30 Plant-Based Sources of Protein

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.… Rina - April 5, 2020
Quinoa salad. Image via Shutterstock

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.

Image via Shutterstock

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.

Image via Shutterstock

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

Barley. Image via Shutterstock

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.

Image via Shutterstock

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.

Image via Freepik

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.

Image via Freepik

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.

Image via Shutterstock

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

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources: