It can be challenging for most vegetarians to eat enough protein without exceeding their carbohydrate and fat allowance. So here is a list of some of the best protein sources for vegetarians.
- Seitan: is a popular protein source for many vegetarian and vegan. It is made from gluten, known as wheat meat and contains about 25g of protein per 100g. This making it the richest plant protein source on this list.
- Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame: all originate from soybeans, they provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs. All three containing many minerals and vitamins and also contains between 10-19g of protein per 100g.
- Lentils: are a great source of protein containing 18g of protein per 1 cooked cup (240g) and provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily fibre intake.
- Chickpeas and most beans: contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml). They are also an excellent source of complex carbs, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.
- Nutritional yeast: This one has a cheesy flavour, which makes it a popular ingredient in dishes like mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu. It provides the body with 14g of protein and 7g of fibre per (25g).
- Spelt and Tiff: These belong to a category known as ancient grains, providing 10-11 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml).
- Hempseed: This is not as well-known as other seeds however, hempseed contains 10g of complete, easily digestible protein per (25 g). That's 50% more than chia seeds and flaxseeds.
- Green peas: The little green peas often served as a side dish contains about 9g of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), which is slightly more than a cup of milk. Green peas are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and several other B vitamins.
- Spirulina: Two tablespoons (30 ml) provide you with 8g of complete protein, also covering 22% of your daily requirements of iron and thiamine as well as 42% of your daily copper needs.
- Amaranth and Quinoa: provides 8-9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml) and are complete sources of protein, which is rare among grains and pseudo cereals. Also, amaranth and quinoa are good sources of complex carbs, fibre, iron, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.
- Ezekiel Bread: is made from organic, sprouted whole grains and legumes. Two slices of Ezekiel bread contain approximately 8 grams of protein, which is slightly more than the average bread.
- Soy Milk: that's made from soybeans and fortified with vitamins and minerals is a great alternative to cow's milk. Not only does it contain 7 grams of protein per cup (240 ml), but it is also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
- Oats and Oatmeal: Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats provides you with approximately 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre. This portion also contains good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate.
- Wild Rice: contain approximately 1.5 times as much protein as other long-grain rice varieties, including brown rice and basmati. One cooked cup (240 ml) provides 7 grams of protein, in addition to a good amount of fibre, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus and B vitamins.
- Chia seeds: provides 18g of protein and 36g of fibre per 100g. These little seeds contain a good amount of iron, calcium, selenium and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and various other beneficial plant compounds.
- Nuts and Nut butter: contains between 5-7 grams of protein per 30g, depending on the nut and seed variety. Try opting for natural nut butters to avoid the oil, sugar and excess salt often added to many household brand varieties.
- Rich fruits and vegetables: All fruits and vegetables contain protein, but the amounts are usually small. However, some contain more than others, sweet corn is a common food that contains about as much protein as these high-protein vegetables and fresh fruits generally have a lower protein content than vegetables.
Protein deficiencies among vegetarians and vegan are far from being the norm. Nonetheless, some people may be interested in increasing their plant protein intake for a variety of reasons.
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