30 Plant-Based Sources of Protein

13. Almonds for your health Almonds are native to the Middle East, but the US is now the world’s largest producer. The almonds you can buy… Rina - April 5, 2020
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13. Almonds for your health

Almonds are native to the Middle East, but the US is now the world’s largest producer. The almonds you can buy in stores usually have the shell removed, revealing the edible nut inside. They are sold either raw or roasted. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, but they may also have significant fat-burning power. If you are aiming for a flat stomach, you need to get your cravings in hand.

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The best way is to snack on healthy foods which make you feel fuller for a longer time and do not bloat your stomach at the same time. Eating almonds every day is associated with greater weight loss and higher fat metabolism. They are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Almonds are rich in magnesium and nutrients which promote hair growth. By preventing dandruff and hair damage, almond provides sufficient nutrition to the hair follicles that make the hair strands stronger, thus reducing hair fallout.
Almonds 1oz, 6g, 5.6g, 3.3g fiber, 164 calories

cashews. Unsplash

14. Cashews are better cooked

The cashew tree is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple. Cashews contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants. When consumed daily, these antioxidant compounds can protect the eyes from the type of damage that can lead to blindness as we get older.  They can also help decrease the risk of cataracts. Magnesium in cashew nuts is essential for regulating the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, which may further help you lose weight. While nuts are high in calories, eating the right amount daily can actually help lose weight.

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Can you live off of cashews alone? You’d need to take a vitamin C supplement to survive any meaningful length of time. Cashews don’t provide complete amino acids, so you’d eventually develop some protein issues. Additionally, cashews must be cooked or steamed before consumption, as in their raw state they contain urushiol, a chemical which is also found in poison ivy and can be fatal if consumed in large enough amounts.
Cashews 1 oz 5.2g protein, 8.6g carbs, 0.9g fiber, 157 calories

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15. Eat more Walnuts!

Walnuts are the only nuts that are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, along with the almost-extinct butternut. They are dense in nutrients and provide heart-healthy fats. The combination of healthy fats, protein, and fiber in walnuts helps to increase satisfaction and fullness. How many walnuts should you eat in a day? “A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut,” said US chemistry professor and study researcher Joe Vinson in a statement.

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“But unfortunately, people don’t eat a lot of them.” His advice: eat seven walnuts a day. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other things, DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline. Their many benefits include:
Walnuts 10z, 4.3g protein, 3.9g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 185 calories

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16. Pistachios and better sleep

Pistachio nuts are not only tasty and fun to eat but also super healthy. They are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and various nutrients such as vitamin B6 and thiamine. Their health effects may include weight loss benefits, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and improved gut, eye, and blood vessel health. Pistachios hit the sleep-inducing jackpot, packing in protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which contribute to better sleep. Pistachios contain about 660 nanograms melatonin per gram of pistachio, which was more than various other foods.

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Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland to regulate the body’s internal biological clock and control daily sleep cycles. It is not recommended to eat the right before bed. These take longer to digest and can keep you awake. Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health but also improve your serotonin levels. Examples include peanut butter (read the label to make sure peanuts are the only ingredient) and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios.
Pistachios 1oz, 5.8 protein, 7.9g carbs, 2.9g fiber, 158 calories

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17. The delicious Hazelnut

Hazelnuts are a delicious snack, and they provide a range of benefits, including improving heart health and reducing inflammation. The hazelnut, also known as the filbert, is a type of nut that comes from the Corylus tree.  Rich in unsaturated fats high in magnesium, calcium, and vitamins B and E. Hazelnuts are good for your heart, help reduce the risk of cancer, and aid in muscle, skin, bone, joint and digestive health.

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It is also good for your skin. It’s loaded with skin-nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids that help protect skin against sun damage, boost collagen production, and more. The robust amount of vitamin E present in hazelnuts help maintain the skin and hair health. Vitamin E protects the skin and hair from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of skin cancer and dark spots.
Hazelnuts 1oz, 4.2g protein, 4.7g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 178 calories

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18. Macadamia The hardest nut

Macadamia is a genus of four species of trees indigenous to Australia. These nuts are high in healthy fats and may help those trying to lose weight. One serving of macadamia nuts also contain dietary fiber, protein, manganese, thiamin, and a good amount of copper. The fat content of macadamia nuts is higher than that of other popular nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts. Eating 1.5–3 ounces (42–84 grams) of macadamia nuts each day may significantly reduce markers of inflammation, such as leukotriene B4.

