Maybe you are shifting to a plant based diet, trying to lessen your carbon footprint or simply trying to avoid meat because you are sketched out of factory farmed stuff or maybe you just prefer a totally natural herbivorous high pro diet.
What so ever your reason is, depending less upon animal products can be your first step in increasing your consumption of nutrient rich whole food and crowding out this over processed food. But the question is that how will you meet your required and desired protein requirement. People are usually worried about their protein consumption and do not know if they are taking enough of it.
You do not need to worry about it and getting into trouble; we have done the math for you. Here we have ranked the top 20 of highest protein veggies, legumes and minimally processed meat alternatives, like tempeh, just for your ease.
Protein: 6 g per ¼ cup serving
Accompanying the proteins, almond delivers a good amount of vitamin E that is really good for healthy hair and skin. 61% of the required magnesium intake can be ensured by eating almonds daily. It can also help in soothing the painful PMS cramps, strengthening the bones and easing the soreness and spasms of muscles.
Not only this, eating almonds reduces your sweet tooth cravings as well.
Protein: 2 g per ½ avocado
Avocado is a tasty, creamy and super filling fruit and it’s all because of its monounsaturated fatty acid and the presence of protein in it.
3. Brussels Sprouts
Protein: 2 g per ½ cup serving
These sprouts are not quite famous in the taste department but they are a great source of protein. Additional to the protein content, they are also packed with a good amount of vitamin K and potassium. Brussels sprouts can be roasted, fried or can be used in a salad with raw Swiss chard and cabbage.
These above mentioned foods not only contain protein but a lot of other nutrients as well and are very important for our body. Also, they are very easily available and affordable too. You should add some of these to your diet so you get the recommended amount of protein for your body.
Protein: 9 g per ½ cup serving
Comprised of low calories, high fiber and high amount of protein, lentils can be transformed into a highly nutrient dense alternative dish or into a veggie burger or you can also whip them to make a hummus like dip.
Not only this, they have other health benefits as well. They help lower the cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of heart diseases.
5. Black Beans
Protein: 7.6 g per ½ cup serving (cooked)
Heart healthy black beans, packed with fiber, potassium, foliate, a wide range of phytonutrients and vitamin B6 can be cooked to make different varieties of delicious dishes.
You can also make delicious black bean brownies from them.
6. Peanut Butter
Protein: 7 g per ¼ cup serving or 2 tbsp peanut butter
Peanut and peanut butter are not only a good option for crunching and are not just used as a classic childhood comfort food, but they are very versatile, you might not believe this but they can also be used in making a delicious pizza.
If you are trying to eat less and have a balanced diet, these can help you stay fuller for a long time so you don’t feel the hunger pangs again and again.
7. Lima Beans
Protein: 7.3 g per ½ cup serving (cooked)
You must have had these utterly delicious lima beans when you were a kid. The good news is that additional to the protein factor, lima beans also have the amino acid leucine that is thought to play an important role in the muscle synthesis in older adults.
8. Wild Rice
Protein: 6.5 g per1 –cup serving (cooked)
Apart from helping in the digestive process, boosting up the immune system and strengthening up the bones, wild rice contains a rich amount of protein that can be a reason why you should add it in your diet. Its nutty taste and chewy texture and the fact that it satisfies your appetite are the reasons why you would like it.
For a clean, comforting meal in a cold weather, you should try wild rice casserole served with goat cheese and cranberries.
9. Organic Edamame
Protein: 18 grams per 1 cup serving (cooked)
Talking about the healthiest appetizer ever, just one cup of edamame (or cooked soybeans) contains a really nice amount of protein.
You have to be very careful and select the organic variety for you, as most of the beans in the United States of America are genetically modified and are heavily treated with pesticides that are linked to several human health hazards such as headache, nausea and can also cause chronic effects like cancer and endocrine disruption.
