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3 Plant-Based Proteins That May Surprise You

By Emily Lindholm

If you are vegetarian, I'm sure you've been asked the question, "where do you get your protein?"  Most of us have been taught that protein comes only from meat, so many find it confusing to know where else protein can come from if it's not coming from an animal.  It is true that meat is the most bioavailable form of protein, but here are three options of plant-based protein that may surprise you. 

These three superfood proteins are processed and digested much easier by the body than your standard beans and rice, legumes, and soy products.  Read on to learn about hemp seed protein, spirulina, and chia seeds!

Hemp Seeds

Hempseed comes from the cannabis sativa plant but contains no THC, except for small trace amounts that will go unnoticed.  The protein in hemp seed is easily digestible, and hemp seeds come with a range of other nutrients, including magnesium, iron, calcium, iron, zinc, and selenium.  As for the protein amount found in a single serving of hemp seeds, you will find 10 grams.  You can sprinkle these on a salad or over a stir fry. They're also great to make pesto with!


Spirulina, also known as blue-green algae, grows in fresh and saltwater.  It's a source of complete protein, plus it's high in iron and thiamin.  Two tablespoons of spirulina will provide you with 8 grams of protein.  One reason spirulina is recommended so much is that the protein is absorbed well by the body.  This superfood also is high in antioxidants and will fight inflammation!  Just add a couple of tablespoons to a fruit smoothie, or buy it fresh and take it as a shot in the morning!

Chia Seeds

Surely you've seen these by now, floating around in a specialty drink or being used to thicken up a cup of coconut yogurt.  Some kombuchas have chia seeds in them.  They are awfully funny looking when they have been sitting in liquid for a long period of time, but it turns out that these are extremely good for you.  They happen to have 6 grams of protein per serving of 1.25 ounces.  Many seek these out for their omega-3 fatty acids and fiber content.  Add them to yogurt, a fruit beverage, or just add them to your water!

Let's Talk About Nuts, Legumes, and Soy

Nuts, legumes, and soy tend to be the most popular sources of proteins for vegetarians.  However, these can be hard on the digestive system.  Make sure to soak all nuts and legumes before cooking and consuming them.  As for soy, it is best to make sure that it is non-GMO soy.  It is best to eat any of these in moderation, especially if you experience any form of digestive issuesTo learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bloomingdale, Ill.

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