The Protein Power of Legumes: Why They Should Be Part of Your Plant-Based Diet

Vegetables are an important part of any plant-based diet, and for good reason. In addition to being rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, they are also a great source of protein.

Photo: Brazilian Feijoada

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in many of the body's functions, such as building and repairing tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting immune function. Recommended daily protein intake varies depending on age, sex and activity level, but most adults need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Vegetables are a great plant-based source of protein, with many types containing more than 20% protein by weight. Some examples of vegetables that are high in protein include:

  • Beans: Black beans, white beans, navy beans and pinto beans are all high in protein, with about 15 grams of protein per cup.

  • Lentils: Lentils are a popular plant-based protein source, with about 18 grams of protein per cup.

  • Peas : Peas are a good source of protein, with about 9 grams per cup.

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas, also known as white beans, are rich in protein, with about 15 grams per cup.

Vegetables are also a good source of other nutrients, such as fiber, iron and B vitamins. They are low in fat and contain no cholesterol, making them a healthy choice for anyone wanting to improve their diet.

Incorporating vegetables into your diet is easy. They can be added to soups, stews and salads, or used as a protein base for spreads like hummus. They can also be used as a substitute for animal protein sources in dishes like chili, tacos, and burritos.

So if you're looking to increase your protein intake on a plant-based diet, don't forget the legumes! They are a tasty and nutritious way to get the proteins your body needs.

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