Protein is a major component of our muscles, bones, nails, skin, and organs. Though the body can produce certain amounts of protein on its own, it’s not enough to sustain us, so we must acquire the rest from foods, beverages, and supplements. The recommended daily minimum is .36 grams per pound of body weight, and while meat may be the quickest way to reach this goal, it’s not the best option for everyone. In the minds of many, protein means a juicy steak, piece of chicken, or something of the sort. However, the same is not true for people who already have or want to limit their meat intake or eliminate it from their diet. Getting adequate amounts of protein is often a concern when limiting or cutting out meat, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right foods, getting enough can be simple, and obtaining it from plants has several benefits, including lower cholesterol, better gut health, and a more youthful appearance. Here are some plant-based foods, packed with protein.
The soybean is used for products such as soymilk, tempeh, tofu, and edamame. Tempeh and tofu are popular meat alternatives that can be used in a variety of dishes, while edamame is a premature soybean, consumed similarly to green peas. Detroit Vegan Soul is just one of many restaurants that serves a variety of tofu dishes. Choose from the “catfish” tofu sandwich, BBQ tofu sandwich, or the tofu soul platter. They also have almond tempeh on their meal prep subscription menu.
This versatile whole grain can be used as a substitute for rice, placed on top of salads, used to make cake or cookie batter, and more. Along with the high protein content, it is also packed with iron, fiber, magnesium, and manganese. The Mediterranean bowl, available at Freshii, consists of fresh quinoa and other plant-based ingredients. It also includes feta, so make sure to request it without for a vegan delight, if that is your preference. With locations in Downtown Detroit and Royal Oak, this option is easily accessible for Metro Detroiters.
Lentils are a type of legume. They come in the form of tiny red, brown, black, or green beans, with the red and green ones containing the most protein. They also provide other nutrients such as fiber, iron, and potassium, and can be served over rice, in soups, stews, and salads. Enjoy a bowl of lentil soup or a tasty lentil wrap from Naked Fuel, located throughout West Bloomfield and Troy.
Almonds and peanuts are widely consumed foods, mainly due to their convenience as on-the-go snacks. They can be eaten raw or roasted and are also used to make peanut butter and almond butter. The butter can be spread on whole-wheat bread to provide even more protein, on fruits, like apples, or blended into smoothies. Both are high in Vitamin E as well. And for the smoothie lovers, you’re in for a treat. Head on over to GrabbaGreen to try their power PB&J smoothie, made with oat milk, bananas, strawberries, whey protein, and your choice of peanuts or almonds. If you’re more in the mood for a snack, consider Naked Fuel’s peanut butter toast with bananas.
These leafy green veggies prove to be quite multifaceted with the purposes they serve. Because they are some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, relying on them for protein will improve your health substantially. These nutrients include vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, and many others. Spinach, kale, and broccoli can be consumed raw, boiled, sauteed, steamed, blended into a smoothie, and more. Spinach, kale, and broccoli can be found on most menus. However, to be more specific, Try It Raw offers several dishes with these ingredients, including broccoli slaw, veggie sandwich, and kale salad.
With more people falling in love with cauliflower wings, cauliflower continues to grow increasingly popular. Aside from protein, it also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron. It can also be used to make foods like wings, pasta, bread, salad, and so much more. Make your taste buds sing with cauliflower wings from The Kitchen By Cooking With Que. Choose between buffalo or barbeque sauce, or opt for both.
Most of us are familiar with this starchy staple, as it is widely available in many varieties. In fast food places and fine dining establishments alike, potato dishes almost always appear on the menu. The high levels of vitamin C and potassium, as well as the protein, make this an ideal source. Visit Fifth Tavern for your choice of baked or mashed potatoes. If you prefer the DIY route, all of the previously listed items can be found at your typical neighborhood grocery store. However, for the freshest foods, along with a vast quantity of organic options, visit a Metro Detroit health food store, such as Natural Food Patch, Pillar and Pride, and Organic Food and Vitamin Center. You can also expect to find freshly prepared meals by local vegan chefs at these locations.