This is the most common perception that one can get readily available protein only from animal food products. But this doesn’t mean that vegan has to stay deficient of this essential nutrient. Experts say that a well-planned diet and meal can provide you all essential nutrients that your body needs, even if you are on a vegan diet. There are a plethora of high protein vegan foods that you can include to your diet to fulfill your Recommended Daily Value (RDA) of protein.
Our list of 18 vegan protein sources will make your plate look complete and interesting while providing your body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
18 Vegan Protein Foods List
Lentils are the most versatile vegan protein sources. They vary in size, shape, color, and taste. 100 grams of lentils provide almost 26 grams of protein. Moreover, they can be used in different ways, you can add them to salad, cook them as spice-infused dals, or use it in soups and stews.
Also Read : Types of Cereals
Chickpeas are another best vegan protein food as one cup serving of cooked chickpeas contains 15 grams of protein. Additionally, they are also a rich source of various other vitamins and minerals. Having a mild flavor and texture, they can be added to salads, dips, and hummus, or you can simply add your favorite spice and oil, then roast them to get a perfect snack.
Soybean is a complete source of protein for vegetarians. It provides all nine essential amino acids to our body. A one-cup serving of soya beans contains almost 68 grams of protein, which is a way too higher than any of its counterparts. You can consume it in different forms to reduce muscle damage.
4. Green Peas
Although small, these green peas are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are often added to a high protein vegan diet, especially in powdered form. One cup serving of peas contains 9 grams of protein. Just make sure you don’t overcook them, otherwise, they will lose their nutritional value. Green peas are also an excellent source of fiber and various vitamins and minerals.
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is mostly considered as “pseudocereals”. These small grains are amazingly packed with protein. One cup serving of cooked quinoa can offer almost 8 to 9 grams of protein. However, these small grains have a nutty taste, it would be better to rinse them before cooking to avoid any bitterness. They are mostly substituted for rice.
Also Read : Quinoa Health Benefits
6. Soy Milk
As vegans can’t have any animal products, it becomes challenging for them to find suitable milk. Fortunately, milk made from soybeans can be a great option. A single cup serving of soymilk has 6-7 grams of protein. Not only that, but it is also fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Flavored varieties are also available in the market, you can choose as per your taste. You can consume it as it is or use it in a variety of cooking.
What can be better than starting your day with a protein boost in the form of oats or oatmeal? Although oats are majorly consumed for its fiber content, it is also a very good high protein vegan food. One cup serving of oats gives you 12 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. The best thing about oats is that they can be used in a variety of dishes.
Almost all types of seeds offer a great amount of protein and other nutrients. You can check the protein profile of the following seeds to believe this:
- Chia Seeds: 12 grams protein in ½ cup serving
- Pumpkin Seeds: 20 grams protein in ½ cup serving
- Flaxseeds: 3 grams protein in 2 tablespoons serving
- Hempseed: 10 grams protein in 28 grams serving
- Tahini: 5 grams protein in 2 tablespoons serving
Also Read : Different Types of Seeds
9. Nut Butters
Nuts are a very good source of protein vegan meals with other essential nutrients. Using nut butter like almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter can be a delicious way of adding protein to your diet. You can simply eat a spoonful of nut butter or spread it on your bread or add it to your sauces, that’s up to you.
Beans are a type of legumes that are power-packed with a lot of fiber and protein. There are so many options available in the market, the most popular protein sources are kidney beans, black beans, and pinto, etc. The range of protein present in one cup serving is between 10 to 18 grams.
Tofu is made from soy milk in a similar way we make cheese. A half-cup serving of tofu offers almost 22 grams of protein, making it an excellent addition to your staple meals and salads. While buying tofu, always go for the one having a firm texture and less water content as that makes it a better source of protein as well as calcium.
Made from wheat gluten, seitan is very similar in look and texture of meat, this is the reason it is also called mock meat. You can have 25 grams of protein in a 100 grams serving of seitan. Further, it is also a very good source of selenium, which is rare to find in other food products.
Mostly popular as an ingredient in beer, barley is also consumed for its protein and fiber content. The pearled barley in which the bran is removed takes less time to cook. A 100 grams serving of barley include 30 grams of protein.
Nuts are a well-known source of plant-based protein. They can be added to a high protein vegan diet to fulfill protein daily value. Let us have a closer look at the protein profile of certain nuts:
- Almonds:15 grams per 100 grams
- Cashews: 24 grams per 100 grams
- Peanut:8 grams per 100 grams
- Pistachios:16 grams per 100 grams
You can find different varieties of rice in the market. The most popular form of rice is white rice that is tenderer, while brown rice retains more nutrition. Each variety of rice has a different nutritional profile, however, the average protein content in one cup serving of rice is 4.5 grams.
Also Read : Brown Rice vs White Rice
This nutritional powerhouse is one of the best vegan protein sources as just two tablespoons of this green algae provide 8 grams of protein along with other essential nutrients like iron, copper, thiamin, magnesium, riboflavin and many more.
17. High Protein Fruits & Veggies
Although all fruits and vegetables contain protein, certain ones offer a good amount of protein. Vegetables like spinach, potatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and artichokes contain almost 4-5 grams of protein per cup in their cooked form. Similarly, fruits like bananas, guava, blackberries, mulberries, and cherimoyas contain 2-4 grams of protein per cup.
18. Nutritional Yeast
This inactive yeast is popularly known as “nooch” in the vegan community. This is one in the most loved vegan protein foods list for its cheesy flavor. Just 28 grams of serving provides you 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. This versatile yeast can be used in mashed potatoes, popcorn, pasta, and tofu in different ways.
We have seen vegans experiencing protein deficiency, and that is because they are unaware of high protein vegan foods available for them.
This list is not only meant for vegetarians and vegans, but even those who want to consume plant-based protein can also incorporate the above-mentioned food items in their diet.9.