Plant-based Protein Power
We all know the importance of protein in our diets whether it be whey protein powder shakes, supplements, or huge slabs of meat. Many cliches become cliches because they are true; and the saying, "Abs are made in the kitchen," has become a prime example of this.
Did you know that according to Euromonitor International, the UK’s sports food and drink market, which excludes energy products such as Lucozade and Red Bull, is now worth more than £301m and is expected to rise to £471m by 2018?
This really is big business!
Plant based protein is easily overlooked with companies advertising and vying for sales of their products. However, taking a little time to learn just which plant-based foods are protein rich and incorporating them into your diet couldn't be easier, and if the purse strings are a little tight, can become money saving options too.
Pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, and even the humble baked bean have between 10 and 25g grams of protein per 100g. Throwing a handful of lentils into a stew or soup will up your protein intake and bulk out the dishes. Chickpeas are great roasted and seasoned as a healthy snack or blended to make a delicious hummus dip. While sitting down to a quick meal of beans on wholemeal toast (maybe with a little melted cheese on top?) is nutritionally sound, low cost and filling.
Grains such as wholemeal wheat flour and oatmeal have around 12g of protein per 100g. These grains are inexpensive, filling and a great way to add fibre to your diet too.
Further, a handful of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts will provide you with between 14 and 21g of protein per 100g, and although higher in fat than many other plant foods, they are great healthy snacks. Indeed peanut butter alone can provide you with up to 25g of protein per hundred grams.
Green vegetables are another great source of protein and can be bought fresh, tinned of frozen so there's really no need to buy on a daily basis if your life style cannot accommodate frequent grocery shopping.
Kale has been making waves in health food circles and is a fitting example of how powerful a vegetable can be, and provides around 4.3g of protein per 100g. While spinach and broccoli each have around three grams per 100g.As you can see, with a little thought and savvy shopping, one can increase their protein uptake quite easily. There are myriad ways these simple ingredients can be incorporated into one's diet. Why not give them a go?