3. Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are a lot like cocoa, but there are some key differences. With a modest 7 grams worth of protein in every 50g, cacao differs from cocoa primarily in that it still has the living enzymes intact which make it beneficial for improving digestion. Furthermore, cacao nibs contain significant levels of antioxidants (antiaging enzymes), and believe it or not, it can significantly improve your heart health. Chocolate gets unhealthy once you add in all the excess fat, salt and sugar. If you must skip to chocolate, opt for high grade semisweet dark chocolate, as it’s the healthiest for you.
2. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a very popular health food, partially for their protein content, but also for other reasons. Coming in at 9g of protein per 50g, flax seeds also provide significant levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which play significant roles in the body’s health. For those adverse to using eggs, ground flax can stand in as a healthier substitute when it’s time to bake; ultimately, freshly ground flax is the best in terms of the nutrition it provides. Use it in smoothies and salads, or as a component of snacks; make a trail mix with cacao nibs and pumpkin seeds!
Made from sesame seeds, tahini is a staple in middle eastern cuisine. It can be made into a food all on its own, but it is often a component in many other dishes, most notably in the US, hummus. For every 50 grams or so, Tahini packs in about 10 grams worth of protein. Tahini can be made from raw or roasted seeds; the raw variety has less in the way of fat, but both provide significant nutrition, including potassium, calcium, iron, and B Vitamins. Often used as a dip, it can be served on health platters along with vegetables.Related: 10 Delicious Vegetarian Foods That Have More Iron Than Meat
Protein is crucial to the body, even for vegans and vegetarians; supplements, while helpful, are not always as effective as natural food. These foods are important options, particularly for vegans and vegetarians, not only for their non-animal based protein content but also because of the other vitamins and minerals they provide. Some of these vitamins, such as B Vitamins, are difficult to get enough of without animal sources. Even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian, these foods put new and interesting options on the table. When it comes to protein intake, ensure you get around .13-.30g/lb per day if possible.