Tempeh is made from soy beans, which have been fermented into a cake. As a more whole food option than tofu, it packs around 37% of your recommended intake of protein in 100 grams. Being a fermented food, tempeh contains probiotics which are vital for our digestive system, it also gives your protein digestion a head start by already starting to break down protein into amino acids via the fermentation process. On top off that, tempeh offers calcium for healthy bones, assists to decrease cholesterol levels, is a great source of fibre, contains B vitamins and contains isoflavones which are beneficial for menopause.
These little nutritional powerhouses are a great source of protein with 8% of your recommended intake in just 30 grams of seeds! They are also an excellent source of fibre, which is needed for healthy digestive function, food for probiotics in the stomach and detoxification. Chia is a great plant source of omega 3, which fights inflammation, supports brain health and healthy glowing skin. The best way to harness the benefits of chia is by soaking them. Chia seeds absorb around 10X their weight in water. You will need 6 parts of water to every one part of chia to make a gel.
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah) is a gluten free pseudo-grain which contains all essential amino acids needed for health. The term pseudo-grain is used because although quinoa is used like a grain, it actually belongs to the same family as beetroot and spinach! It is the least allergenic of all grain options and is gluten free. 100 grams of cooked quinoa holds approximately 9% of your daily intake of protein, it is also high in fibre and low GI. On top of this, quinoa is highly versatile to cook with, provides a great source of magnesium, manganese and calcium as well as providing a source of vitamin E. Check out our quinoa bowls for some inspiration!
Chickpeas are a great source of vegetable protein with one cup providing 23% of your recommended daily intake. Chickpeas are full of fibre, particularly soluble fibre which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep blood sugar levels balanced. As chickpeas are not a complete protein, combining them with other protein sources such as quinoa or other grain proteins ensures all amino acids are covered. Containing nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium and a mighty punch of folate make them a great source of vegetable protein. From hummus, salads and soups to chickpea curry, there is no end to ways to incorporate them into your diet!
These little legumes are often overlooked by more exciting and vogue competitors but they needn’t be! A cup of cooked lentils bring in a whopping 36% of your recommended daily intake of protein. As with chickpeas, they will need to combined with a grain based source of protein such as quinoa or wholegrain cereals to make up the whole essential amino acid profile. They contain high levels of fibre, perfect for keeping your gut microbes happy, vitamin K, which is essential for healthy bones and vitamin C for your immune system and skin.