By Kaivan Dave
Kaivan Dave - Author

Kaivan Dave

Marketing Growth Consultant

Specializes in writing about plant-based lifestyles, wellness and nutrition

Last updated - June 27, 2023 | 6 min read

We have strict editorial integrity policies that every article goes through before being posted on our site. We also understand everyone has different needs and goals, so please consult a doctor if you take any advice found here, especially as what works for one person might not work for another!

Why you can trust Awesome Coffee?

Introduction

Plant-based proteins have been around for centuries and are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to animal proteins. And it's not just vegans or vegetarians who are eating plant-based foods! The truth is many people want to eat fewer animal products in their diet due to health concerns or simply because they don't believe in consuming animals for food. Regardless of why someone switches their protein source to plant foods, plant-based diets have many benefits, including improved digestion, increased energy levels, better cardiovascular health, and weight loss. Plant-based proteins also offer environmental benefits such as reduced emissions and land use compared to animal protein sources. In addition, plant-based protein sources are often more affordable than their animal counterparts. This article will explore the various benefits of plant-based protein, the best types of plant-based protein, and how it compares to traditional animal protein sources.

In the video below, we answer questions you may have like:

  • What is protein?
  • What are Plant-based sources of protein?
  • Plant protein vs. Animal Protein
  • How much Protein you need per day

CHAPTER 1

What is plant-based protein?

chapter 1

Plant-based proteins typically contain all the nine essential amino acids needed for optimal health and are an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients.

Scoop and glass of plant based protein
Scoop and glass of plant based protein

Plant-based protein is a type of protein that is derived from plants such as legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

However, not all plant proteins are equal regarding their nutritional value. Legume proteins such as peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, and beans provide the most bioavailable forms of plant protein. Soy is considered one of the most complete forms of plant protein and is considered by many to be a superior source to other legume proteins due to its higher levels of essential amino acids. Other excellent sources of plant proteins include whole-grain oats, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and sacha inchi seeds.

In addition to providing essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth, consuming plant-based protein can also help with weight loss by helping you feel full longer due to its high fiber content. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc, which can help boost energy levels throughout the day. Plant-based protein consumption has also been linked to lower cholesterol levels, which can contribute to better overall health.

boost energy and boost focus

Boost Energy. Boost Focus. Boost Muscle.

CHAPTER 1

Boost Energy. Boost Focus. Boost Muscle.

CHAPTER 2

What are the benefits of plant-based protein?

chapter 2
Helps you live longer
flower 1

Helps you live longer

Plant-based proteins are rich in antioxidants which prevent damage to cells. A new study from 2016 found that those receiving their energy from legumes and other seeds had significantly lower mortality rates. The protein contained in plant sources and seeds contributes to long health and good immune systems. It also makes you look younger.

flower 2

Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease

Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help with cancer prevention and reduce inflammation throughout the body, especially in joints which benefit people who suffer from arthritis or any other form of chronic pain. The Journal of the American Heart Association states that plant protein consumption reduces the risk for cardiovascular diseases. The fiber that cleanses the body and keeps the digestive tract healthy can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease

According to this study, eating plant-based protein cuts the risk of cardiovascular infections including pulmonary arrhythmias and coronary artery diseases. People who consumed only 3 to 8 percent less food with plant proteins had an average mortality rate of 20 to 40 percent. Meatless Mondays have made bigger strides than you thought

Ongoing research suggests high cholesterol is associated with red meat and animal protein levels. Eating high-fiber food will also reduce cholesterol levels to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Our bodies naturally make cholesterol which is needed for various functions in the body. Cholesterol helps form a number of different cells in the body, as do vitamin E and other substances in the body. Cholesterol buildup from animal protein can combine with other substances, accumulating thick hard deposits on the internal walls of arteries. This can increase the risk of heart disease and blood clots. If you're struggling with high cholesterol or a major problem for your body, going plant-based may be a very smart choice.

Keeps your gut healthy
flower 3

Keeps your gut healthy

Plant-based proteins are rich in antioxidants which prevent damage to cells. A new study from 2016 found that those receiving their energy from legumes and other seeds had significantly lower mortality rates. The protein contained in plant sources and seeds contributes to long health and good immune systems. It also makes you look younger.

Those who eat a plant-based diet have a unique gut profile that provides fewer disease-causing organisms and more protective species, which help keep your inflammation levels low. Bad gut health can have many health consequences — such as fatigue, anxiety & depression, skin conditions, and autoimmune diseases. Getting more vegetables into a diet, Berghoff explains will promote good gut microbiome balance. How good is maintaining a good microbalance if you get the proper diet to boost your overall well-being and reduce pain? Poor digestive health might also worsen your symptoms.

flower 4

Helps increase weight loss

Plant protein may help you reach your goals more effectively than any other protein alternative. This type of protein is usually lower in calories than other options, and consuming lower calories promotes fat reduction.. Thereby lower calories consumed that fat reduction promoted. To lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit between the calories you are consuming and the calories you are burning off. Generally consuming fewer calories over a span of time contributes more to weight loss then just focusing on burning calories.This deficit is where the excess weight is burned into the highest possible intake. It can be quite difficult to consume just a portion of the normal calories because it is required to fuel your body with good-quality food.

