Cart Smarts: 5 plant-based proteins to start eating today

August 2, 2018

Plant-based foods are a powerhouse of nutrients. When we include plant-based foods in our diet, we are nourishing our body with an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals.

Plant-based foods, specifically protein sources, are a healthy option to add to all of your meals as protein helps keep our muscles, skin, and blood healthy. Not only are the plant-based foods listed below a great source of protein, many are also good sources of monounsaturated fats to help keep your heart healthy, fiber to keep you feeling full longer, and omega-3 fatty acids to help lower your cholesterol — all beneficial to your overall health.

Here are the 5 plant-based proteins to start eating today.

1 Nuts.

Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and cashews are high in protein, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and many nuts, such as walnuts, contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are an easy and filling on-the-go snack, and chopped nuts can be added to salads or on top of baked salmon for added crunch and nutrition.

2 Seeds.

Chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds are all extremely nutrient-dense, despite their tiny size, and can be added to smoothies or baked goods for an additional boost of protein.

3 Quinoa.

Quinoa is high in protein, gluten-free, and contains all essential amino acids. Use quinoa on salads, in muffins or a breakfast scramble, or by itself with herbs such as thyme or basil.

4 Chickpeas.

Chickpeas are especially high in protein and fiber and they can be eaten cooked, dried, or even mashed — aka hummus!

5 Beans.

Beans are very nutrient-dense foods containing protein, fiber, and polyphenols. Try beans in salsas, veggie wraps, or even a breakfast burrito.

Pick up some of these plant-based proteins when you go grocery shopping this week. Many times you can find these foods in the bulk section and buy as much or as little as you want.

Not sure how to use these plant-based proteins? Granola is a great way to include many different types of nuts, seeds and other plant-based proteins into a single recipe. I have included a tasty recipe for homemade granola that pairs perfectly with Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or even eaten alone as a crunchy, nutritious snack.

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