Weight Management : 6 Surprising Plant-Based Sources of Protein

Lentils, ½ cup, 9 grams of protein

This lowly legume packs a wallop of not just protein but fiber as well (8 grams in ½ cup) and is extremely versatile. Try cooking up a pot on Sunday night and eating throughout the week. Add a cup to a green salad or make it the star of a salad with a few vegetables and vinaigrette.

Peas, ½ cup, 4 grams of protein

Get protein and a dash of color with peas. You can thaw frozen peas and add them raw to green and pasta salads or serve cooked as a side.

Hemp seeds, 3 tablespoons, 16 grams of protein

The small seeds of the hemp plant are rich in protein and essential fatty acids. Their mild nutty flavor makes them ideal for smoothies and salads. Try adding a tablespoon to granola for a protein boost.

Pumpkin seeds, ½ cup, 20 grams of protein

Roasted and salted or raw, pumpkin seeds add a quick and hefty dose of protein to any snack or meal. Carry them with you and munch a few handfuls when you need a protein fix.

Spirulina, 1 tablespoon, 4 grams of protein

This bright green algae powder may not look appetizing, but toss some in a smoothie and you won’t taste a thing. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding it to baked items like muffins or healthy cookies.

Collard greens, 1 cup, 4 grams of protein

If a plate of collard greens doesn’t sound like something you’re family would dig into, take heart; there are many ways to incorporate these super healthy greens into foods your family will eat. Add the greens chopped to soups, omelets and frittatas. Try adding some to a tomato marinara pasta sauce.

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