10 WAYS TO GET 10G PROTEIN ON A PLANT-BASED DIET
Where do you get your protein? This is the #1 food question I have been asked throughout my life as a vegetarian. Protein is important for all of us, though, for those of us with endometriosis, protein is of particular interest when it comes to supporting the liver in removing excess hormones (oestrogen, we’re looking at you). That said, there is such a thing as too much protein and the SAD (Standard American Diet) is overloaded with it. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8g of protein per kg (or 0.36 per pound) which is achievable on a plant-based diet. “Green” protein can be a bit of a concept to wrap your head around if you’re not used to it, so I created this 10g list as an easy reference for
meeting your daily requirement.
10g protein = 2.5 tbsp | 17.5g
Spirulina is a freshwater blue-green microalgae that is widely regarded as one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Hawaii is a prominent producer of spirulina.
2. Nutritional Yeast
10g protein = 1/3 cup | 18g
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast (so not the kind that encourages Candida) and a relatively inexpensive health food product that is a source of B vitamins, inlucding B12.
How to use: Typically available in flake form, nutritional yeast is a pantry staple of mine and I use it frequently to make dairy-free cheese alternatives such as cashew cheese and in sauces, such as in pasta bakes.
3. Sesame flour
10g protein = 2 tbsp | 20g
Sesame flour, as the name suggests, is flour made from sesame seeds! As well as protein, sesame seeds are a good source of calcium which is particularly important for women who have taken the pill or other hormonal treatments and may need to replenish bone mass.
4. Kidney beans
10g protein = 1/4 cup | 25g
Kidney beans are named for their resemblance to our kidneys. Beans are highly toxic raw and must be cooked well before eating (canned beans are pre-cooked for a quick fix).
How to use: Kidney beans, along with other beans, can be added to many plant-based recipes as a side or in a salad mix. Looking for an easy swap? Try a healthier baked potato meal by swapping white potatoes for sweet potatoes and baked beans for black or kidney beans.
10g protein = 3 tbsp / 30g
Hemp seeds are a complete protein, housing all 20 amino acids. Hemp seed contains the perfect ratio of omegas, which helps to keep inflammation in check, and since they don’t contain phytic acid (unlike most seeds), there’s no need to soak them before use!
How to use: Hemp seed can be ground into a flour for many healthy snacks such as the seed balls or you can chuck hemp hearts (shelled version) into salads or many other recipes such as the Toasted Seed Bowl.
6. Pumpkin seeds
10g protein = 2.5 tbsp / 35g
Pumpkin seeds are a tasty source of protein, though I do favour other seeds, such as sunflower seeds, for endometriosis. This is because pumpkin seeds can help boost estrogen levels. That said, I like to include a variety of whole foods in my diet so I do use these in moderation.
10g protein = 1/3 cup | 50g
No plant-based protein list would be complete without nuts! Due to their subtle flavour and creamy texture, almonds and cashews are the nuts I use the most.
How to use: Nuts, like seeds, are best soaked as this aids digestion. I use ground almonds as a thickener in many recipes, namely sweet healthy treats, and to add texture to savoury recipes such as an Indian curry.
10g protein = 1/2 cup+ | 100g
Lentils are a pulse in the legume family. Like beans, they are available in different varieties – look closely and you’ll see some incredibly beautiful colours.
How to use: I have never eaten more lentils than in Nepal where dal bhat (lentils + rice) is a staple meal. Lentils can bulk up many dishes, such as a vegetable hot pot. My favourite use for lentils is in a vegetable dhansak curry.
10g protein = 1 cup | 150g
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another pulse on this list!
How to use: Chickpeas make for an extremely versatile substance – see here where I made pitta bread and falafels from chickpeas. On their own, chickpeas are fairly bland (which is great as a bulking agent), but to eat them whole I tend to season them with paprika and other spices as part of a Buddha Bowl.
10g protein = 1.25 cups | 230g
Quinoa is a pseudo-grain (it’s really a seed – so wheat/gluten free) and is a complete source of protein.
How to use: A cup+ of cooked quinoa makes for a great portion of a plant-based meal; whether as a light lunch or something more substantial. Instructions on the bag may suggest a 1:3 ratio of quinoa to water, though I prefer 1:2 since I prefer a little more texture (quinoa can go very mushy). Note: rinse quinoa thoroughly before use, otherwise it can taste bitter.
the endo diet