Dear EuropaMan,
A growing number of my customers are vegetarians and many others live gluten-free lifestyles. Every day, I get asked about the differences in plant-based proteins. What do you recommend?
– Tim, Natural Foods Retailer

Dear Tim,
Whether your customers are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or just living, breathing human beings —everyone needs protein. Now, some proteins are healthier than others. Why? Because of what comes along with the protein, such as healthy fats and harmful, artery-clogging fats, too. Not to mention, fiber, vitamins, minerals and many other nutritional components. Truth is, protein is always a package deal. Let’s take a look at a few plant-based protein options:


Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah. Not kwin-OH-ah) is my personal favorite. But I’m not the only one who feels this way. In fact, The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially declared 2013, “The International Year of the Quinoa.” Now that’s it’s 2014, the many benefits of Quinoa continue to dominate around the world. Quinoa is a grain crop and gluten free. It’s what’s called a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that are body cannot produce naturally. There are 100+ varieties of quinoa. So, you’re sure to find Quinoa incorporated in various powders and protein bars. Just ask your Europa Sales Rep.


Are you surprised? Yes, peas are a plant-based protein. The fact that it’s a legume makes it beneficial to individuals with allergy or dietary concerns. For individuals who may have digestive challenges with animal-based protein, pea protein is a nice alternative.


This protein comes from the nutrient-rich seeds of the hemp plant in the cannabis family. A 1-ounce serving of hemp powder yields approximately 14 grams of protein. You’ll also get about 4 grams of fiber per serving. Remember, protein is a packaged deal.

Brown Rice

This protein provides a great alternative for individuals with dairy, soy, or gluten allergies. Similar to other protein sources, brown rice can assist in weight loss and lower cholesterol. It’s also low fat and low calorie.

Plant-based proteins pack a powerful punch of nutrients

Plant-based protein is powerful. Need more proof? Example A: The elephant. Example B and C: The gorilla and the rhino.


These incredibly strong creatures get all of their protein from plants. So can your customers.

Whether CrossFit fanatics or couch potatoes, everyone needs to include protein in their diet. Protein provides us with essential amino acids that our bodies simply cannot make on their own.

Next time anyone asks about plant-based proteins, talk to them about any of the proteins on this list. If you start at the top with Quinoa, just remember, it’s KEEN-wah.

Yours in Good Health,


P.S. Got a question regarding your buisness or the industry? Email [email protected].