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Inflammation is a risk factor for heart disease. One nut you have likely never seen in the shell is the macadamia, and for good reason. Unlike opening a peanut or pistachio, it takes some serious muscle to extract the edible nut from its shell: 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to be exact, making it the hardest nut in the world to crack!
Macadamia nuts 1oz, 2.2g protein, 3.9g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 203 calories

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19. Pecans

The pecan is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States. Pecans are excellent sources of manganese and copper, two minerals that boost overall metabolic health and anti-inflammatory properties, and potentially help reduce the risk of heart disease. The added benefit: These nutrients have shown promise specifically in preventing high blood pressure. Pecans are an excellent source of L-arginine, an amino acid which, when applied topically helps treat male pattern baldness as well as encourage the growth of healthy hair.

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This, in turn, increases the rate of blood flow throughout the body and to the hair roots which is vital for healthy hair growth and scalp. Pecans contain vitamin A and vitamin E, which are nutrients that contribute to the prevention of wrinkles and premature aging. The fiber content of pecans can help eliminate these toxins which in turn will support skin health. Pecans contain antioxidants that can help prevent the development of fine lines and wrinkles.
Pecans 1oz, 2.6g protein, 3.9g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 196 calories

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20. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. This combination has benefits for both the heart and liver. The fiber in pumpkin seeds helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. A serving of pumpkin seeds (around 1 ounce one handful) will give you a fifth of your daily requirement for protein, over half your requirement for phosphorous, almost half of your copper and magnesium requirement, a quarter of your zinc needs and 16 percent of your iron intake.

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Pumpkin is a healthy food rich in nutrients and compounds that can support blood sugar control. Several animal studies have shown that it may lower blood sugar, potentially improving diabetes management and helping slow the progression of the disease in some cases. Pumpkin seeds are a skin superfood because they’re so high in zinc. Zinc protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal.
Pumpkin seeds 1oz, 9.3g, 3.8g, 1.1g, 148

21. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family native to Central America. Despite their small size, chia seeds are full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, and they provide fiber, iron, and calcium. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.

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Have you considered drinking them? When you think of foods, you rarely think of hydration. But don’t be fooled, if you have trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, chia seeds are a terrific aid. With their unique ability to absorb over 10x their weight in liquid, chia seeds are the ultimate hydration food.
Chia seeds 1oz, 4.4g protein, 12.4g carbs, 10.7g fiber, 139 calories

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22. Flaxseeds

Flax, also known as common flax or linseed. It is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. Textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. Flaxseed is commonly used to improve digestive health or relieve constipation. Flaxseed may also help lower total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition to being used in food, flaxseed oil can be applied to the skin to enhance skin health and increase skin moisture.

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Alternatively, some people use flaxseed oil as a hair mask to promote growth and shine. Flaxseeds are rich in proteins. So, when you consume a teaspoon of flaxseeds, along with dietary fiber, the protein content suppresses your appetite. This prevents you from overeating, thereby helping you in losing weight. Flaxseeds are low in starch and sugar, hence they are not high on calories. Flax seeds are safe for most people when consumed in moderate amounts. But there are some things to keep in mind before you take flax seeds to lose weight. Don’t consume raw or unripe flax seeds. Not only will they cause indigestion, but they may also contain toxic compounds.
Flaxseeds 1oz, 7.1g protein, 10.6g carbs, 7.1g fiber, 159 calories

Sesame seeds. Image via Shutterstock

23. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds, despite their tiny size, are a valuable cash crop. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. Regularly eating substantial portions of these seeds (not just an occasional sprinkling on a burger bun) may aid blood sugar control, combat arthritis pain, and lower cholesterol. Sesame seeds are rich in lignans that may help burn fat as they cause the body to release more fat-burning liver enzymes.

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Sesame seeds are an excellent source of protein, which helps increase your metabolic rate and curbs hunger, thereby avoiding excessive calorie consumption and aiding weight loss. They are full of calcium as well, eating just 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds adds 88 mg of calcium to a person’s diet. Sesame seeds also contain zinc and copper, and both are beneficial to bone health. They also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which can worsen symptoms of many disorders, including arthritis.
Sesame seeds 1oz, 5g protein, 6.6g carbs, 3.3g fiber, 162 calories

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24. Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It’s pronounced KEEN-wah. It technically isn’t a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal. In other words, it is basically a seed, which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain. Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. Often referred to as the super grain, quinoa is high in fiber and high-quality protein. In fact, it contains more protein than any other grain while also packing in iron and potassium. This superfood is classified as a whole grain and is naturally gluten-free.

