Being a vegetarian (or if you just don’t like meat) doesn’t mean you’ll have to consume less protein. Of course, there are many ways to add protein to your diet, but these are the best clean protein sources that will help you meet the recommended daily intake.
Protein is necessary to repair damaged cells and regenerate new ones, as well as it aids growth and development in kids, teens, and pregnant women. You need to make sure to have a protein-rich diet to maintain a healthy body.
Protein deficiency can lead to several health problems, including edema, difficulty sleeping, headache, slow healing, pale skin, weak nails, and hair loss or thinning.
Protect your health and start including these great sources of clean protein into your diet.
1. Rice Protein Powder (and Beans)
The health ranger Mike Adams from Natural News revealed via lab tests that there were astonishing levels of heavy metals in rice protein formulas. This discovery led to an advancement of the entire world’s rice protein industry.
There were several brands that instantly recognized the relevance of minimizing heavy metals in their products, including Boku Superfood, Sunwarrior, and Garden of Life. These companies were committed to limit the mercury, cadmium, tungsten, and lead contents in their products.
If you combine rice and beans, you can get a complete form of protein. In fact, many vegetarians greatly rely on this combination to boost their protein intake. Don’t forget to do your research on which companies are committed to eliminating toxic heavy metals from their rice protein powders.
Unless you’re allergic to soy, tempeh is an excellent protein-rich product that can offer you a wide variety of health benefits. Although tempeh is made from soybeans, it’s different from the highly processed soybeans that are commonly sold in the US.
Tempeh is actually a fermented soybean goodie that is loaded with bioactive peptides, which are basically small proteins. Only 100 g of tempeh consists of a whopping 18.5 g of protein and just about 200 calories, according to Natural News. This can provide an adult with around 37% of the recommended protein daily intake.
You can eat tempeh on a sandwich, add it to your salads, stir-fry it, mold into patties, or cook in curry.
3. Chia Seeds
Eating your chia pet for protein is not a really good idea because even though they use sprouted chia seeds, it’s perhaps best to eat the whole chia seeds to get the protein your body needs.
Chia seeds are a complete protein, this means that they consist of all the nine essential amino acids, and also loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids.
You can use these Mexico- and Guatemala-native seeds as a beverage base, for example in a chia fresco. Or you can simply add them to your salads, sprinkle them on oatmeal or eggs, blend them in smoothies, use them in puddings and jams, or cook them in bread.
Did you know that quinoa is related to chard and spinach? In fact, it’s a relative of the goosefoot plant, which is a cousin of chard and spinach. Quinoa is also a complete protein that is particularly essential to vegetarians with diets lacking animal protein.
After the recognition of quinoa by the US Food and Agricultural Organization, this seed has become popular, especially in recent years, mainly to its high nutritional value and versatility in cooking. North American farmers have started growing quinoa in hopes to meet the immense demand for this high-protein seed.
5. Buckwheat Groats
Buckwheat is a Ukrainian and Russian key ingredient that’s usually served as part of the main meal or as a side dish. Buckwheat is a perfectly complete protein with a properly balanced mineral structure.
Moreover, it has the potential to help regions that are prone to famine by boosting nutritional health. Buckwheat can actually thrive in drought conditions, making it a reliable source of food since it can grow in all seasons and on almost every land.
Consuming only 1 cup of buckwheat can provide you with 23 g of protein, which equals 46% of the recommended daily intake for adults. Furthermore, buckwheat is a great source of magnesium and dietary fiber.
6. Hemp Seed
Hemp seed is a wonderful option if you’re seeking nutritional health, in fact, in the case of the absence of all other food sources, this seed can even sustain your life for a few months while preventing the health problems due to nutrient deficiency.
Hemp seed has a great protein structure of 33% albumin and 66% edestin. Well, the albumin protein is similar to eggs whites’ protein and is often used as the industry standard for protein evaluation, while the edestin protein can only be found in hemp seed and is digestion-friendly as well as it may never cause food allergy since it closely resembles the globulin in your blood plasma.
Nuts contain high-fat content but are a wonderful source of protein. The amazing thing about nuts, besides their nutrients and health benefits, is that you can carry and eat them anytime anywhere. In fact, just one serving of nuts (1/4 of a cup) can provide you with up to 7 g of protein.
Experts recommend that you soak your nuts to make them a bit easier to digest, as well as to help convert more of the carbohydrates into protein.
8. Chlorophyll, Chlorella, and Spirulina
Chlorophyll is the substance that gives plants their green color, as well as it absorbs light and is essential to plants in processing sunlight into energy. You can find chlorophyll in protein powders, also, dark green leafy plants are also excellent sources.
Some of the greatest foods that are high in chlorophyll include parsley, arugula, dandelion greens, mustard sprouts, watercress, collard greens, and spinach. You may also consider eating spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, and barley grass.
9. Goji Berries
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are filled with vitamin C and contain eighteen essential amino acids, in addition to fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, zinc, and iron. Amazingly, just one cup of these berries can offer you up to 12 g of protein. No wonder that goji berries have a rooted Chinese history as a medicinal plant.
There are various ways you can include goji berries into your diet. Try adding these berries to your salads and cereals, bake them into granola, blend them in healthy smoothies, or simply eat them alone.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, can provide you with 7 g of protein per every single ounce serving. These seeds have many amazing health benefits, including mineral and antioxidant support, treatment and prevention of diabetes, antimicrobial properties, and cancer-related benefits.
Pepitas are wonderful for salads, and when roasted, it can add an exceptional and nice bite as well as a little bit of saltiness to salads (particularly salads that include kale). You can also add chopped pumpkin seed to cereals, oatmeal, or granola recipe.
The food products on this list don’t only have great protein content but will also promote your overall nutritional health and well-being.
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