Plant Powered

Published December 27th, 2019

Plant PoweredThe world is filled with plant-based protein. We’ve narrowed down the options to five categories with top foods in each category. Aim for at least 50 grams of protein a day, consuming it from several sources. Servings are per 1 cup, unless noted otherwise.

Tofu & Soy
Soy products contain significant minerals and B vitamins and are a complete protein. Ripe soybeans are dried and processed to make tofu, which is located in the Dairy section. Unripened beans are harvested to produce edamame and are found either fresh in Produce or processed in Frozen Foods.

Beans, lentils, and peas are all legumes, staple foods around the world and valuable sources of plant-based protein, fiber, and B vitamins. Our Bulk Foods department has bin after bin of legumes, ready for you to select.

A staple to almost any diet, grains provide needed calories, B vitamins, and protein. Whole, unrefined grains (including ancient grains) provide more protein per carbohydrate because the highly nutritious bran and germ are left intact. In refined grains, much of the nutrition is lost in processing. Find grains in the Bulk Foods department.

Nuts & Seeds 
Nuts pack protein in snack-size portions (¼ cup). Seeds (2-Tbsp. serving) are tidbits of protein ninjas; sprinkle them on food and you may barely notice them. Both sneak in extra protein (and fiber!) to your diet. Find nuts and seeds in the Bulk Foods department.

Pea protein, spirulina, and nutritional yeast (deactivated yeast) are consumed much like some seeds. Simply sprinkle 2 Tbsp. on food or add to smoothies. Our Natural Living department has a large selection of these and other protein additives.

Variety is Vital

Here’s why: Because not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins, you need to consume a variety in order to achieve balanced protein. Don’t consume 50 grams a day from just one source—instead, focus on variety. This list has foods in portions containing 5 to 10 grams of protein. Now imagine eating 5 to 10 of these foods in one day. This is what you would need to consume to reach your recommended protein requirement for that day.

Almonds = ⅓ cup
Amaranth = ½ cup
Black beans = ⅔ cup
Brown rice = 1 cup Cashews = ¼ cup
Chia seeds = 4 Tbsp.
Couscous = ¾ cup
Flax seeds = 2 Tbsp.
Hemp seeds = 1 Tbsp.
Kidney beans = ⅔ cup
Lentils = ½ cup
Mung beans = ⅔ cup
Navy beans = ½ cup
Oatmeal = ¾ cup
Peanut butter = 1½ Tbsp.
Peanuts = 3 Tbsp.
Pinto beans = ⅓ cup
Quinoa = ½ cup
Seitan = 1 Tbsp.
Split peas = ⅔ cup
Tempeh = ¼ cup
Veggie burger = 1 patty Walnuts = ⅓ cup
Wild rice = ¾ cup

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