20 plant-based foods rich in protein for runners

20 plant-based foods rich in protein for runners

Sick and tired of eating chicken eggs, want no more beef steaks and milk? We have prepared a list of vegetable products rich in protein and especially beneficial for runners.

We suggest expanding your gastronomic knowledge and leave debates about animal-based protein sources and their benefits for runners for later. Let’s better study the list of healthy vegan foods and include them onto your grocery shopping list.

1. Porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis)

Porcini mushrooms

Protein: dried - 36 grams, fresh - 5.5 grams

Remember: dry porcini mushrooms are extremely high in protein, because all the liquid is removed.

2. Peanuts


Protein: 26.3 g

This type of nuts is a winner in protein content. By the way, peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they belong to legumes. Peanut fibers have a beneficial effect on the digestive system, slow down the absorption of sugar and fats into the blood. Since peanuts are very high in calories, avoid consuming more than 30-40 g per day. Stay away from salted or fried nuts – there is a super high dose of cheap cooking oil and salt in them.

3. Lentils


Protein: 24.6 g

This representative of legumes is easy to cook and delicious to taste. There is no need to soak lentils in water for 12 hours in comparison to peas or chickpeas. The protein content in lentils is just as great as in other legumes. Feel free to add lentils to soups, make a patty-cake or just boil it and mix with fried onions, carrots, mushrooms herbs and spices and stew until ready.

4. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Protein: 24.5 g

The figures speak for themselves: pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein. In addition, they are full of vitamin E to promote faster post-workout recovery. Add seeds in salads, soups or your morning cereals. If there is no time for cooking, just have them as a snack between your main meals.

5. Kidney beans

Kidney beans

Protein: 21.1 g

In addition to the sky-high amount of isoleucine, an amino acid responsible for muscle tissue growth, it is also rich in folic acid. Lack of folic acid is traditionally associated with depression and bad mood. Perhaps, 1 serving (80-100 g) of kidney beans 2-3 times a week will support the energy level of the body and won’t let you, but also will not let you get depressed.

6. Chickpeas


Protein: 19 g

Chickpeas contain a lot of protein and fiber and are the main hummus ingredient. Mix this paste with a pinch of masala spices - and get the perfect ingredient for your morning sandwich or pre-workout snack. The only problem is cooking. If you want to cook chickpeas as a side dish for dinner, you'll have to soak them in the morning. And then cook for at least an hour. But if you want to have strong and elastic muscles, this kitchen work is necessary

7. Cashew


Protein: 18.2 g

The closest peanut competitor in protein content and one of the least fatty nuts. Cashew is a pure joy for athletes: this nut contains small amount of fats, a lot of vitamin K and magnesium (100 g contains about 12% of the former and 20% of the latter measured to recommended daily consumption). Magnesium also helps to beat rapid fatigue, muscle spasms, and reduces the risk of injury.

8. Tofu


Protein: 17.3 g

If you can’t stand the taste of raw tofu, try to fry it with spices or cook miso soup. Low-calorie, filling and easy to prepare - these are the three key advantages of this product. You just need to boil the miso paste, add tofu, mushrooms and greens.

The third option is somewhat risky but is worth a try: mix tofu in a milkshake - milk and fruit will completely take away the taste of tofu.

9. Buckwheat


Protein: 12.6 g

This type of groats is a favorite of runners and other athletes, including bodybuilders. It is high in complex carbs to provide athletes with energy for workouts and daily life. In addition, buckwheat contains three most important amino acids for good metabolism - tryptophan, threonine and lysine. Therefore, treat yourself to buckwheat at least 2-3 times a week.

10. Oats


Protein: 11.9 g

Oats should be included in any runner’s diet. Any endurance athlete includes it in breakfast, lunch and dinner even without reading this article. However, we want to add that oats are champions in proteins and fats content among grain crops. It contains almost all the B vitamins, as well as vitamin E, a lot of phosphorus, iron, magnesium, silicon, zinc, calcium. Do not hesitate to add berries, nuts and dried fruits to your oatmeal: it makes perfect combinations with almost everything.

