Wellness Club — 5 Plant-Based Proteins to Add to Your Plate

Wellness Club — 5 Plant-Based Proteins to Add to Your Plate
Abingdon, VA. - Saturday, Aug 1, 2020.

Written by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

Many of us are trying to include more plant-based proteins into our meal plans for health reasons. While animal proteins contain important nutrients, plant-based proteins are typically lower in saturated fat, a nutrient many of us are trying to limit. Plus, plant-based proteins often contain antioxidants and fiber important for immune and digestive health. It is important to remember to pair complementary proteins together to ensure you are getting all of the amino acids such as beans and rice. If you are looking to add more plant-based proteins to your plate, check out the following plant-based proteins:

1. Tofu, tempeh, and edamame
Soy products like tofu, tempeh, and edamame contain a rich source of protein for plant-based diets. Tofu takes on the flavor of the dish you are preparing, so it is a great option for versatility in a meal. Tempeh has a firmer, meatier texture with a nutty flavor that goes well in sandwiches or in stir-fries. Edamame, an immature soybean, can be eaten alone or dried for a crunchy addition to salads.

2. Quinoa
Quinoa is the only whole grain that is also a complete protein! Similar to rice, quinoa goes great as a fill in for pasta in soups or stews. It can be served as a side dish, in tacos, or sprinkled on salad.

3. Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils contain fiber and key nutrients like iron and potassium. Add beans and lentils to soups, curries, salads, puree into hummus or dips, or pair with rice to create a complementary protein.

4. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are not only a source of protein, but healthy fats as well! A small handful of nuts can be a savory pick-me-up during an afternoon slump or can be added to baked goods for extra protein and added crunch. Nut butters are perfect blended into oatmeal or spread on toasted whole grain bread.

5. Innovative Plant-Based Products
Take a stroll through the grocery store to find all sorts of innovative plant-based products! From plant-based burgers to convenient frozen meals, eating plant-based can be fun, easy, and delicious!