Are you looking to mix up your protein sources for the week but are unsure of where to look? Well, look no further than this guide to proteins you may be overlooking when shopping at the grocery store. These 6 easy sources of protein are both nutritious and delicious. Not only are they rich in protein, but they are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and the vitamins and minerals your body needs every day. Check out the guide below to find out which food sources you might be surprised by are high in protein.
This plant protein is an excellent choice to add to many of your favorite dishes. For your convenience, there are many ready-to-eat options for lentils, such as canned, frozen, or steamed. A cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber, which can keep you fuller for longer and help you achieve your daily fiber intake goals. This plant protein is also a great source of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Mix in lentils to dishes such as a simple bolognese sauce, sloppy joes, or even add into salads for a delicious protein boost.
This small vegetable is easily overlooked when it comes to looking for a protein source. Peas are loaded with 9 grams of protein per cup and can be served as a side dish or combined into a main dish for added color, flavor, and protein. This small vegetable also provides more than 25% of your daily fiber intake and is a rich source of iron and many other vitamins and minerals. Add peas to pestos, soups, and pasta dishes; the options are endless.
Black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and many other legumes are rich in protein to help you meet your daily needs. Most varieties of beans contain about 12-15 grams of plant protein per cup after cooking and are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Try adding beans to soups, tacos, salads, or even use them in baking for an added protein boost.
Tofu, tempeh, & edamame
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all come from the same source; soybeans. This protein is considered a complete protein, which means it contains all the essential amino acids needed for the functioning of the body. These three proteins all contain excellent levels of iron, calcium, and of course protein. Add tofu into your next stir fry, grab some barbecue sauce and grill up some tempeh, or serve edamame in an Asian-inspired salad.
Chia seeds may be tiny, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Two tablespoons of chia seeds contains approximately 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. This seed can help you add nutrients to any dish. These small seeds are also rich in iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Add it to smoothies, baked goods, and even make some chia seed pudding as a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack choice.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is a nutritious addition to many recipes. Just two tablespoons of this powder provides 8 grams of complete protein along with iron, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, and even some fatty acids. This powerhouse also contains phycocyanin, which is a natural pigment with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix into some fruit juice, add into a latte, or blend into a smoothie for a tasty and colorful protein boost.