11. Sprouted wheat

Sprouted wheat

Source photo: www.health.harvard.edu

Protein: 7.5 g

Sprouted grain contains maximum concentration of B vitamins and protein in comparison to ordinary wheat. Besides, sprouted grains are rich in arginine - an important amino acid, which provides blood flow to the muscles. Wheat sprouts don’t look very appetizing and taste fresh. But they can be added to many other dishes.

12. Brown rice

Brown rice

Protein: 6.3 g

In countries where rice belongs to the main food group, athletes still prefer white rice to brown. However, most European and American athletes mostly choose the latter to make up their diet. Brown rice is not polished, so its shell rich in fiber is partially preserved. Brown rice contains more useful substances that white rice. We don’t want to say anything bad about ordinary rice, it is an excellent source of carbohydrates. But it is brown rice that is rich in proteins, fiber and phytonutrients.

13. Green peas

Green peas

Protein: 5.4 g

What was the last time you ran 10 km faster than in 40 minutes? Maybe, it is necessary to improve your memory? For example, with the help green peas, saturated with thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. This vitamin is extremely important for better memory and attention. Besides, green peas are rich in leucine - an amino acid that stimulates muscle growth and enhances fat burn. Choose any: fresh, frozen or canned.

14. Dried apricots

Dried apricots

Protein: 5.2 g

We recommend it to those, who suffer from anemia. Dried apricots are an excellent source of protein and iron combined with vitamin C, which helps iron get better absorbed. However, be careful: all dried fruits contain more than 100% of the recommended daily sugar consumption – about 50-60 g per 100 g of product. Because of the smaller volume and weight of dried apricots, we tend to eat it a lot more than fresh apricots. Therefore, use your self-control when you decide to have a snack.

15. Dried figs

Dried figs

Protein: 3.3 g

Fig tree fruits contain many trace elements: calcium, copper, iron, potassium and B vitamins. Fiber in figs allows you to feel full longer after exercise. Ficin enzyme contained in it stimulates digestion. However, dried figs contain 15% more sugar than fresh ones. Therefore 1-2 pieces per day will be enough.

16. Broccoli


Protein: 3 g

Everyone is aware that broccoli is a valuable and healthy vegetable, rich in fiber, ascorbic acid and vitamin B6, which improves mood. Besides, broccoli is considered the leader among vegetables for antioxidant properties.

17. Spinach


Protein: 2.9 g

Of course, 3 g of protein per 100 g doesn’t sound very impressive, but it’s not bad for some green grass. It contains many vitamins (A, C and K), various minerals and phytonutrients. In addition, spinach is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates along with beets. Nitrates increase endurance, activate the blood flow to muscles and help mitochondria (cellular energy generators) work more efficiently.

18. Asparagus


Protein: 2.2 g

One of the vegetable leaders in protein content (up to 5% in fresh asparagus). Bend your fingers: asparagus contains a lot of vitamins A, C and E – to fight free radicals and speed up muscle recovery. Also, it contains zinc, which helps to restore damaged bone and connective tissues. Just make sure you don’t overcook asparagus, because it destroys most of useful elements in it. Do not boil it for more than 4 minutes.

19. Potatoes


Protein: 2 g

This vegetable is undeservedly offended by dietitians and healthy diet followers. If you cook them without oil you can get one of the most saturating foods. People feel full with fewer calories, when these calories come from potatoes. Also, they tend to eat less in their next meal than they would in other case. There are dozens of ways to cook potatoes. Due to such variety of dishes to include it in, you can add them in your menu almost daily. Bake potatoes with vegetables and lean meat to make it work best for you.

20. Avocado


Protein: 2 g

Half avocado at breakfast significantly reduces the desire to snack during the day. It contains many useful elements including vitamins C and E. In addition, avocados allow the body to better absorb lycopene and beta-carotene that improve post-workout muscle recovery.

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