake. With a balanced plant based diet you should be able to get plenty of protein to meet your body’s needs. Check out the following plant based foods, which all provide a good source of protein.

1. Tempeh, tofu and edamame (the soy family)

The soy family provides an excellent source of protein and it’s cheap and readily available throughout Asia. Edamame beans can often be ordered as a side dish, especially in Japanese restaurants, or you can buy some and steam them yourself. Tofu and tempeh can easily be found at local markets and supermarkets, and it’s a regular offering at many restaurants, especially throughout Thailand. 

Tempeh is the fermented version of tofu, so it can be an excellent choice to help promote great gut health.

2. Grains and legumes

Rice is a staple food throughout all of Asia. You only need to visit the supermarket to observe the rows full of huge bags of it!  Rice does contain protein, but did you know that there are other grains that contain a good source of protein? 

It’s important to include a range of different grains and legumes in your diet, rather than just the same ones all the time. To help cover your protein bases, try grains such as oats, buckwheat (technically not a grain, but it’s usually grouped as one) and quinoa. Legumes include black beans, kidney beans and chick peas. You may need to purchase some of these at specialty grocery or organic stores.

3. Vegetables and fungi

In Asia we are spoilt for choice in terms of mushroom varieties. You won’t easily find the varieties we have in abundance here, in most Western countries. The great news is that they’re a good source of protein. Try out different tasty and nutritious types such as Shitake, oyster and Enoki. 

Many of the vegetables that are readily available in Asia, also provide a source of protein. Examples include local greens such as kai lan, zucchini and pumpkin. Note that the protein content is lower than the other foods listed in this article.

4. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds can be a little on the pricey side, but they are worth it in terms of their nutritional value. They’re a great source of protein, as well as good fats. Try chia seeds and hemp seeds for a big nutritional kick. 

Any other varieties of raw nuts will also contain good levels of protein. Try out cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts for a delicious and nutritious snack, or addition to any meal. You can also get your protein intake from nuts and seeds by consuming nut or seed butter spreads such as tahini or almond butter (again, you may need to purchase these at a specialty store).

Note that most plant-based foods are not a complete source of protein. This means that they don’t contain the full spectrum of amino acids required in the body (although some, such as tofu do). This means that you need to choose a variety of plant-based protein sources to ensure you’re getting the full range of amino acids and therefore an adequate protein intake.

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Nutrition, Vegan & Vegetarian

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