How to Incorporate More Plant Based Protein Sources Into Your Diet

Enhancing your diet with more plant-based proteins is an excellent way to promote optimal health, and these foods are much more sustainable than animal proteins.

Many of these foods are high in fiber and antioxidants that may help prevent chronic diseases while providing you with energy. Plus, plant-based proteins tend to have lower amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol than meat-based proteins do.

1. Eggs

Eating eggs is an excellent way to incorporate more plant-based protein into your diet. They provide essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals as well as being low in calories.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain essential nutrients like vitamin A, D, choline and B12. Not only that, but eggs also supply essential amino acids like lysine and methionine which your body requires for proper functioning.

When purchasing eggs, opt for organic ones that are free from antibiotics and hormones. Not only are these healthier for your health, but they use less land and water resources in production – leading to greater sustainability overall.

Eating more eggs daily can not only reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but a recent study revealed that people who consumed an average of an egg per day were almost 20% less likely to develop heart disease than those who didn’t.

Additionally, increasing your egg consumption may increase levels of HDL cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol which reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes. This is because HDL helps absorb and remove fats from the body, benefitting overall wellbeing.

Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A – another vital nutrient for eye health.

2. Legumes

Beans, peas and lentils are an excellent plant-based source of protein. Additionally, they provide fiber, B vitamins and minerals.

Eat them raw in a salad, add them to a soup or use them as the basis of a casserole or pasta dish. They make an excellent addition to any diet – vegetarian or not alike!

According to the Food Safety Authority of Canada (EFSA), apples are high in fibre and can help lower cholesterol levels. Furthermore, they have low saturated fat and no gluten or allergens.

Legumes are low in calories and high in protein, making them an ideal option for those looking to up their protein intake without adding extra calories.

Peas, beans and red kidney beans are some of the most popular varieties. Black beans, chickpeas and other dried legumes can also be found at your local supermarket in cans. For convenience though, most supermarkets carry canned legumes for convenience.

Most legumes require some preparation before eating, though many don’t need soaking. You can soak dried legumes overnight and then rinse them thoroughly before cooking, or cook some of your soaked legumes in a pressure cooker.

Canned legumes are an easy way to incorporate more legumes into your diet. Canned legumes can easily be added to soups, stews, pasta sauces and quinoa dishes for a nutritious boost of nutrition.

If you are concerned about bloating and gas when increasing your legume consumption, try exercising or taking a digestive enzyme supplement to break down the fibers found in these legumes. Additionally, increasing water consumption may help keep you regular as you add more legumes into your diet.

3. Nuts

Plant-based foods are a healthy and sustainable option that may reduce your risk for chronic illnesses. Furthermore, they have less of an environmental impact since they require less land and water than animal-based proteins do.

Registered dietitians typically recommend including plant-based sources of protein into your diet. Options include beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains; you can also incorporate plant proteins into soups, salads and other meals for extra nutrition.

Nuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein and provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. These essential nutrients can benefit your overall wellbeing – including your heart, bones and brain.

Eating a handful of unsalted nuts daily can help protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease, by lowering cholesterol levels and improving blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids and fibre.

Nuts can be used in a variety of dishes, from smoothies and omelettes to burgers and soups. They go great with various sauces like buffalo sauce, marinara sauce, barbeque sauce or tikka masala.

If you want to maximize your money-saving potential, opt for nuts in the shell. This makes portion control much simpler and you can eat fewer nuts per serving.

Nut butters are an excellent way to increase your protein intake without adding extra calories. Popular varieties are cashews, almonds, peanuts or sunflower seeds and can be made with cashews, almonds, peanuts or sunflower seeds.

Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and fiber that help lower your cholesterol levels and make you feel full for longer. Furthermore, they contain antioxidants, iron and zinc.

4. Seeds

Eating a plant-based diet offers numerous health and nutritional benefits, but one of the challenges can be figuring out how to incorporate more plant-based proteins into one’s meals. With that being said, here are some helpful tips on incorporating more of these protein sources into your meals.

Eating more seeds is an excellent way to increase the amount of healthy fats, fiber, and protein in your diet! There are various varieties of seeds with each having its own distinct nutritional profile.

Seeds are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support optimal bodily functioning. They can increase energy levels, lift your moods and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Seeds not only support healthy skin and hair, but they can also boost your immunity! You can easily incorporate more seeds into your diet by adding them to salads, soups, baked goods or smoothies.

Seeds tend to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than nuts, making them a great source of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats and fibre.

Chia and hemp seeds contain compounds that may help reduce inflammation in your body. Furthermore, they’re packed full of essential minerals like zinc, iron and calcium for optimal health benefits.

These nutrients are vital for maintaining a strong and healthy immune system. Furthermore, they may reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Seeds are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus to support bone strength and encourage bone growth. Furthermore, they contain copper which reduces inflammation associated with arthritis and migraine headaches.

By including more seeds in your diet, you can increase the protein in your meal while still avoiding excessive saturated fats and cholesterol. It is important to remember that seeds are not a complete protein source; so be sure your diet includes other sources of plant proteins like legumes, nuts and eggs as well.

5. Dairy

When trying to incorporate more plant-based protein sources into your diet, it’s essential to remember that you still need to eat a variety of nutritious foods in order to receive the full spectrum of nutrients. The most effective way to do this is by including protein-rich plants into various meals and snacks throughout the day.

Dairy products are an excellent source of protein and calcium for your diet, as well as being an excellent source of vitamin D. They should be included as part of a balanced meal plan for children, teens and adults alike.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese provides about one third of your daily protein and calcium needs. Unfortunately, full-fat dairy is high in saturated fat; thus it’s important to choose low- or fat-free versions to cut calories while decreasing heart disease risks.

In addition to dairy, many plant-based foods can provide high amounts of protein and other essential nutrients. Examples include seeds, nuts, whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), vegetables, fruits and soy products.

To ensure you are getting enough protein, track how much food you eat and which dishes fill you up. Eating a variety of protein-rich items alongside non-starchy vegetables will help ensure that you feel satisfied for longer.

You may want to consider meat substitutes, which look and feel similar to animal protein but are made from plants. Popular options for those seeking a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle include tofu, tempeh, seitan and mycoprotein.

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