5 Great Sources of Vegan Protein

Wellnessed your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking "submit," you agree to receive emails from wellnessed and accept our web terms of use and privacy and cookie policy.

Best vegan sources of protein

Protein, along with dietary fat and carbohydrates, are the cornerstones of our diet. However, unlike fats and carbs, the main sources of protein tend to be animal-based. The reason for this is that animal protein is generally “complete” protein (unlike plant protein), which means it contains all essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are special amino acids that our body cannot produce and that we must obtain from our diet to maintain good health. Fear not! It is possible to build complete protein from plant-based foods by combining legumes, grains, and nuts in one meal or over the course of a day.

Just because you’ve decided to ditch the meat, doesn’t mean it becomes impossible to meet your body’s protein requirements. Far from it, there are plenty of great sources of plant protein. And according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, vegetarians actually have a slightly better chance at living longer than regular meat-eating folk. So here are some great plant-based sources of protein.

1. QUINOA

This rather remarkable plant protein sets a high bar for the rest to come. Unlike most plant protein, quinoa boasts complete protein status, packing in all the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s easy to prepare, tastes delicious and is super versatile; it can be cooked, added to soups, simply used as a cereal, or made into pasta. This food is so super, that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has officially declared 2013 to be “The International Year of the Quinoa. I kid you not. It’s that awesome. If you’ve never tried it before, this is the year.

2. BEANS

Beans are cheap, versatile and a great source of protein. One cup of kidney, pinto, white or black beans, will provide a whopping 12-15 grams of belly-filling protein. Beans are also full of filling fiber and rich in micronutrients. And what do you know, there’s a bean for everything. White beans are great in pasta or smoothies, black beans and pinto beans in tacos and burritos; edamame or garbanzo in stir-fries; while kidney are delicious in salads.

3. TOFU

Another exception to the rule, tofu is a complete protein. A half block of tofu provides approximately 14 grams of protein and only about 110 calories. Tofu is made of solidified soy milk. There is firm tofu, which holds its shape when pushed around in a pan and works great in stir-fries and soups, then there is silken tofu, which is soft and creamy and works best in sauces, dressings, desserts and smoothies.

4. LENTILS

Lentils pack in about 18 grams of protein in just one cup! In fact, 30% of the calories in lentils come from protein. Lentils also are rich in fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and iron. Cooked lentils boast about 1/3 more folate (reduces the risk of birth defects) per cup than cooked spinach! Lentils come in all sorts of sizes and colors, including yellow, orange, green, brown and deep black. While lentils are an incomplete protein, they tend to be eaten mixed with grains, such as rice or small pasta, making it a complete protein dish.

5. NON-DAIRY MILK

Non-dairy milk can pack a protein punch too. Soy milk is the most popular alternative to dairy milk, and also has the most similar nutritional profile to cow’s milk. Soy milk provides 5-10 grams of protein, while cow’s milk 8 grams. Many brands of soy milk will boast pretty much the same amount of protein, calcium, and vitamin D as cow’s milk. Rice milk and almond milk provide little protein. If you don’t like the idea of soy milk, hemp milk is becoming an increasing popular alternative. Hemp milk provides complete protein and is more creamy than soy milk and has a nutty flavor to it.

Read this next

macronutrient calculator

Macronutrient Calculator

There are a plethora of nutritional strategies adopting different ratios of carbohydrates to protein to fat. While some people are carbohydrate sensitive and do better on with a low-carb diet strategy, others simply cannot do without carbs or...
The Zone Diet for Weight Loss

Zone Diet for Weight Loss

According to Barry Sears, creator of The Zone Diet, "Enter the Zone", and you will lose weight, fight the effects of aging, reduce the risk of chronic disorders, boost mental productivity and reach peak...
The Abs Diet for Weight Loss

The Abs Diet for Weight Loss

What’s the theory behind the Abs Diet? The Abs Diet is a hugely popular diet plan written for both men and women. The premise of the Abs Diet is that the more muscle you build, the...
Banana chocolate popsicles

Easy, creamy chocolate popsicles (aka Fudgesicles)

Summer isn’t quite complete without everyone’s favorite summer treat – popsicles. But why buy when you can make? Store bought ice pops are loaded with sugar and calories. So instead, cool down...
5 factor diet for weight loss

The 5 Factor Diet for Weight Loss

The 5 Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, is a diet plan that encompasses both nutrition and exercise. The 5 Factor Diet hails from Hollywood, where the author has been helping celebrities lose weight and get in...

Easy No-Bake Fruit & Nut Granola Bar

Feeling peckish? Need to eat on the go? No time for breakfast? A homemade granola bar full of nutritional goodies just might be the answer.

Vitamin Supplements You Need on a Vegan Diet

Vegan and vegetarian diets center around vegetables and fruits, which are rich in nutrients and boast many health benefits. However, plant-based diets...

The Best 13 Protein Sources for Vegans & Vegetarians

Do you know where to get protein from meat and dairy-free sources? Before plant-based protein came in bars... it came in - yes - plain, simple, easy-to-get foods.

Easy, creamy chocolate popsicles (aka Fudgesicles)

Summer isn’t quite complete without everyone’s favorite summer treat – popsicles. But why buy when you can make? Store bought ice pops...

Must-Try Vegan Scones with Strawberries

These vegan scones are full of goodness boasting quinoa, rye, wholemeal flour and coconut oil. Strawberries and lemon give...
Creamy Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing Recipe

Creamy Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing

We turn the Green Goddess Dressing vegetarian and healthify it too. Still delicious, fresh, and creamy, this fabulous dressing is bursting with flavor.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Calzone

Homemade Spinach and Goat Cheese Calzone

A rustic Italian treat, calzone is a great on-the-go meal. Perfect for a picnic, road trip or pack lunch. This recipe uses wholemeal flour and veggie filling for a lighter and healthier twist on the classic recipe.
Oven-Baked Potato Chips

Healthier Oven-Baked Potato Chips

Make your own spectacularly delicious oven-baked potato chips, seasoned with a hint of garlic, rosemary, olive oil and sea salt. A real treat. Lower in calories, healthier, and way better tasting.
Paleo Tabbouleh

Paleo Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh make for great leftovers because the flavors really come together overnight in your refrigerator, making it an easy and delicious lunch...
Mexican Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Vegan Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), giving the potatoes it's vibrant color and vitamin B5, which may reduce...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular must reads

Creamy Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing

We turn the Green Goddess Dressing vegetarian and healthify it too. Still delicious, fresh, and creamy, this fabulous dressing is bursting with flavor.

Macronutrient Calculator

There are a plethora of nutritional strategies adopting different ratios of carbohydrates to protein to fat. While some people are carbohydrate sensitive and do better on...

Creamy Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing

We turn the Green Goddess Dressing vegetarian and healthify it too. Still delicious, fresh, and creamy, this fabulous dressing is bursting with flavor.

Easy No-Bake Fruit & Nut Granola Bar

Feeling peckish? Need to eat on the go? No time for breakfast? A homemade granola bar full of nutritional goodies just might be the answer.

Black Bean Tacos with Avocado

These black bean tacos are delightfully fresh and flavorsome. Hearty, but light these delicious tacos are packed with layer upon layer of flavor and texture.
 
Awesome share! Follow us for more.
Send this to a friend