Top 30 Vegan Sources of Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of life. They are important to our health, our brain function, and our exercises and recovery. In the body, protein usually breaks down into amino acids that are responsible for cell growth and repair. Without proteins, our bodies wouldn’t function well and to some extent it would not be able to support us for long. Most of us get the majority of our proteins from animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs which in most cases are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Something you should know is that you can get a healthy source of proteins from vegan products. A vegan diet if done right will not only help you lose weight but will also drastically improve your overall health. Here are 30 vegan sources of proteins.

  1. Lentilslentils

Lentils sure are a great source of protein. They also contain slowly digested carbs. For instance, one cup of lentil offers approximately 50% of the recommended fiber intake per day. This fiber is important as it promotes a healthy gut.  In addition, they are rich in manganese, folate, antioxidants, iron and many more health- promoting compounds.

Also, lentils can reduce the likelihood of health complications such as heart diseases, excess body weight, diabetes, and some types of cancers. They contain about 18grams of protein per cup (240ml)

  1. Black beansBlack beans

It’s one of the most common, healthiest, and richest sources of antioxidants of all the beans and legumes.  Black beans contain about 8 grams of protein per ½ cup. They are not only delicious but also contain less starch than other types of beans.

  1. TofuTofu

What’s attractive about tofu is that it can be flavored as you wish. This protein source can be transformed into almost everything from deserts, breakfast, and entrees. One cup of chopped tofu contains about 10 grams of protein.

  1. QuinoaQuinoa

Quinoa is not only a great source of protein but also a fantastic source of magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. One cup of quinoa contains about 8 grams of proteins. Quinoa is a gluten-free-seed like grain and can be cooked, baked, stirred into stir-fry meals and many more ways.

  1. Peanut butterPeanut butter

Just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter provides about 8 grams of pure and delicious protein. Peanut butter is not just a classic staple that everyone loves but it’s a favorite healthy staple pre-workout food to many people.

  1. AlmondsAlmonds

You can use about 2 tablespoon or 7 grams of fresh almond nuts in one 240ml cup. Almonds are not only a healthy and a tasty nut but also a great source of protein.

  1. TempehTempeh

Tempeh is a high in proteins, rich in probiotics, and easy to digest. It’s a meaty ingredients and a favorite meal to many. Tempeh is a fermented type of soy;contains about 12 grams of proteins per cup.

  1. Green peasGreen peas

Green peas are not only yummy but are packed and rich in other essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, fiber, thiamine, folate, manganese, and other important minerals. Green peas also contain leucine, the amino acid responsible for the regulation of metabolism and weight loss. Green peas contain about 9 grams of protein per 240 ml cup.

  1. BroccoliBroccoli

In just one cup, broccoli contains about 4 grams of protein. Broccoli is also rich in vitamins C, fiber, calcium, B vitamins and other important calories.

  1. ChickpeasChickpeas

A half cup of chickpeas gives you about 6-8 grams of protein. This however depends on the chickpeas brand that you are using. Chickpeas can be incorporated into meals,

  1. SpinachSpinach

Spinach contains about 5 grams of protein in a 240ml cup. Just one cup of spinach contains almost the same amount of proteins in a hard-boiled egg. Make sure not to overcook them. This will help retain all the essential vitamins and will facilitate better absorption of calcium and reduce its bloating effects. You can add spinach in salads, omelets, and stir-fries and many more other dishes.

  1. Hemp seedHemp seed

Hemp seeds originate from the Cannabis sativa plant that belongs to the same family as the notorious marijuana plant. Hemp seed however, contain only a few traces of THC. They contain about 10grams of protein per cup. Hemp seed are also rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc. They are also a good source of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which is very essential to the body.

  1. Oats and oatmealOats and oatmeal

Just one cup of dry oats contains approximately 8 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein. Oats are very delicious and contain higher-quality proteins as compared to other commonly used grains like wheat and rice. Oats can be used in a variety of recipes. They are also rich in magnesium, B vitamin, and calcium.


  1. Soy milkSoy milk

Although beans are low in amino acids called methionine, soy is a complete source of protein. It contains about 7 grams of protein in every 240ml cup. Also, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and calcium.

  1. Chia seedsChia seeds

Chia seeds are extracted from a Mexican and Guatemalan plant called salvia hispanica. 35 grams of chia seeds contain about 13 grams of fiber and 6 grams of proteins. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, selenium, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and other essential compounds. They can be used in a variety of recipes and are incredibly versatile.

  1. SpirulinaSpirulina

Two tablespoon of spirulina gives you about 8 grams of complete protein. Also, they contain phycocyanin which is a natural pigment that contains powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties. Spirulina also contain decent amounts of magnesium, potassium, manganese, riboflavin, and essential amino acids. Surely spirulina is a nutritional powerhouse. Studies also suggest that spirulina contributes to a stronger immune system, improved blood sugar, reduction in blood pressure, and regulation of cholesterol levels in the body.

