Every day people are becoming more and more aware about their diet and what they should and should not have in their body to stay healthy.
There has been a lot of negative publicity about animal proteins, but the opposite goes for plant proteins which are classified as a healthier option.
Of course, protein is a big element of the diet. In recent times, vegetable protein has become a popular choice and a necessity for vegetarians and vegans. While plant protein is great for you, many don’t realize the importance of eating both the right amount and the right kind of protein.
On PledgeSportsAt , we not only specialize in helping athletes, teams and sports people raise funds through sports crowdfunding, but as athletes ourselves we recognize the importance of plant proteins in keeping our bodies running.
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Therefore, we have compiled a list of the best sources of plant protein so that you can be sure that your body is getting exactly what it needs.
Sunflower, Sesame and Poppy
These seeds pack a powerful protein punch, making them ideal sources of plant protein. Per quarter-cup of sunflower seeds, you get an incredible 7.3 grams of protein, while sesame and poppy seeds will both give you an impressive 5.4 grams.
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Plus, all of these seeds are great for getting your dose of omega-3 fatty acids, making them an ideal plant replacement for salmon.
unsweetened raw cocoa
As legend goes, chocolate milk is a great source of protein for recovering athletes.
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Well, we don’t claim that’s true or false, but what we do know for a fact is that if you can get your hands on unsweetened raw cocoa, there’s a ton of this stuff. Chickpeas will give you one gram of protein, as well as boosting your manganese, iron and copper levels.
If you thought sunflower seeds were impressive, take a look at these little beauties. You get an incredible 8 grams of protein in a quarter cup of almonds.
high protein nuts and berries
The added benefits of vitamin E, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids make almonds an excellent source of vegetable protein.
This famous Asian dish is also a well-known plant protein source. What do you get when you freeze soy milk and then press the resulting curd into soft white blocks?
Let me tell you what – 20 grams of protein per half cup. Impressive.
leafy green vegetables
Maybe you’ve always been told to eat your greens growing up, and with good reason. They are rich in plant protein.
For example, two cups of raw spinach contain 2.1 grams of protein, while lettuce and cabbage have slightly less. These leafy vegetables also contain lots of antioxidants, amino acids and heart-healthy fiber.
The “king of seeds,” hemp seeds are the ultimate source of plant protein and are a surefire way to make sure your body gets what it needs.
Per quarter-cup you can expect to get 15 grams of protein, and that’s not just your average protein, it’s a complete protein with all the essential amino acids.
They are also a good source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which has fantastic properties for skin, hair and bone health.
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Quinoa has emerged as a much-hyped superfood in recent years, and for good reason too.
A half-cup of these little ones has 14 grams of the same protein mentioned above. They’re not only great sources of plant protein, but they’re also loaded with potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6 and fiber.
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More greens means more plant protein. Like their leafy counterparts, broccoli is rich in protein and a must have in your diet.
One cup of these little entrees contains 8.1 grams of protein, as well as lots of antioxidants, amino acids, and fiber.
plant based milk
Easy to digest, rich in vegetable protein and great in taste – what’s not to love about plant-based milk?
Soy milk has the most protein, with 4-8g of protein per standard 8oz glass. One thing to keep in mind, however, when buying soy milk, make sure you choose a non-GMO or organic product.
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With regard to almond, hemp and rice milks, they all contain about 1 gram of protein per glass.
Just two tablespoons of these seeds contain 4 grams of protein, so it’s easy to see why chia seeds are one of the best sources of plant protein. Like hemp seeds, chia seeds contain complete protein, including all essential amino acids.
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What’s more, the seeds of these little plants contain 11 grams of fiber, which serves as a good source of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, as well as being great for your nails, skin and bones.
Available in tablet or powder form, spirulina may be a source of plant protein on this list that you are not very familiar with. Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae, partly responsible for the production of oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere, which allowed the planet’s native life forms to evolve billions of years ago.
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As one of the most nutrient-rich foods, one tablespoon contains 4 grams of protein (more than chicken, beef, and soy per % weight). It also contains 22 amino acids, as well as being rich in beta-carotene, calcium, iron and GLA, ideal for promoting skin, hair and bone health.
Be it lupines, lentils, green peas, chickpeas, soy, broad beans, red, black or yellow beans, they are all rich in plant protein.
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Depending on which legumes you choose, each half-cup contains anything between 15-26 grams of protein. They are also excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients, including the anti-inflammatory quercetin, which is great for digestive health and blood sugar balance.
*In our opinion, it is very easy for a vegetarian to use plant protein as a meat supplement and still fill his daily protein quota. This is mainly due to the fact that dairy consumption is not restricted and dairy is a highly nutritious and popular source of protein.
However, since vegetarians rely entirely on plants, it would be very difficult for any serious athlete to consume the level of protein their body needs daily.
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