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Surprising Plant Derived Protein Sources

Surprising Plant Derived Protein Sources

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Surprising Plant Derived Protein Sources
By: Daniella SeguraCC BY 2.0

When you think of getting protein through your food, plant-based sources probably aren’t the first thing that pops into your mind. That doesn’t mean plants aren’t a great way to eat protein however. In fact, plant protein is an essential part of completing the chain, and providing your body with complete protein. So if you’re looking to eat some protein from plants, instead of meat or dairy, here are some healthy and delicious choices.

Kale, along with a powerhouse of other vitamins and minerals, provide a good amount of protein. At 2.2 grams for one cup of raw kale, and 2.5 grams cooked, it offers more than most other vegetables. Aside from complete proteins kale has loads of vitamin K, vitamin A, and calcium, so eat up!

Avocados are almost too good to be true. Their creamy, savory flavor and texture, makes their nutritional content all the more sweet. Aside from a plethora of vitamins and minerals, avocados also contain 4.5 grams of proteins per cup.

Their crunchy texture makes them a delectable addition to any sandwich, but it’s not just an incredible texture that makes alfalfa sprouts special. These nutrient dense little guys, pack a decent plant-based protein punch at 1.3 grams per cup. Throw in a whole bunch of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and alfalfa sprouts start to seem as nutritious as they are tasty.

Like the aforementioned kale, spinach actually becomes more protein packed when cooked. A cup of cooked spinach has an incredible 5.3 grams of protein, raw only .9 grams. Most of the vitamins and minerals found in kale also increase when cooked, so don’t be afraid to throw some spinach into that saute pan!

Animal based proteins are an important, if not necessary part of a balanced diet. Animals aren’t the only way we can get our protein however. While plants don’t always offer complete protein, they do complete animal proteins, making them an important part of a healthy diet. If you’re looking to get some extra protein without the extra saturated fat and cholesterol associated with animal based protein, throw some kale, avocado, alfalfa sprouts, or spinach into your meal.

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