This month’s resolution topic focuses on plant proteins and encourages everyone to eat a plant! This topic continues the themes from the past three months which were fruits and vegetables. Adding plant proteins easily builds upon these earlier achievements.

More and more studies recommend we eat more plants and less animal products. A plant-based diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes, with modest amounts of meat. This is good for us and good for the environment.

This month’s goal is to select nutritious plant-based protein choices. In addition to the protein in these plants, you also get fiber, probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Good plant-based protein choices include tempeh, edamame, lentils, beans, quinoa, brown rice, tofu, peanut butter, and nuts.

What is Plant Protein?

Plant protein is exactly what it sounds like — protein that comes from a plant. Proteins are considered essential nutrients, and they’re classified as macronutrients. There are two other macronutrients: fats and carbohydrates.

Proteins are made up of chains of various amino acids, and different proteins can contain different amino acids.

The most common foods that contain plant protein include…

  • Beans/legumes
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Peas
  • Tofu and other soy products
  • Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

The following grain foods also contain some plant protein…

  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Whole wheat products
  • Bread
  • Pasta

Be mindful of what you’re eating. Think about how and why you could add more nutrient-dense plant proteins to your meals. How can you make it a habit? Take the time to evaluate and reflect on this month’s goal and what will work for you.

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information is for informational purposes and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any illness. Consult a physician before taking any action.

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