It is a common misconception that non vegetarian diets are rich in protein and that vegetarian diets lack adequate protein sources.
Here’s the list of 🌱 10 top Vegetarian/Vegan Protein Food Sources:
- Amaranth (Rajgira): One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth contains the 9.3 grams of protein. In addition to that, this ancient grain is rich in fiber and micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
- Quinoa: It provides 8 g of protein per cup (cooked). Quinoa is unique among plant proteins because it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (something most plant-based proteins aren’t). One cup of cooked quinoa also has 5 grams of fiber. Quinoa is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, thiamine and folate. And as an added bonus for those with celiac disease or any gluten sensitivity, quinoa is gluten-free.
- Hemp seeds: Although hemp seeds aren’t as well-known as other seeds, they contain 9 grams of protein in each 3-tablespoon (30-gram) serving. You can add hemp seeds to your diet by sprinkling some in your smoothie or morning muesli. They can also be used in homemade salad dressings, granola, energy balls, or protein bars.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds contain 3 g of protein per 1 tablespoon. Like hemp, chia seeds are nutrient dense. They deliver protein, fiber and omega-3s. You can blend them into smoothies, add to salads, cereals or juices.
- Soybeans & soy products: Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans and are especially popular in East Asian cuisine. Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide your body all the essential amino acids it needs. All these three soy-based proteins contain iron, calcium, and 12–20 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving.
- Beans: Kidney, black, pinto, and most other varieties of beans are extremely important staple foods across cultures and contain high amounts of protein per serving Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another type of bean with a high protein content. Most types of beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (170 grams).
- Lentils (Dals): With 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, lentils are a great source of protein.
- Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, which is sold commercially as a yellow powder or flakes. Half an ounce (16 grams) of this complete source of plant protein provides 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. It has a cheesy flavor, which makes it a popular ingredient in dishes like mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu. Nutritional yeast can also be sprinkled on top of pasta dishes or even enjoyed as a savory topping on popcorn.
- Spirulina: This blue-green algae is definitely a nutritional powerhouse. A 2-tablespoon (14-gram) serving provides 8 grams of complete protein, in addition to covering 22% of your daily requirements for iron and 95% of your daily copper needs.
- Greek yogurt (vegetarian, not vegan): provides a whooping 22 g of protein per cup. Greek yogurt is delicious and can be added to smoothies, layered with fruit and granola as a parfait and used as a sour cream substitute on tacos or in dips. It also delivers calcium and gut-healthy probiotics. Choose plain yogurt over flavored varieties to save added sugar.
If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, keep this list handy to meet your daily protein needs 😇
Save this article for reference and also share this with everyone you know who is struggling with vegetarian protein sources.