When you think of adding more protein to your diet you probably don’t think about the protein in seeds. Seeds are small but might and pack a protein punch. They are also very versatile and are easy to add to baked goods, smoothies, salads, pudding or as a crunchy addition to a stir fry.
Did you know that just 2 tbsp of hemp seeds contains 10 grams of protein? With no need to grind, a pleasant taste and not as chewy as some other seeds, adding hemp seeds is an almost invisible way to increase the protein of just about anything.
Add some of these seeds to your shopping list and look for seeds in the ingredient list when you are buying bread, baked goods, protein or snack bars and whole grain cereals or rice.
Protein in Seeds: Small but Mighty, Seeds Pack a Protein Punch
2 tbsp Hemp seeds 8o cal 10.6g protein 3g fibre
2 tbsp Chia seeds 130 cal 4.4g protein 10 g fibre
2 tbsp Flax seeds 80 cal 2.5g protein 4g fibre
2 tbsp Sunflower seeds 120 cal 4g protein 2g fibre
2 tbsp Pumpkin seeds 86 cal 4g protein 0g fibre
2 tbsp Sesame seeds 100 cal 3g protein 2.2g fibre
Protein in Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds (or hearts) are the winner when it comes to the most protein in seeds per serving.
Just 2 tbsp of hemp seeds contain the same amount of protein as 2 egg whites and they are rich in healthy fats. Hemp seeds contain omega 3 and omega 6,Vitamin E, iron, zinc, magnesium and all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) which is hard to find in a plant protein.
Did you know hemp seeds are considered a fruit?
Protein in Chia Seeds
Chia seeds win for highest fibre content and come in second for protein.
Chia also contains 18% of your daily calcium needs, high in magnesium, are easy to digest and super versatile. They expand when added to liquid and make the most amazing puddings or addition to any baked goods, your morning smoothie or this overnight fridge oatmeal.
Protein in Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds win for the highest source of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) per serving which makes up for its lower amount of protein.
Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of, dietary fiber, Vitamin B1, magnesium and selenium but make sure you grind the seeds (or buy ground flaxseed) to reap all the health benefits.
Protein in Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are great to snack on – especially if you have to work to get them out of the shells – and are an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin E and copper.
They are also a very good source of essential fatty acids, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, and niacin and add a tasty crunch to salads, trail mix or granola.
Protein in Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds—also known as pepitas – provide a good amount of protein while also being an excellent source of the mineral zinc.
Pumpkin seeds are unique in that they have a very diverse array of antioxidants as well as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and copper but very little fiber.
You can buy shelled pumpkin seeds for baking and to add to granola or salads but many love them straight from the pumpkin, roasted with a sprinkle of salt. To roast, arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 250-350°F for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
Protein in Sesame Seeds
Popular as a bun or bagel topping, sesame seeds are actually very nutritious as well as providing a good source of protein.
They are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, molybdenum, vitamin B1, selenium and dietary fiber. They are great toasted, add a crunch to any side dish and did you know that sesame seeds are the main ingredient in tahini?
If you are looking to get more plant-based protein in your diet or just to punch up the protein of everyday meals try adding chia, hemp or flaxseeds. Be creative and start adding some seeds to top your yogurts, cereals, salads, stir fry or add when baking and get all the health benefits from the protein in seeds.
PIN this to your Protein Ideas Board on Pinterest as a reminder of the Protein Power in Seeds.