Helps increase weight loss

Furthermore, eating plant-based protein has also been linked to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance because it keeps people satiated longer. A meal with 20g of fiber will leave your stomach feeling full for three to five hours, whereas a meal without fiber will leave you hungry again in about an hour to two hours.

Improves your athletic performance
flower 5

Improves your athletic performance

Plant-based proteins are rich in essential amino acids important for muscle growth and repair. In addition, many plant-based proteins have high amounts of fiber which helps to keep athletes feeling full and energized during workouts. Plant-based sources such as quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, lentils, and beans provide a great source of long-lasting energy that can help fuel intense physical activity. Furthermore, studies have shown that consuming plant-based proteins before or after exercise can improve strength and endurance capacity, which benefits athletes looking to maximize their performance.That's why plant based protein coffee is becoming popular in today's time as a pre- or post-workout option.

flower 6

Benefits the planet

Eating plant-based protein has benefits for the planet as well! It's estimated that if everyone in America stopped eating beef, it would be the equivalent of taking 50 million cars off the road each year. They are also a more sustainable option for food production since they require fewer resources and result in less waste than animal protein sources. Choosing plant protein allows for reducing water pollution associated with livestock production and reducing land use for raising animals. By choosing more plant-based proteins, you are doing something wonderful for your body and your environment.

Benefits the planet

CHAPTER 3

What are the disadvantages of plant-based protein?

chapter 3

The benefits of plant-based protein come with some disadvantages as well. People who go vegan often have a more challenging time getting some essential nutrients into their diet like vitamin b12, calcium and iron. If you eat a well-balanced variety of plant-based foods though, most nutrients can be easily consumed in their adequate amounts. There are

Vitamin B12 is not made by plants or animals but by microorganisms surrounding them. The best way to get this vitamin is through fortified foods, such as soy and tofu, that contain it, or a vegan supplement if you are following a plant-based diet.

Calcium can also be found in many green vegetables, but the benefits are much more prominent in dairy products, since diary is so high in calcium, it is usually the easiest way to ensure you are getting enough.. Calcium benefits bones and teeth health,y so you will need to find other sources when hypothetically following a plant-based lifestyle. You can find calcium by consuming leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, bok choy, and napa cabbage.

Iron benefits athletes by carrying oxygen in their blood for maximum energy production during training sessions. If you're feeling weak or fatigued, consider taking an iron supplement. Legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and whole grains help too. And if you’re looking to ensure the best absorption, it is best to consume these foods with iron alongside vitamin C rich foods.

The main disadvantage of plant-based proteins compared to animal proteins is that they are a few plant proteins that are usually less complete, which means that they lack certain essential amino acids.

On the other hand, animal protein sources typically contain all of the essential amino acids needed for optimal health. If you rely solely on plant-based proteins for your dietary needs, you may need to consume more to get the same amount of protein as from an animal source. Additionally, some plant-based proteins can be difficult to digest due to their high fiber content or other compounds. Some people may also experience allergies when consuming certain plant-based proteins due to their sensitivity to certain chemicals such as lectins and gluten.

CHAPTER 4

What are the types of plant-based protein?

