19 Best Plant-Based Foods For Muscle Strength & Health

If you want to skip ahead to the link with the plant-based foods and their recipes:  CLICK HERE

If you missed the article I published last week: “Why Older Adults Should Eat More Protein to Prevent Disability” you can CLICK HERE.

It’s an eye opener because lack of muscle strength is what makes us immobile, unable to move and dress independently, get up and down from the potty, in and out of the car, bed, etc.  For those of us with osteoporosis, lack of muscle strength weakens our bones because muscle strengths has a big impact on bone density.

For those of us who have found joy and overall improved health with a whole-food plant, based diet, getting enough protein without meat can be a challenge.

That’s why we’re supplementing with a serving or two of our plant-based protein each day and assessing how much protein we’re getting  in our morning smoothie and at meals.

I’ve done some poking around and found this link to the info below. It is excellent and actually has recipes for each of the plant proteins listed below. How excellent!

What is not on this list but that we eat daily is a serving of FLAX SEED AND CHIA SEEDS.  2 Tablespoons equal about 5 grams of protein. I put a tablespoon of each in our morning smoothie. These have a boatload of nutritional benefits and add more “oomph” so the smoothie is more like a real meal.

I’ve included the top ten but the article lists another 9.

1.  Edamame: Total protein: 18.46 grams per cup (prepared from frozen)

If you normally only eat edamame at your local sushi restaurant, it’s time to start enjoying it at home. It’s packed with healthy plant protein, vitamins, and minerals.

It makes a delicious snack all by itself, cold and defrosted from the freezer.  Add to salads or serve as a side dish.

2.  Lentils:  Total protein:  17.86 grams per cup (boiled)

Lentils, which resemble tiny beans, are actually a pulse found in the legume family. But you won’t find a better option when it comes to an inexpensive, readily available vegetarian-friendly protein.

Bonus: Dry lentils cook up in only 15 minutes!

3.  Pinto Beans: Total protein: 15.41 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Pinto beans are popular in Mexican cooking. They work well in burritos, as a salad topper, in soups and chilis, or just as a side. Try cooking dried pinto beans instead of using the canned type for even more health benefits.

4.  Chickpeas:  Total protein: 14.53 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a main ingredient in hummus. They have a subtle, nutty flavor that works well in a variety of dishes.

Enjoy snacking on roasted chickpeas or using them as a staple in curries, soups, or vegetable bowls.

5.  Mung Beans:  Total protein: 14.18 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Mung beans are part of the legume family and offer plenty of protein per serving. They’re also a good source of iron and fiber.

6.  Fava Beans: Total protein: 12.92 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

In their pods, fava beans look like edamame or green beans. Try adding these nutritious legumes to stews and salads or making them into a tasty dip.

7.  Lima Beans: Total protein: 11.58 grams per cup (boiled)

This little legume packs a nutritious punch with plenty of potassium, fiber, and iron. While some people don’t like the taste, recipes like the ones below can help with that.

8.  Green Peas:  Total protein: 8.58 grams per cup (boiled)

If you think green peas are mushy and unappetizing, you’re not alone. But they’re versatile and can be a delicious addition to many recipes.

9.  Quinoa:  Total protein: 8.14 grams per cup (cooked)

This popular health food is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Quinoa cooks in just 15 minutes and is a great addition to salads, veggie burgers, pilaf, casseroles, and much more.

10.  Wild Rice: Total protein: 6.54 grams per cup (cooked)

Wild rice isn’t actually related to rice, but you can use it in many of the same dishes. Try this nutrient-rich grain in casseroles, soups, pilaf, stuffing, or on its own.

FOR 9 more plant based high-protein foods: