A variety of good quality sources of protein are available, and many of them are not part of the animal kingdom. Here are the top sources of plant protein with the most health benefits:
- Spirulina and Chlorella – Spirulina, Chlorella and the algae family are gaining more and more attention as exceptional superfood that deliver a wide array of nutrients and help our body get rid of heavy metals. Chlorella is commonly cited as 58% protein (and at times, up to 75 %) with a balance of important amino acids, including all the essential ones the body cannot manufacture. When you combine this with an abundance of enzymes, probiotics, and phytonutrients, chlorella becomes a high quality protein source that is easily digestible as well.
- *Hemp *– Hemp has no shortage of health benefits, including being the perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (3:1), the most abundant source of EFAs (essential fatty acids), and a rich source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and plant sterols. Hemp is up to 47% protein, and contains 20 amino acids; including the 9 essential amino acids our body cannot produce, making it one of the few plant-based complete protein sources.
- *Bee Pollen – Not as well known, bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most complete and balanced foods – with a rich source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, hormones, enzymes and fats, as well as significant quantities of natural antibiotics. Bee pollen is between 25 to 40 % protein, and contains 22 amino acids (which have five to seven times the amino acids found in equal weights of beef, milk, eggs, or cheese). *
- *Chia –* Used for centuries by health advocates, chia seeds are an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Chia is 21% protein and contains all the essential amino acids in the proper ratios – thus making it a complete protein. When soaked, they absorb 10 times their weight in water which helps hydrate the colon and move toxins out of the gut. **
Quinoa – Native to South America, quinoa is a great source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper, zinc, and vitamin B-6 and B-9. Quinoa is 14 percent protein and contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein as well. It also has prebiotic properties which helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, making it easy to digest.
(Source: Food Matters)