chapter 4
  • Chickpeas: One cup gives you 14g of protein and 12 grams of fiber. In the whole form, chickpeas become simple additions to savory salads. Try them at wrap-ups, falafels, hummus, or chickpeas cakes. There is no shortage of options for mashes and hummus.
  • Lentils: One cup of lentils comprises up to 14g of fiber plus 18g of protein. Lentils are available in several colors: Green, Brown, Yellow, Red, and Black. You can expect their flavor at a different temperature and a slightly creamy texture during cooking. Their relatively neutral flavor and velvety smoothness lend themselves well to soups, curries, and salads. You can substitute them instead of ground meat in dishes like Tacos, casseroles, and burgers.
  • Nuts: Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts contain a high level of monounsaturated fat that promotes optimal immune health. They each contain between 20 to 30 grams of protein per cup! Nuts can be used as snacks, on top of desserts, or as different nut butter.
  • Pea Protein: Another commonly used plant protein, in just one scoop of pea protein, you get 24 grams of protein, 90 calories, and 36 percent of your daily dose of iron. Pea protein is commonly used in store-bought products, including pea milk and a meat alternative. You will probably see it as a stand-alone food in powder form, but it's not chalky or gritty and blends well in recipes. For vegans, a combination of pea protein and rice protein is known to help build muscle mass, as it combines the right essential amino acids to form a complete protein. Why combining pea and rice protein can build muscle mass.
  • Seeds: Seeds are an excellent source of plant-based proteins, as well as a great way to add extra nutrition and flavor to dishes. Hemp seeds contain up to 25 grams of protein per 100 grams, making them one of the highest sources of plant-based protein. Chia seeds are another popular option with up to 4.4 grams in just two tablespoons - they are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and promote heart health. Sunflower seeds have 6 grams per quarter cup and offer a nutty flavor to many dishes. Pumpkin seeds contain 5 grams in a quarter cup and offer a crunchy texture that is perfect for salads or soups, as well as being high in healthy fats like linoleic acid which can aid weight management and cholesterol levels. Last but not least, Sesame seeds are full of calcium and iron while only containing 2.5 gram per tablespoon - they can also be used on nearly any type of dish to add flavor or crunchiness.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the world's most popular health foods. It is an excellent plant protein, as it has an outstanding balance of fiber, calcium, potassium, and complex carbohydrates and contains sufficient amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. Oh, and did we mention the 8 grams of protein per cup? It has a texture similar to couscous and is gluten-free. It is most commonly paired up in bowls as a substitute for where you would add rice.
  • Soy Foods: Tempeh, Tofu, and Edamame: Soy food is one of the highest protein vegan options! One 3-ounce serving of tempeh provides up to 15 grams of protein, whereas tofu provides 8 grams, and edamame supplies seven grams per half-cup. Crispy, firm tempeh and tofu create a tasty base for stir-fries, tacos, and even sandwiches. Edamame has a creamy, almost buttery flavor right out of the shell. Use silken tofu when adding protein to a smoothie or as a substitution for ricotta cheese. Enjoy trying soy crumbles as a partial substitute for all dishes where ground meat is needed.

CHAPTER 5

Nutrition Chart

This chart lists plant-based protein sources, serving sizes and protein content for easy comparison and dietary choice.

PLANT BASED PROTEIN SERVINGSIZE PROTEIN CONTENT
Chickpeas 1 cup 39g
Lentils 1 cup 18g
Almonds 1cup 20g
Cashews 1 cup 22g
Pistachios 1 cup 25g
Walnuts 1 cup 12g
Pea Protein 1 tbps 24g
Chia Seeds 2 tbsp 4.4g
Hemp Seeds 100 grams 25g
Sunflower Seeds 1 cup 6g
Pumpkin Seeds 1 cup 20g
Sesame Seeds 1 tbsp 2.5g
Quinoa 1 cup 8g
Tempeh 3 oz. 15g
Tofu 3 oz. 8g
Edamame ½ cup 7g

CHAPTER 6

What is plant-based protein?

chapter 6

Choosing plant-based proteins over animal sources can benefit your health and the environment. Plant-based proteins provide essential amino acids needed for muscle growth, improved digestion, increased energy levels, better cardiovascular health, weight loss management, and environmental sustainability - making them an excellent addition to any diet!

CHAPTER 7

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of plant protein?

Plant-based proteins offer many unique health benefits not found in animal-derived proteins. These include improved digestive systems, weight loss, better heart health, and anti-aging effects. Plant-based proteins are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids our bodies need to stay healthy.

Which plant-based protein is best?

Hemp seeds have been widely recognized as one of the best plant-based proteins available, containing up to 25 grams of protein per 100 grams. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, which are important for maintaining a healthy heart and overall health. The list goes on though as there are many great plant-based protein sources.

Should I switch to plant-based protein?

The answer to this question really depends on your individual lifestyle, dietary needs, and health goals. In general, plant-based proteins offer many benefits, making them an increasingly popular choice compared to traditional animal-based options. Plant-based proteins provide a nutrient-dense source of protein that is lower in fat and calories than animal products.

Customer Reviews

Based on 70 reviews
67%
(47)
19%
(13)
9%
(6)
3%
(2)
3%
(2)
D
Diane

A bit strong in flavor.

J
Jasenea

I'm extremely disappointed. The protein powder is very prominent. I do not like that even in my smoothies. It is very strong, and I will drink it on long days at work, but I am not impressed by the flavor at all. It is grainy and tastes like a coffee smoothie blended iced or hot. I will not order this again or recommend it until a new formula gets rid of the grainy, heavy residue that it leaves.

L
LUis

Taste really good!!

B
Beau

This stuff just makes me feel better.

Caffeine ✅
Protein ✅
Ashwagandha✅

I use this in the afternoons for a pick me up. Tastes like a dessert without the guilt and keeps me going through long winter days.

C
Carissa Pignatelli
Coffee fix!

It's a great way to get my coffee fix and my protein fix in the morning. Unlike a lot of other coffee substitutes, this one actually tastes like coffee. It's scrumptious and I absolutely love it. Look forward to having it every morning

Latest Articles

/blogs/plant-protein/plant-based-protein-shake

/blogs/plant-protein/lactose-free-protein-shakes

/blogs/plant-protein/whey-protein-vs-plant-protein