  1. SeitanSeitan

Seitan is a common source of protein for most vegetarians and vegans. Seitan is made from gluten which is the major protein in wheat. 100 grams of seitan provide about 25 grams of protein. Seitan is also a good source of selenium, iron, phosphorus, and calcium. It can be sautéed, grilled, or even pan-fried. However, people who suffer from celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten should avoid seitan.

  1. AmaranthAmaranth

Just a 240 ml cup of amaranth contains about 7 grams of proteins. It’s very similar to teff and quinoa but it has a tinier size. Amaranth is also a good source of B vitamins, iron, and magnesium.

  1. ArtichokesArtichokes

Half a cup of artichokes contain approximately 4 grams of proteins. They also help boost fiber and protein and a low in calories. .

  1. Pumpkin seedsPumpkin seeds

A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 8 grams of proteins. Also, they are an excellent source of iron and magnesium as well as very tasty.

  1. EdamameEdamame

 They are immature soy beans that have a sweet and a little grassy taste. Half a cup of edamame contains approximately 8.5 grams of proteins. They are also packed with fiber, antioxidants, and they are very delicious. Edamame can be steamed or boiled and can either be added to salads and soups or eaten on their own.

  1. AsparagusAsparagus

A cup of chopped asparagus contains approximately 4 grams of proteins. They are also rich in folate and B vitamins.

  1. Sun-dried tomatoesSun-dried tomatoes

Just one cup of sum dried tomatoes contains about 6 grams of proteins. Tomatoes are not only rich in proteins but they are also packed with lycopene, an antioxidants that lowers the risks of lung, bladder, prostate, stomach cancers, and skin cancers and coronary artery. They are rich in other essential compounds fiber and potassium which are essential for a healthy heart and tissue repair. They can be added to homemade salads.

  1. TahiniTahini

Just 2 tablespoons of tahini contain approximately 8 grams of proteins. They are also very yummy and rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Tahini can be used in a variety of recipes.

  1. Nutritional yeastNutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast is not only a great source of amino acids and fiber, but also a complete source of protein. It is deactivated from saccharomyces yeast. Just 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast offers approximately 8 grams of proteins and contains only 45 calories. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and that’s makes it a common ingredient in dishes such as scrambled tofu and mashed potatoes. Also, it can be sprinkled on pasta dishes. Fortified nutritional yeast is an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, copper, B vitamins, and manganese.

  1. Spelt and teffSpelt and teff

Spelt and teff are ancient grains. They belong to the same group as barley, einkorn, faro, and sorghum. Spelt contain gluten and it’s a type of wheat while teff is derived from annual grass and it’s gluten-free. A 240ml cup of cooked spelt and teff contains approximately 10- 11 grams of protein. This makes them a great source of protein. Also, they are excellent sources of complex carbs, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, fiber, phosphorus, and magnesium. They can be used in a variety of recipes from baked foods to polenta and risotto.

  1. Wild riceWild rice

 Compared to other long- grain rice varieties such as basmati and brown rice, wild rice provides approximately 1.5 times more protein. Just one cup of cooked wild rice, it contains 7 grams of proteins. They are also a great source of fiber, magnesium, manganese, B vitamins, phosphorus, and copper.

  1. NutsNuts

Nuts are a great source of proteins. Just 28 grams of nuts contain about 5-7 grams of proteins. They are also excellent sources of fiber, healthy fats, iron, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E, B vitamins, antioxidants, and other important plant compounds. When preparing nuts you should keep in mind that roasting and blanching them may damage the nutrients content in them. Also, natural nuts are better than commercial nuts since they don’t contain added oils, excess salt, and sugar.

  1. QuornQuorn

Quorn was originally developed to help fight global food shortage. Usually, they are grown as a certain type of fungus in vats and then turned into meat substitutes. They are then packed as complete proteins.  Mycoproteins are considered to be part of the mushroom family. However, they have allergen concerns where only one in every 146,000 individuals experiences them. Guorn is also very tasty.

  1. BuckwheatBuckwheat

Buckwheat is not a type of wheat but also a relative of rhubarb. They can be grinded into flour or cooked like oatmeal. They are not only a great source of protein but also can greatly help to improve blood circulation, control blood glucose levels, and lower the levels of cholesterol.

The above list is not by any means an exhaustive list of all vegan sources but it clearly shows how easy it is to get maximum levels of protein diet on daily basis.

One thing that you should understand though, is that your body can’t process an excessive amount of proteins on daily basis. Even for bodybuilders, your body can’t process more than .7 grams per pound of your body. At average, if you are a bodybuilder and you weigh about 180 pounds, the maximum amount of protein needed per day should be 90. Excessive protein intake can increase the chances of suffering from health complications such as intestinal track issues and kidney failure.  Although most vegan diets may be low in protein it’s still possible to get and maintain adequate protein intake on a vegan diet.


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