Protein is an essential macronutrient that we need to be eating every day—it gives us energy, helps us recover from exercise more efficiently, and is made up of long-chain amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle.
"At a minimum, the average person needs to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For a person who weighs 150 pounds, that would be about 55 grams of protein per day," according to registered dietitian Lea Basch. "But the 'right' amount of protein depends on many factors, including activity levels, age, muscle mass, and current state of health."
Most plant-based foods have some level of protein, and if you're eating a diet that's filled with good-quality whole foods, you shouldn't have an issue getting enough, but it's still often a concern with vegans, vegetarians, and those considering dipping a toe into the plant-based waters. Here are some of the most unexpected sources of proteins that dietitians recommend, giving you a wide range of foods to choose from when you're looking to create healthier, satiating, and balanced meals.