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The Protein Myth (You’re Probably Not Protein Deficient)

Interested in trying a vegetarian or vegan diet for a lil’ bit? Maybe Thrive: A 7-Day Reset is calling your name?

Well, the first question people will often ask you is, “What about protein?”

The Protein Myth | SimpleGreenSmoothies.com

There is a misconception, we’ll call it “The Protein Myth,” that you have to be a meat-eater to get enough protein. So not true! If you look at large animals in this world like elephants, giraffes, and cattle, they are eating a solely plant-based diet. They get plenty of protein from their leafy greens and grass. It makes sense that with a sensible plant-based diet, you’ll get plenty of protein too.

Curly Kale

Did you know that pound for pound kale actually contains more protein than red meat? It’s true! Now while it may be true that you can eat a steak and get your protein faster than eating a pound of greens, there’s also all that saturated fat and zero dietary fiber. Not to mention it’s incredibly hard on the body to digest animal protein. The nutrients in plant-based foods is absorbed much more easily into the body than meat or poultry.

Okay, so does this mean you have to stop eating meat? No! Not at all.

Yet you probably could benefit from adding in more leafy greens, beans and legumes, root veggies, fruit, and healthy whole grains to your current lifestyle, right ? Eating less meat doesn’t mean you’ll be getting less protein as long as you’re eating plenty of plants.

The Protein Myth + the best plant-based proteins you can eat

Some of the best sources of protein available to us are members of the plant kingdom. This chart below shows you how many grams of protein you get in 1 serving of each:

Beans and legumes

  • chickpeas / garbanzo beans, cooked (1/2 cup):  6 grams protein
  • black beans, cooked (1/2 cup): 7.6 grams protein
  • pinto beans, cooked (1/2 cup): 6 grams protein
  • kidney beans, cooked (1/2 cup): 6.5 grams protein
  • lima beans, cooked (1/2 cup): 7.3 grams protein
  • lentils, cooked (1/2 cup): 9 grams protein
  • split peas, cooked (1/2 cup): 8 grams protein
  • peanuts or peanut butter (1/4 cup serving or 2 tbsp. peanut butter): 7 grams protein

Organic Soy

  • edamame, cooked (1 cup): 18 grams protein
  • tofu (3 oz. serving): extra firm – 15 grams protein ; silken – 8 grams protein
  • tempeh, cooked (3 oz. serving) : 16 grams protein
  • soy milk (1 cup) : 8 grams protein

Leafy greens

  • kale, raw (1 cup): 2.9 grams protein
  • collards, raw (1 cup): 1.2 grams protein
  • spinach, raw (1 cup): 0.9 grams protein
  • spinach, cooked (1/2 cup): 3 grams
  • chard, raw (1 cup): 0.6 grams protein
  • bok choy, raw (1 cup): 1.1 grams protein
  • Cabbage, raw (1 cup): 0.9 grams protein
  • romaine lettuce, raw (1 cup): 0.6 grams protein

Veggies

  • broccoli, cooked (1 cup): 5 grams protein
  • cauliflower, cooked (1 cup): 2.1 grams
  • asparagus, cooked (1 cup): 5 grams protein
  • peas, cooked (1 cup): 7.9 grams protein
  • mushrooms (1 cup): 3.9 grams protein
  • Brussels sprouts, cooked (1/2 cup): 2 grams protein
  • artichokes (one): 4.2 grams protein
  • potatoes, cooked (1 medium white): 4 grams
  • winter squash, cooked (1 cup): 5.1 grams protein

Fruits

  • blackberries (1 cup): 2 grams protein
  • blueberries (1 cup): 1.1 grams protein
  • raspberries (1 cup): 1.5 grams protein
  • strawberries (1 cup): 1.1 grams protein
  • pomegranate seeds (1 cup): 4.7 grams protein
  • oranges (per fruit): 1.3 grams protein
  • cherries (1 cup): 1.5 grams protein
  • avocado (per fruit): 4 grams protein
  • banana (per fruit): 1.3 grams protein

Whole grains and pseudo-grains

  • quinoa, cooked (1 cup): 8 grams protein
  • buckwheat, cooked (1 cup): 6 grams protein
  • amaranth, cooked (1 cup): 9 grams protein
  • teff, cooked (1 cup): 10 grams protein
  • whole wheat berries, cooked (1/2 cup): 6.5 grams protein
  • brown rice, cooked (1 cup): 5 grams protein
  • wild rice, cooked (1 cup serving): 7 grams protein
  • steel cut oats (1/4 cup dry): 7 grams

Seeds

  • Hemp hearts (1 ounce): 9 grams protein
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) (1 ounce): 8.5 grams protein
  • Sunflower seeds (1 ounce): 5.5 grams protein
  • Sesame seeds (1 ounce): 4.8 grams protein
  • Chia seeds (1 ounce) : 4 grams of protein
  • Flaxseed, ground (1 tablespoon): 1.2 grams protein

Nuts

  • Almonds (1 ounce): 6 grams protein
  • pecans (1 ounce): 2.6 grams protein
  • walnut (1 ounce): 4.3 grams protein
  • hazelnuts (1 ounce): 4.3 grams protein
  • Brazil nuts (1 ounce): 4.1 grams protein
  • macadamia nuts (1 ounce): 2.2 grams protein
  • cashews (1 ounce): 4.3 grams protein
  • pistachios (1 ounce): 5.9 grams protein
  • coconut, dried (1 ounce): 2 grams protein

MORE SOURCES OF PROTEIN

  • Spirulina (1 tablespoon): 4 grams protein
  • Sprouted Beans, Peas, and Lentils (1/2 cup): 4.6 grams protein
  • Nutritional yeast (2 tablespoons): 8 grams
  • Plant-based Protein Powder, such as The Natural Citizen, (3 tablespoons): 22 grams protein
  • Avocado (1/2 fruit): 2 grams

If you’re ready to take the plunge and eat more plants, we’ve got a rawkin’ 7-day meal plan full of plant-based recipes that will delight your tastebuds and make your body feel great.

Find out more about Thrive 7-Day Plant-Powered Reset here .Thrive 7-Day Reset

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At Simple Green Smoothies we sometimes use affiliate links to promote rawesome products, share a good deal, and help us generate income.

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