Proteins make our muscles grow and excess pounds tumble. But which foods contain protein? We introduce you to seven plant-based sources of protein.
Are you looking for a protein source that does not consist of animal foods? We introduce you to seven plant-based foods that are bursting with proteins. After all, if you want to build muscle, you have to consume protein. This means that our protein-rich foods are even suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
What is the biological value of vegetable proteins?
There are many vegetable protein sources, but what is their biological value (BV)? Of course, you first have to know what this value is all about.
The biological value of a food is a method to assess the quality of the proteins in different foods. The higher the BW, the better our body can convert the vegetable protein into endogenous protein. An important criterion for this is the composition of the protein from the different amino acids. But that might be going a little too far.
Tip: You can improve the biological value by combining different foods. For example, potatoes have a CV of 96 and soy milk has a CV of 84. If you make a delicious mashed potato out of it, you can get plenty of protein and even without meat.
Whether sweet or bitter, raw or roasted: Almonds are one of the most diverse sources of protein. 100 grams of almonds (575 calories) contain a whopping 21 grams of protein! And they’re healthy too: Studies show that regular consumption of almonds (about 20 grams a day) can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Nutritional values of 100 grams of almonds: 12 g fiber, 705 mg potassium, 268 mg magnesium, 364 mg calcium and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (31 and 12 grams respectively).
Peas are full of proteins
The delicious vegetable balls were named Vegetables of the Year in 2009/2010 (by the Association for the Preservation of Crop Diversity). The UN declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. No wonder, after all they are the most species-rich family of plants and serve as food for people all over the world.
The German favourite: green peas. This is not least due to the high protein content of up to 25 percent (in dried peas)! There are also iron, zinc, manganese and copper. 100 grams of green peas (81 calories) also contain 250 mg of potassium, 25 mg of vitamin C and 35 mg of magnesium.
Quinoa: A plant-based source of protein
Speaking of popular plants, the UN Secretary General declared 2013 the year of the quinoa. After all, the grain fruit is very nutritious, healthy and is therefore ideal for serving as a food source for people worldwide.
100 grams of quinoa (343 calories) consists of around 14 g protein, 6 g fiber and a good 3 g minerals, including 805 mg potassium, 330 mg phosphorus and 275 mg magnesium. This means that quinoa contains much more minerals and protein than rice – and is in no way inferior to it when cooked.
In addition, quinoa can be processed into flakes or eaten puffed, for example as muesli.
Mung beans: protein-containing food without animal protein
The mung bean is easy to digest and – unlike many other legumes – does not cause flatulence. Almost everyone has eaten them in some form – after all, mung bean flour is used to make Asian glass noodles, for example.
Mung beans are about one-fourth protein, one-fifth fiber, and just one gram of fat. They are therefore ideal for a low-carb diet.
100 grams of mung beans (347 calories), also known as lunja beans, also contain 365 mg phosphorus, 124 mg potassium, 189 mg magnesium and 132 mg calcium.
Red lentils for a high-protein diet
In 100 grams of red lentils (309 calories) there are about 25 grams of protein with only 1.4 grams of fat. Compared to other lentils (e.g. plate, mountain or yellow lentils), they become softer and mushy when cooked. Red lentils have a high zinc content (3.6 mg per 100 g), which stimulates the metabolism.
In general, lentils are easier to digest than peas or beans. Dried lentils (100 g) contain 840 mg potassium, 411 mg phosphate and 129 mg magnesium. There are also 132 µg folic acid and 100 µg beta-carotene (provitamin A).
Amaranth: Protein-rich ancient grain
Amaranth (foxtail) grows all over the world – except in the Ant and Arctic. As one of the oldest crops in the world, it was roughly as important to mankind as corn thousands of years ago.
100 grams of amaranth (371 calories) contain around 15 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.
By the way: Regular consumption of amaranth is said to prevent migraines and help with sleep disorders. Practically!
Edamame: As much protein as poultry
Soybeans are called edamame in Japan. 100 grams (122 calories) contain about 11 grams of protein – exactly as much as there is in 100 grams of poultry meat.
However: while 100 g of poultry consists of a quarter (i.e. 25 grams) of fat, the same amount of edamame contains only 5 grams of fat – of which a good 2 g are unsaturated fatty acids.
The beans taste best when boiled in salty water (with the shell) and then sprinkled with spices of your choice (e.g. garlic, pepper or chili). When cooked, the shell can be easily opened and the beans eaten.