Protein: 6 g per ½ cup serving
Having the rich amount of protein and fiber the chickpeas also make delicious hummus that you would definitely like to eat.
You can also spread chickpea dip on bread instead of mayo to make delicious sandwiches. Or maybe try veggie slices with some yummy hummus recipes.
11. Chia Seeds
Protein: 6 g per 2 tbsp
Tons of proteins are packed in these pint-sized chia seeds. Chia seeds are one of the greatest sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a plant based omega-3 fatty acid type.
Omega-3 is used in helping to stimulate the fullness of leptin hormone that makes your body burn the fats instead of storing them.
12. Organic Corn
Protein: 2.5 g per ½ cup serving
Just like the potatoes, organic corn is often categorized as “a plant having no redeeming qualities” but in reality it is packed up with legumes and rich amount of protein that can easily make a delicious protein packed plant dish.
Pick frozen varieties, organic or non GMO fresh ones, though the most conventional corn is the genetically modified one. Try it as sweet corn and butternut squash succotash.
Proteins: 5 g per ¼ cup serving
Additionally having a delicate protein punch, cashews contain 12% of your recommended Vitamin K intake and 20% of your recommended daily magnesium intake. Both are bone building nutrients.
14. Pumpkin Seeds
Proteins: 5 g per ¼ cup serving
Apart from being a highly convenient way of getting a satisfying dose of protein, the pumpkin seeds are the powerhouses of different nutrients.
They are packed with half of your recommended intake of magnesium, accompanied by zinc which helps in boosting up the immune system, tryptophan and plant based omega 3-s that help you relax.
Protein: 3 g per ½ cup serving (cooked)
Almost everyone has watched Popeye the sailorman in childhood and we all know that Popeye used to eat spinach to strengthen his muscles. The reason behind this is that spinach is really a great source of proteins. 3 grams may sound less but for green veggies, it is a lot.
We usually add spinach in salads but the secret to getting maximum benefits from this food is to eat it cooked. You can try different recipes to enjoy this delicious yet healthy food.
Proteins: 4 g in 1 medium white potato
White potatoes are another rich source of protein. In spite of having a reputation of being much devoid of all nutrition, 4 grams of proteins is contained in a medium sized spud actually.
Along with 20% heart healthy potassium that is the recommend daily intake, potatoes are very famous among people as they can be used in different dishes and are quite tasty as well.
17. Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Protein: 5 g ¼ serving (dry)
Steel-cut oats not only provide proteins but they also have a lower glycemic index as compared to the rolled oats. This means that they do not raise the blood sugar level as much, so you feel more satisfied after eating them and they also reduce your cravings.
18. Organic Tempeh
Protein: 116 g per 3 oz. serving
Tempeh is cooked by fermenting cooked soybeans that are shaped into a dense cake. This can be sliced or pan fried like tofu.
Since it is fermented, it is easier to digest and also provides a good amount of carbs. Having a rich and bold flavor, this tempeh is a perfect organic meal. You can enjoy it in other ways like tempeh meatballs etc.
Protein: 2 g per ½ cup serving (cooked)
Broccoli is one of the edible green plants in the cabbage family. Its flowering head part is eaten as a vegetable. Broccoli has a variety of medical and nutritional benefits. It is not only an amazing source of fiber and carbs but it has a rich amount of proteins.
One of the biggest medical benefits of broccoli is that it contains cancer-fighting compounds like sulforaphane. You can eat broccoli cheese chowder, broccoli with cannellini bean & cheddar soup and most of all broccoli peanut salad, which is a great combination of two highly protein packed veggies.
20. Organic Tofu
Protein: 8 to 15 g per oz. serving
This vegetarian food is made of curdled soy milk and tastes amazing, either it is pan fried, sautéed in a stir fry or even when scrambled. Though tofu does not contain as much proteins as tempeh does, still it tastes way better.
Again, you should be careful and choose organic varieties so you can avoid genetically modified soy and the pesticides.