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6 Tips to Increase Protein Intake on a Plant-Based Diet

6 Tips to Increase Protein Intake on a Plant-Based Diet

Are you considering a plant-based diet, planning to go vegan, or vegetarian?

These diets have all gained more popularity recently and can definitely provide nutrition benefits. When starting a plant-based diet, you’ll want to become familiar with the different protein sources that are available.

When most think of protein, a few things that come to mind may be chicken, fish, shrimp, and steak.

Of course on a plant-based diet, these options aren’t on the menu.

Don’t worry, with a little planning and the six tips we share you can increase your protein while on a plant-based diet.

Why Protein is Vital in a Plant-Based Diet

Protein is just as vital in a plant-based diet. Although incorporating more plants into your diet provides more nutrients, protein still plays a very important role in optimal health.

You can count on protein whether you are looking to maintain muscle mass and strength while on a plant-based diet or help curb your hunger and boost your metabolism.

According to research, a diet that is higher in plant-based proteins can also promote weight loss and lead to improved body composition.

How Much Protein Do I Need Each Day?


If you are wondering how much protein is enough, the recommended dietary allowance is currently 0.8 grams/kg of body weight for most healthy individuals.

However, the suggested amount based on research for individuals that train ranges from 1.4-2.0 grams/kg.

Depending on what your goals are, body composition, and lifestyle your protein recommendation can have a range.

It’s also important to be aware of how much protein you are currently eating and build from there. For some, it may be easy to consume high amounts of protein while you may struggle to eat 60 grams daily.

For example, a healthy individual that's not active and weighs 160 pounds may only need 58 grams of protein while one that trains can have a high-end range of 145 grams of protein per day.

6 Tips for More Plant-Based Protein

  1. Snack on Edamame

Need a quick and easy snack during the day that’s packed with protein? Try steamable edamame, it’s loaded with 17 grams of protein per cup. You can crack sea salt and spices on top for extra flavor!

  1. Swap Out Your Pasta

Do you or your family love pasta night? You can now find high-protein pasta made from chickpea or lentils.

  1. Top Your lunch With Quinoa

The food that’s often debated on how you pronounce it. The good news is, regardless of how you say quinoa, it’s a great addition to salads or served as a side dish. You can also use it as a binder for homemade veggie patties.

For every cup, you’ll find 8 grams of protein.

  1. Make a Smoothie

Don’t feel like cooking? Grab your blender and find a recipe that is packed with chia seeds, almond butter, and a high-quality plant-based protein powder.

Want to get the morning off to a good start? Try out this chocolate vegan protein powder that provides 20 grams of plant-based protein.

  1. Try a Lentil Wrap

Enjoying a summer weekend on the boat or having kids' sports games? A cold wrap is a great option to keep you energized!

Try adding lentils to your wrap for an extra source of protein, you can buy them pre-cooked with various flavors. You could pair it with shredded carrots, avocados, cucumbers, spinach, and a light dressing or sauce.

Lentils offer a great boost of fiber and protein! There are 18 grams of protein in each cup.

  1. Oven Bake or Skillet Tempeh

We saved the best for last. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, it’s one of the most protein-packed plant-based options. There are 31 grams of protein per cup of tempeh according to the USDA.

You can easily steam, marinate, and bake tempeh for an easy lunch or dinner option. It’s always great to have something prepared ahead of time.

Summary

Regardless of why you are following a plant-based diet, you have many options for increasing your protein intake. You can incorporate foods like edamame, tempeh, nuts, seeds, quinoa, lentils, and more!

It’s best to figure out how much protein you are currently eating and what your goal range is based on the recommendations of 0.8-2.0 grams/kg of protein per day. You need to reach your protein goal to experience peak health and wellness.

Have a hard time reaching your protein goal? If you start by selecting two of the tips listed above and build from that, you’ll reach your goals following a plant-based diet in no time.


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