Today I'm happy to share food tips, ideas, and information about how this plant-based eater amps up quality protein in her meals.
|High Protein Salad of Mixed Beans, Brown Rice, Red Lentils, and Salad Greens|
Since I made the decision to be a vegetarian (37 years ago) and vegan (10 years ago), my journey to create a healthy lifestyle has been filled with exciting food adventures.
I've explored nutrition research, read cookbook recipes and invented my own, consulted with the experts, and listened to my body and intuition many times too.
I've discovered legumes including dried cooked beans, lentils, and dried split-peas are a low fat source of quality protein and fiber. Legumes contain important vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, and folate. Compared to animal sources of protein, whole food plant-based protein is usually lower in cost.
Protein is the building block of cells, but not the only element to consider when planning a sound vegan eating plan. It's key to eat a variety of whole plant-based foods that are colorful, and rich in nutrients.
I get protein from complex carbohydrates including grains, veggies, fruits, pulses and legumes, and make sure to drink adequate water during the day.
To add digestion, elimination, and not gain weight, I eat only a smidgen of plant-based foods that contain fat including avocado, black olives, pumpkin seeds, and a teaspoon of raw almonds or other nut.
Many brands of tofu, tempeh, and soy and nut milks are packed with protein and fortified with other nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin B12, so I get my fill of those too.
To Get More Specific, Here's a List of Vegan Foods with Protein Count Per Serving:
Organic Tofu. Protein: 8 to 15 grams (depends on how it's made) per 3 oz serving
Organic Edamame. Protein: 18 grams per 1-cup serving, cooked
Organic Tempeh. Protein: 3 oz. supply 15.77 grams cooked
Black Beans. Protein: 39 grams per cup, cooked
Mixed Salad Greens. Protein. 2 cups raw provides 2 grams
Spinach. Protein: 1-cup serving provides 1-3 grams, depending on whether it's raw or cooked.
Broccoli. Protein: 1-cup chopped serving provides 2.6 grams
Zucchini. Protein: 2.9 grams in one zucchini
Kale. Protein: 1 cup chopped kale has 2.9 grams
Kidney Beans. Protein: 13.44 grams per 1 cup, cooked
Chickpeas. Protein: 1 cup cooked provides 15 grams protein
Chickpea Hummus. Protein: 2 Tablespoon provides 2 grams
Lentils. Protein: 9 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked
Split Green Peas. Protein: 16 grams per cup, cooked
Sweet Potatoes. Protein: 1 cup provides 2.1 grams
Almonds. Protein: 1 oz of raw almonds provides 6 grams
Brazil Nuts. Protein: 6 raw nuts or 1 oz provides 4.1 grams
Pecans. Protein: 1 oz raw provides 2.6 grams
Walnuts. Protein: 1 oz raw walnuts provides 2.6 grams
Almond Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 7 grams
Cashew Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 6 grams
Peanut Butter. Protein: 2 Tablespoons raw unsalted 8 grams ( I don't eat peanuts, but include this for your information)
Sunflower Seeds. Protein: 1/2 cup provides 14.5 grams
Chia Seeds. Protein: 1 oz or about 2 Tablespoons provides 4 grams
Flax meal. Protein: 1 oz or about 2 Tablespoons provide 12 grams
Pumpkin Seeds. Protein: 1/4 cup 9 grams
Barley. Protein: 1 cup of cooked hulled barley provides 22.96 grams
Brown Rice. Protein. 1 cup of cooked brown rice provides 5 grams
Cornmeal. Protein: 1 cup of cornmeal provides 11 grams
Buckwheat. Protein: 6 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked
Nutritional Yeast. Protein: 3 Tablespoons supply 12 grams
|Whole Grain Bread, Escarole and Bean Soup, Edamame, Kale Red Pepper Butternut Squash Salad|
I'm still adding a new trick or two and read everything I can get my hands on about health and a healthy lifestyle.
I eat many servings of both fresh (raw) and cooked veggies and fruits every week. I use the fresh stuff in salads, veggie juices, and fresh food snacks, and incorporate others into sautéed, baked, and broiled dishes.
|Greens, black eyed peas, sprouts, and carrots|
These are some plant-based foods I love: broccoli, collards, beets and beet greens, carrots, red cabbage, chard, kale, blueberries, apples, and arugula. I even put certain veggies or fruits into dips, soups, and casseroles.
Dare to excel and use tempeh and tofu as toppings for salads, add to sauces, or as part of the filling for tacos, enchiladas, veggie burgers, or veggie loaf.
What I don't eat and suggest you not eat either, are processed foods, "fake" foods, and empty calories from soda, fried foods, or highly salted or sugar laden ingredients. These empty calories lower the body's natural ability to maintain optimal health.
A whole food plant-based eating plan raises your body's natural inclination to stay healthy. In the long run, eating all your fruits and veggies cuts down on medical expenses.
Did you know spices add a touch of protein as well? In fact, garlic is a stand alone spice. It works well with just about everything. If you'd like, roast the entire clove and eat it as a side dish. One teaspoon of garlic contains .2 grams.
When you make planning for a whole food plant-based diet a priority, you care for yourself in a very special way.
Rest assured that this lifestyle can help prevent chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Eating all your fruits and veggies also elevates your mood and increases your sense of well-being. Be happy, eat whole foods that are plant-based and get your fill of energy from plant-based protein.
The quote for today follows: “A plant-based diet is more likely to produce good health and to reduce sharply the risk of heart problems, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, gallstones, and kidney disease.” – T. Colin Campbell, PhD
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