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Quinoa has a glycemic index of around 53, meaning it won’t cause as dramatic a spike in blood sugar. This means that quinoa can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes since fiber and protein are considered important for keeping blood sugar under control. Quinoa is a complete protein that is also gluten-free and full of amino acids, which helps cleanse and detoxify the body and keep your immunity up.
Quinoa 1cup cooked, 8.1gprotein, 39.4g carbs, 5.2g fiber, 222 calories

Breakfast cereal rolled oats. Image via Shutterstock

25. Rolled oats

Rolled oats are a type of lightly processed whole-grain food. Traditionally, they are made from oat groats that have been dehusked and steamed, before being rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then stabilized by being lightly toasted. Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits. These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

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The low-glycemic impact (GI) of a bowl of oatmeal eaten in the morning provides a good source of energy throughout the morning hours, without a dramatic increase or drop in blood sugar. The daily caloric impact of an oatmeal breakfast is huge. Oatmeal could help you decrease your total daily calories by as much as 81%. Oatmeal and other unrefined grains tend to be high in fiber, and fiber also may help with inflammation.
Rolled oats 1cup, 5.9g protein, 30g carbs, 4g fiber, 170 calories

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26. Barley

Barley was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia as early as 10,000 years ago. It is high in fiber, especially beta-glucan, which may reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It may also aid weight loss and improve digestion. Whole-grain, hulled barley is more nutritious than refined, pearled barley. Barley contains selenium. Getting selenium from the diet can help prevent inflammation, according to a study from 2012.

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Barley is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals. All these are excellent for your skin. It has been proven to reduce inflammation in the body. Whole grain barley is very high in dietary fiber, which allows it to be digested slowly. Combined with a high level of magnesium, whole-grain barley is considered an incredibly beneficial food for diabetics and those with a high risk of developing diabetes.
Barley 1 cup 3.5g protein, 44.3g carbs, 6g fiber, 193 calories

Asparagus. Pixabay

27. Asparagus

Asparagus is a nutrient-packed vegetable. It is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. That’s good news if you’re watching your blood sugar. It’s also a great source of copper, an essential trace mineral that aids in collagen formation, energy production and iron absorption.

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Thanks to their diuretic function, they help the cleansing process by activating the functions of the liver and kidneys that eliminate the toxins.  Asparagus Can Keep Diabetes Away. It is a popular vegetable, can keep diabetes at bay by helping blood sugar levels stay under control while boosting the output of insulin, the hormone that helps the body absorb glucose, says a study. This study suggests asparagus extract exerts anti-diabetic effects.
Asparagus 1cup, 2.9g protein, 5g carbs, 2.8 fiber, 27 calories

Broccoli. Pixabay

28. Broccoli 

Broccoli is a great source of protein as well as vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid) and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin C builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

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Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly healing for arthritis conditions, as are asparagus, pak choi, cauliflower, celery cabbage, and fennel. Studies have found that eating a serving of broccoli every day could prevent and slow the spread of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. Lutein protects your skin from oxidative damage, which can cause your skin to become dry and wrinkled.
Broccoli 1 cup 3.7g protein, 11.2g carbs, 5.1g fiber, 55 calories

Fresh spinach. Image via Shutterstock

29. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and western Asia. It is a rich source of protein and it is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach.

Spinach can be eaten alone or added to your eggs. Freepik

Low in calories and packed with the goodness of vitamins and minerals, spinach contains a high content of fiber and water, which can help facilitate weight loss. So, if you happen to maintain a healthy calorific intake, going for nutrient-dense spinach could be a really good choice. Leafy greens like spinach can help reduce inflammation. Earlier research shows nitrate in the plant has the potential to help convert “bad” fat cells, which are white, into beige cells which help to reduce obesity.
Spinach 1 cup cooked 5.3g protein, 6.8g carbs, 4.3g fiber, 41 calories

Seaweed (wakame) salad. Unsplash

30. Seaweed (wakame)

Wakame is a nutritious, edible seaweed that brings a unique taste and texture to a variety of dishes. It can add a range of vitamins and minerals to your diet for a low number of calories. It is also associated with various health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels, decreased blood pressure, enhanced weight loss and reduced blood sugar.

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Unlike land plants such as kale and spinach, seaweed contains preformed omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, so seaweed can be a reliable source of omega-3. There are several types of seaweed, and it generally comes dried or in a powder form. One common nutrient that is found across all seaweed is dietary fiber. It helps in digestion and helps in weight loss.
Seaweed (wakame) 1 cup, 5.3g protein, 6.8g carbs, 4.3g fiber, 41 calories

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