Plant-based protein often gets a bad rap. It’s sometimes dismissed as an invalid form of protein because it’s rare that a single source of plant-based protein contains all 9 essential amino acids. Since our body only produces 11 of the 20 total amino acids it needs to function properly, the remaining 9 must come from the food we eat.
While many individual plant-based proteins don’t have all 9 amino acids on their own, they can be combined with other protein sources to achieve all 9 essential amino acids. In other words, as long as you eat a varied diet full of unprocessed, whole foods, amino acids should never be something you need to worry about, even if you eat vegan or vegetarian Not only that, but there are many products out there, including REBBL’s Protein Elixirs that combine a variety of plant protein sources to include all 9 amino acids.  Plant-based protein is often produced more sustainably than its animal product counterpart, making it a great choice not just for your health, but also the planet. 
Here are five of our favorite plant-based protein sources!
- Chia: Using a gram by gram comparison, not only does chia contain about 5g protein per tablespoon, but it also contains 8x more omega-3s than salmon and 6x more calcium than milk. Use chia to make a delicious chia pudding or sprinkle some on top of your next smoothie or salad! 
- Beans: Beans are one of the better-known sources of plant-based protein, and for good reason. Not only do they contain on average about 3-4 grams of protein per tablespoon, but there are also hundreds of varieties to choose from, making them an extremely versatile source of plant-based protein. 
- Sunflower: Sunflower seeds are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and are also extremely versatile. Sprinkle some of these delicious crunchy seeds onto your next salad or enjoy one of our Dark Chocolate Protein Elixirs, which contains 16g of plant-based protein from sunflower, pea and pumpkin in each bottle.
- Pea: Other than being the second source of protein in our Dark Chocolate Protein Elixir, pea protein has quickly grown in popularity due to its versatility and sustainability vs. other forms of protein.  One cup of green peas contains about 8g of protein.
- Pumpkin: In addition to being the star of fall cuisine, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds both contain a delicious source of plant-based protein! By consuming pumpkin, you will also benefit from its high content of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body.  Enjoy one of our Dark Chocolate Protein Elixirs, which contains pumpkin as one of the sources of protein!
 “10 Complete Proteins Vegetarians Need to Know About”. Greatist.com. Web. 22 July 2016.
 Gates, Bill. “Future of Food”. GatesNotes.com. 18 March 2013. Web. 22 July 2016.
 “Some of Chia’s Nutrients, compared to other foods on a 100g basis”. A to Z Chia. Web. 22 July 2016.
 Kovacs, Jenny Stamos. “Beans: Protein Rich Superfoods”. WebMD. 26 February 2007. Web. 22 July 2016.
 Crane, Michael. “Pea Protein Is Coming Up Strong”. Nutritional Outlook. 13 May 2015. Web. 22 July 2016.
 Covington, Caitlin. “Superfood: Pumpkin”. Greatest. Web. 22 July 2016.
Anya Kaats Shinall is a San Diego-based Blogger, Health Coach and Marketing Consultant on a mission to share good food, health & happiness with as many people as possible. You can visit Anya’s blog at AnyasEats.com, or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.