There’s plenty of reasons to include more sources of plant-based protein in your diet. Research has linked eating less meat to a lower risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Plus, it’s a more sustainable choice for the environment.
But that doesn’t mean you have to or should go vegetarian or vegan. Just including more plant-based protein and a little less animal protein has its benefits! If you’re one of those people who doesn’t feel like a meal is satisfying without meat, try cutting back the amount of animal protein on your plate, and filling it in with a source of plant-based protein.
Here are some nutritious and tasty sources of plant-based protein you can include:
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Chickpeas, Beans and Lentils
Rich in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, pulses are a great source of plant-based protein with 10-20 grams in a ½ cup serving. Try pasta made with chickpea flour, swap half the ground meat in a recipe for lentils, or fill tacos with pinto beans and a little bit of chicken.
Quinoa is a protein rich pseudo-grain that was originally cultivated in the Andes of South America. While it’s consumed like a grain, it’s technically a seed, which is why it contains a nice dose of protein, along with healthy fats. Try swapping about a quarter of the ground meat in a meatball or meatloaf recipe for cooked quinoa.
Tofu or Tempeh
Tofu is perhaps the most well known vegetarian protein source, but don’t overlook tempeh! It’s made with fermented soybeans and when crumbled, has a consistency similar to ground meat. Use chopped tofu or tempeh in place of half the meat in your favorite stir-fry recipe.
Nuts and Seeds
Include a handful of nuts and seeds, like peanuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds to give your meals a protein boost. Try your hand at making a cashew sauce in place of a cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese (trust me – it’s delicious!) or mix chopped nuts into your tuna or chicken salad.
If you’re worried about getting enough protein, don’t be! It’s a myth that you can’t get enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet, and shifting to a more plant-based menu while still including your favorite animal proteins, it’s easy to meet the recommended daily allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Don’t forget that there’s small amounts of protein in most foods, which adds up over the course of the day. As long as you’re getting variety and balance in your meals, you should be good to go.
Plus, Luvo makes it easy for you with their new Flipped Bowls, which are built for flexitarians and the plant-curious. In each of the four new flavors, 1/3rd of the protein comes from plant-based sources, but it still has delicious chicken meatballs to make a tasty, healthy and convenient meal!
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