When many people think of protein, they think of meat. But with doctors warning of the health risks of eating too much red meat, this common misconception is becoming a thing of the past. Now we recognize that plant-based protein is a healthy alternative.
How much protein do you really need? Nutritionists recommend that 10-35 percent of your daily calories come from protein. This is around 46-56 grams per day for the average adult.To supercharge your plant-based meals, try these strategies.
1. Aim for Variety
Get the complete proteins (those containing all nine essential amino acids) your body needs by eating different proteins throughout the day. The best sources include legumes such as beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas.
2. Don’t Overlook Grains
Unfortunately, we often think of grains as carbs, when in fact healthy whole grains – particularly those known as ancient grains – are a significant source of complete protein. Try wild, red and black rice, whole wheat, steel-cut oats, amaranth and quinoa.
3. Snack Smart
Smart bites of protein-packed snacks, for example, nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia) throughout the day keep your energy up and hunger at bay.
4. Go for Greens
Often overlooked, green veggies such as spinach, broccoli, avocado, and of course edamame, pack plenty of protein per ounce.