If you’re looking to scale back on animal protein, it’s likely that better health is one of your goals. Getting more plants in your diet is almost never a bad idea!

Some researchTrusted Source has suggested that a plant-based diet could play a role in cancer prevention. Other studies have shown plant-based eating can be a helpful strategy for weight loss and type 2 diabetes management.

Meanwhile, plant-based foods typically contain fiber, which promotes good gut bacteria, smoother digestion, and — in the case of soluble fiber — better heart health.

A 2019 studyTrusted Source found that a plant-based diet was linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause in middle-aged adults.

Beyond their advantages for personal wellness, proteins from plants also make a difference for the environment. In terms of land use, freshwater consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions, plant foods have a definite upper hand over animal products, according to the World Resources Institute.

Plus, when you opt for proteins that grew in the ground — not on a feedlot — your conscience can rest easy about animal cruelty concerns.

Soy-based: tempeh, tofu, edamame, Impossible Burger, soy milk, soy crumbles (textured vegetable protein)

Bean- or legume-based: lentils, beans and rice, chickpeas, black beans, bean burgers, eggless eggs

Pea protein-based: Pea protein, pea milk

Grain-based: seitan, Ezekiel bread, whole wheat flour, spelt, teff

Nut- and seed-based: almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa

Veggie-based: potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, asparagus

Other: mycoprotein, spirulina

Pea protein

Nutrition: Talk about nutrient-dense! In a single scoop of pea protein, you’ll find 24 grams of protein, 120 calories, and 35 percent of your daily iron supply.

Taste: Does pea protein taste like peas? Not necessarily. Many fans of the alt-protein powder say it’s got a pleasantly mellow flavor. Plus, it’s not chalky or gritty and blends well in recipes.

Using in cooking: Pea protein is used in a number of store-bought products, like pea milk and meat alternatives. As a standalone food, you’ll most likely find it sold as a powder.

Scoop a tablespoon or so into your morning smoothie or into the batter of baked goods.

Beans and rice

Nutrition: Beans and rice have long been touted as a complete vegetarian protein . This means they supply all the amino acids your body can’t produce on its own when combined.

Another bonus: No matter which beans you use, this classic combo is extremely high in fiber, especially when made with brown rice.

Taste: The taste of any B&R dish will depend on the variety of beans you use. For an adaptable dish, start with a milder bean like cannellini or black.

Using in cooking: While you can eat beans and rice all on their own, they also make a tasty filling for stuffed peppers, enchiladas, or wraps.


Nutrition: Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are chock-full of nutrients. One cup provides 15 grams of protein, 13 grams of fiber, and 10 percent of your daily calcium needs.

Taste: Like many other plant-based proteins, chickpeas taste somewhat nutty or earthy.

Using in cooking: In whole form, chickpeas make an easy addition to savory salads. There’s no shortage of options for mashed chickpeas, too.

Try them in wraps, falafel, hummus, or chickpea cakes.


Nutrition: Hello, healthy fats! Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts come preloaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

An average of 4 to 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving adds to the nutritious mix.

Taste: Flavor profiles vary between nuts, and so will the flavor of nut butters, depending on the nut used.

Using in cooking: There’s nothing quite as convenient as a handful of nuts for a quick snack.

Nuts can also take center stage at meals and desserts. Briefly toast almonds in the oven for a perfect ice cream topper or whip up a rich cashew curry.


Nutrition: Need a fiber boost? Lentils will do the trick with 14 grams per cooked cup, plus 18 grams of plant-based protein.

Taste: Lentils come in multiple varieties, including green, brown, yellow, red, and black.

Each may have a slightly different taste, but you can expect them to have an earthy flavor and a soft, creamy texture when cooked.

Using in cooking: Lentils are a culinary rock star! Their relatively neutral flavor and velvety smoothness lend themselves well to soups, curries, and salads.

You can also substitute them for a portion of ground meat in dishes like tacos, casseroles, and burgers.

High protein vegetables

Nutrition:  Higher protein veggies include Brussels sprouts, spinach, peas, corn, broccoli, and asparagus.

Though these may not match the protein content of some other plant-based choices, every little bit helps.

Plus, what they lack in protein, they make up for in fiber and micronutrients like potassium, calcium, and vitamin K.

Taste: No one will turn their nose up at veggies prepared the right way.

Make vegetables like spinach and broccoli more palatable by choosing cooking methods that enhance rather than obliterate their flavor. These include grilling, sautéing, and roasting.

Using in cooking: Anything goes when it comes to veggie preparation.

On a Meatless Monday, veggies can stand in for meat in just about any food package.

Nestle asparagus in a cheesy pasta, top pizza with roasted broccoli, or pack a pot pie with peas and corn.

In addition, if you're interested in trying a high-quality plant-based protein powder, consider buying Aadav Ayurveda plant-based protein powder to supplement your protein intake. This product is a great addition to a plant-based diet and can help you meet your nutritional needs.