Calculate Your Plant Protein Needs

April 1, 2020

Protein is the buzz word for weight loss and diets. Everyone pushes protein shakes and fear of not getting enough. No doubt it is important because protein builds and repairs tissues. It’s in every cell, but we actually don’t need that much. A healthy woman needs 45 grams of protein, while a healthy man needs 52 grams. Yet surveys show that our average intake is 75 grams for woman and 100 grams for men. One note is that protein can’t be stored for later use unlike carbs and other nutrients so we want to consume protein throughout the day. Extra protein, however, won’t lead to building muscle but rather potential weight gain because of excess calorie consumption.

It’s best to resort to eating more plant: good for your health, the planet and animals. A cup of black beans has 15 grams of protein and green peas have 9 grams. Vegetables, whole grains, and nuts also have lots of protein. Here’s a list of examples. Mix and match them for delicious meals and snacks. Use Calculator to figure out your protein needs: https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/index.php

Nuts/Seeds (1/4 cups) – Protein (grams)

Chia Seed 12

Hemp Seed 10

Flax Seed 8

Sunflower Seed 8

Salba 7.4

Almond 7

Pumpkin Seed 7

Sesame Seed 7

Pistachio 6

Walnut 5

Brazil Nut 5

Hazelnut 5

Pine Nut 4

Cashew 4

Cooked beans (1 cup) – Protein (g)

Lentil 18

Adzuki 17

Cannellini (white beans) 17

Cranberry bean 17

Navy Bean 16

Split Peas 16

Anasazi 15

Black Bean 15

Garbanzos 15

Kidney Bean 15

Great Northern 15

Lima Beans 15

Pink Beans 15

Black-eyed Peas 14

Mung Beans 14

Pinto Beans 14

Green Peas 9

Cooked Grains (1 cup) – Protein (g)

Triticale 25

Millet 8.4

Quinoa 8

Amaranth 7

Oat, bran 7

Wild Rice 7

Rye Berries 7

Whole Wheat Couscous 6

Bulgar Wheat 6

Buckwheat 6

Teff 6

Oat Groats 6

Barley 5

Brown Rice 5

Spelt 5

Cooked Vegetables – Protein (g)

Corn (1 large cob) 5

Potato (with skin) 5

Mushroom, Oyster (1 cup) 5

Collard Greens (1 cup) 4

Peas (1/2 cup) 4

Artichoke (medium) 4

Broccoli (1 cup) 4

Brussel Sprouts (1 cup) 4

Mushroom,Shitake (1 cup) 3.5

Fennel (1 medium bulb) 3

Swiss Chard (1 cup) 3

Kale (1 cup) 2.5

Asparagus (5 spears) 2

String Beans (1 cup) 2

Beets (1 cup) 2

Sweet Potato (1 cup) 3

Cabbage (1 cup) 2

Carrot (1 cup) 2

Cauliflower (1 cup) 2

Rutabaga 2

Squash 2

Celery (1 cup) 1

Spinach (1 cup) 1

Bell Peppers (1 cup) 1

Cucumber (1 cup) 1

Eggplant (1 cup) 1

Leeks (1 cup) 1

Lettuce (1 cup) 1

Okra (1/2 cup) 1

Onion (1/2 cup) 1

Avocado medium 4

Passion fruit (1 cup) 5

Pomegranate 5

Dates (1 cup) 3.6

Cantaloupe (1 cup) 1.5

Nectarine 1.5

Orange 1.2

Firm tofu (1/2 cup) 10

Tempeh (1/2 cup) 15

If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, diet, exercise, cravings, emotional eating and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.

~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA