A Complete Table of Vegan Protein Sources
When I first adopted a plant-based diet, I wasn’t sure how best to replace animal products with vegan products.
Fortunately, it has proven easy to get enough protein without meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. Best of all, I quickly discovered that vegan protein sources are delicious and incredibly easy to prepare.
The average person needs about 0.45 to 0.73 grams of protein per pound of body weight (1.0 to 1.6 grams per kg) per day, depending on their level of physical activity. This works out to about 70 to 113 grams for a 155 pound (70 kg) individual (
Because there are so many high protein plant foods out there, you can easily get enough protein on a vegan diet. Plus, experts agree that a well-planned plant-based diet provides all the nutrients you need, including protein (
Here are some of the best vegan sources of dietary protein, along with a helpful chart.
Nuts and seeds are naturally high in protein.
You can enjoy them on their own, mixed with nut butters, mixed with yogurt, oatmeal or trail mixes, or added to smoothies, salads, cereal dishes and homemade veggie burger patties.
Here is the amount of protein found in a 1 ounce (28-30 gram) serving of various nuts and seeds (
- Nuts: 4.5 grams
- Almonds: 6 grams
- Cashew nut: 4.5 grams
- Chia seeds: 6 grams
- Linseed : 6 grams
- Hemp seeds: 9.5 grams
- Sun-flower seeds: 5.5 grams
- Pumpkin seeds: 8.5 grams
A small 28 to 30 gram serving of various nuts and seeds provides about 4 to 9 grams of protein. You can eat them raw or add them to a variety of foods, such as a smoothie, oatmeal, or a salad.
An increasing number of non-dairy milks are available today, but not all are excellent sources of protein.
If you are hoping to use non-dairy milk as a source of protein, be sure to purchase one of the varieties below. These can be used as cow’s milk in coffee, soup, and batter for baked goods, as well as smoothies, cereals, and cream sauces.
Here is the protein found in 1 cup (240ml) of the highest protein non-dairy milks (
- Soy milk: 6 grams
- Pea milk: 8 grams
Soy and pea milk are among the most naturally high protein non-dairy milks, at 6-8 grams per cup (240ml).
Legumes, which include beans, peas, and lentils, are great sources of protein for people on plant-based diets.
Plus, you can eat cooked legumes on their own, as part of a pickled grain salad (or other salads), and in burritos, quesadillas, soups, and nachos.
The list below describes the protein content of 1/2 cup (80-93 grams) of a variety of canned legumes (
- Black beans: 8 grams
- Pinto beans: 7 grams
- Chickpeas: 7.5 grams
- Red beans : 8 grams
- Lentils: 8 grams
- Peas: 8 grams
Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils are high in protein. Eat them on the side or in burritos, soups and salads.
Vegan meats go beyond plant-based burgers and packaged hot dogs.
Soy foods like tofu and tempeh work well in scrambled, oven-roasted breakfasts and in stir-fries, burritos, and sandwiches. Seitan, a tasty protein made from vital wheat gluten, is excellent in soups, salads, cereal dishes, tacos and sandwiches.
Similar servings of various vegan meats provide the following amounts of protein (
- Tofu (3 ounces or 85 grams): 4 grams
- Tempeh (3/4 cup or 100 grams): 13 grams
- Seitan (3 ounces or 100 grams): 19 grams
- Beyond Meat Meatballs (5 total, 100 grams): 20 grams
- Impossible Burger (1 patty, 113 grams): 19 grams
Soy foods, seitan, and various prepackaged vegan meats provide 4-20 grams of protein per serving.
Grains are a lesser-known source of plant protein, but they’re a great way to supplement your protein intake.
You can use cooked grains as the base of a meal, incorporate them into homemade veggie burgers and granola bars, garnish salads and soups with them, stuff peppers and eat them in bowls and burritos for the little one. -breakfast.
Here is the protein content of a 1/2 cup (100 to 126 grams) of several popular cereals when cooked (
- Quinoa: 4.5 grams
- Brown rice: 3 grams
- Amaranth: 4.7 grams
- Millet: 3.5 grams
- Oats: 3 grams
- Spelled: 6 grams
- Teff: 4.9 grams
Whole grains are a great choice to supplement your protein intake. Spelled, teff, amaranth, and quinoa are all particularly high in protein.
All fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of protein, but some more than others.
Fruits and vegetables are most often eaten raw, cooked, or mixed with smoothies and sauces. You can enjoy them at any meal or snack.
Similar servings of high protein fruits and vegetables contain the following amounts of protein (
- Broccoli (1 cup raw or 90 grams): 2.5 grams
- Sweet potato (1 medium-sized baked potato of 150 grams): 2 grams
- Artichoke (1 small vegetable, 90 grams): 3 grams
- Spinach (3 cups raw or 85 grams): 2 grams
- Banana (1 fruit, 125 grams): 1.5 grams
- Blackberries (1 cup or 145 grams): 2 grams
- Guava (1 cup or 165 grams): 4.5 grams
Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet is a great way to meet your protein needs. Guava is particularly rich in protein.
Many people on a vegan diet wonder how to get enough protein.
You will be happy to know that many high protein plant foods provide more than enough of this nutrient to meet the recommended daily requirement.
For example, legumes and vegan meat alternatives – and even some non-dairy milks, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables – are great sources of protein in plant-based diets.