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7 Plant-Based Complete Proteins You Need To Try

7 Plant-Based Complete Proteins You Need To Try

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7 Plant-Based Complete Proteins You Need To Try

Despite what we've all grew up believing about meat, dairy, and eggs being the only sources of complete protein; other alternatives are plant sources.

There are 20 amino acids in the human body: nine of which are essential, meaning your body can’t produce on its own, and eleven that are non-essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids are types that our bodies can produce without the help from food.

The nine essential amino acids are what we know as a complete protein, are much more beneficial than incomplete proteins. So what happens if you don't eat animal proteins or are switching to a more plant-based diet? There are plenty of alternative sources of complete protein like spirulina and hemp seeds. 

All of the seven foods mentioned below are a complete source of protein; some have higher amounts of protein than any animal protein -- for example, Steak= 25% of protein.

Try adding these to your next meal and see what you think!

SPIRULINA

Spirulina is a type of dark green algae and one of the best of all sources of complete protein. It's 60-70% protein compared to beef, which is only 22% protein. Spirulina has 4 grams of protein per teaspoon compared to a teaspoon of beef with just 1 gram. Spirulina also contains more calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 than any other food. Incorporate spirulina to your daily routine by adding a tablespoon in a smoothie with some spinach, frozen avocado, vanilla, a frozen banana, and blueberries, with unsweetened almond milk for a delicious breakfast or post workout meal that keeps you energized and feeling strong all day long.

HEMP SEEDS

Hemp seeds are some of the best sources and abundant in magnesium, B vitamins, iron, omega 3 and omega 6 fats, and potassium. Hemp seeds contain 13 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons and 14 grams of fiber. I love adding them to oats or sprinkling some on my smoothie bowls or salads. You can also find hemp seed protein powder, which is also a great smoothie add in!

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based protein because they are rich in iron, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, and omega three fats. For only two tablespoons of chia, you’ll get 10 grams of protein plus 14 grams of fiber to keep you full and satiated. I enjoy them as an add into smoothies, oatmeal, and salads as well as in chia seed pudding with unsweetened coconut milk.

GOJI BERRIES

These red berries not only contain 500x more vitamin per ounce or oranges but are also an excellent source of complete protein, packing in 18 amino acids. They have a strong, slightly bitter, but with some of that sweet berry aftertaste. Add them to smoothies, granola, trail mix, and salads!

BUCKWHEAT

Regardless of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, nor does it contain gluten. Although it gets categorized in the grain family due to its nutrient profile, it isn’t even an actual grain. Buckwheat is a great source of complete protein, B vitamins, fiber, and magnesium. Many people enjoy it as a gluten-free alternative hot cereal; you can also eat it sprouted or made into granola or as a topping for salads. It has a rich nutty flavor with a robust heartiness that will keep you full for hours.

BEE POLLEN

These little bright yellow granules created by bees from flowering plants is a nutrient-dense food that has 5-7 times more protein than beef. Bee pollen also contains a lot of immune supporting properties and is excellent for fighting off allergies, particularly sinusitis and hay fever.  I love adding g them as toppings for smoothie bowls or golden milk.

QUINOA

This magical grain-like seed is a rich source of protein and one of the healthiest complex carbs you can eat. Quinoa is also a rich source of iron, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber. Cooked with some savory seasonings and veggie broth or even eaten for breakfast with cinnamon, bananas, and coconut milk, quinoa is the perfect meal addition, any way you use it.

Have you tried any of these? How do you incorporate them to your daily routine?

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