What Plant Foods Are Highest In Protein? | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Here’s How Much Protein These 25 Household Foods Contain

We have long banged-on about vegan diets (we’re talking way before Game Changers aired on Netflix) and the benefits associated when you swap over (especially for bodybuilders). But one of the most-asked questions we get, is what plants provide the most nutrients? The answer? Heaps – but we will get to that. Let’s talk about […]

We have long banged-on about vegan diets (we’re talking way before Game Changers aired on Netflix) and the benefits associated when you swap over (especially for bodybuilders). But one of the most-asked questions we get, is what plants provide the most nutrients? The answer? Heaps – but we will get to that. Let’s talk about protein first.

A summary of the past 20 years of research on plant protein and health commissioned by Nuts for Life and conducted by NRAUS (Nutrition Research Australia) showed eating more protein from plant sources was associated with better health.

Plant protein has been associated with improved risk factors for cardiovascular health, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and a longer lifespan. In fact, in one study, replacing just three per cent of energy a day from animal protein with plant protein was associated with a five per cent lower risk of death from all causes.

While adequate protein can be found in both animal or plant foods, a well-balanced plant-based diet can provide more than enough good quality protein to support your muscle growth whilst also promoting optimal health and longevity.

Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that plant protein definitely stacks up against animal protein in terms of building muscle and strength. In fact, the notion that protein from plant sources is ‘incomplete’ is both outdated and incorrect: all essential amino acids present in animal foods actually originated from those animals eating plants, or from animals eating other animals who ate plants.

That’s right: essential amino acids are made by plants and then eaten by animals, so it makes little sense to assume we can only get a ‘complete’ amino acid intake from what is effectively a secondary source.

In addition to that, swapping out animal protein for plant protein is particularly good for the heart, as reported in the study. It was associated with improved cholesterol (total, LDL and HDL) and other risk factors for heart disease. Specifically, protein from nuts and seeds was investigated in another key study and found to be among the best source of plant protein for your heart.

It was also linked with a 40-60 per cent reduced risk of death from heart disease and found to be more protective than other plant-protein sources like grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables.

So, what plants are high in protein?

From pistachios to potatoes, here’s a list of 25 common plant foods and just how much plant protein they contain. You may be surprised to find some of these supermarket staples pack a real protein punch. Nuts and seeds top the list and generally have the highest plant protein content per 100g.1 Nuts are often thought of as a great source of healthy fats, but it turns out they are a major source of plant protein too. Just a handful of nuts (a 30g serve) can provide up to 6 grams of protein.

Here are more tasty sources of plant protein:

PROTEIN CONTENT OF COMMON PLANT FOODS

Food

Serve size*

Protein (g) per serve

Protein (g) per 100g

Pumpkin seeds

30g

9.0

30.2

Sunflower seeds

30g

8.0

26.8

Almonds

30g

5.9

19.7

Pistachios

30g

5.9

19.7

Cashews

30g

5.1

Chia seeds

30g

5.0

Hazelnuts

30g

4.5

14.8

Brazil nuts

30g

4.5

14.4

Walnuts

30g

4.3

14.1

Kidney beans (canned)

75- 150g

10.5 – 21.0

14.0

Soybeans (dried, boiled)

75- 150g

10.1 – 20.3

13.5

Pine nuts

30g

3.9

13.0

Tofu

170g

20.4

12.0

Wholewheat breakfast biscuits

30g (2 biscuits)

3.6

12.0

Wholemeal bread

40g (one slice)

4.5

11.2

Pecans

30g

2.9

9.8

Macadamias

30g

2.8

9.2

Lentils (dried, boiled)

75- 150g

5.6 – 11.1

7.3

Chickpeas (canned)

75- 150g

4.7 – 9.3

6.3

Baked beans (canned)

75- 150g

3.7 – 7.4

4.9

Chestnuts

30g

1.0

3.4

Rice (white, boiled)

1/2 cup (80g)

2.2

2.7

Potato

75g (1/2 medium)

1.9

2.5

Oats (cooked porridge)

1/2 cup

2.9

2.4

Apple

150g

0.5

0.3

Why Fear Of Death Is The Ultimate Fitness Motivation

Why Fear Of Death Is The Ultimate Fitness Motivation

Sure, you might want a six-pack in time for summer, to be able to perform a muscle-up to impress your friends or to avoid being embarrassed by your love handles when you take off your shirt. But what really motivates you to get in shape might be something more...

Recommended to you

More From