What we call protein is a chemical compound that is classified as a macronutrient which is essential for the building of muscle mass. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is simply an essential requirement that the human body needs to fuel itself. It is most commonly found in animal products, though it is also present in some other sources.
Which other sources? To the relief of vegans worldwide, they are sources that don’t involve even the slightest damage towards any animal life and that can provide the right amount of the nutrient nonetheless. The same content with none of the cruelty? Sign us up.
Edamame Beans which contain 11g of protein per 100g of beans. They also contain a hefty dose of antioxidants along with 9g of fibre per 100g and come in at just 120 calories. However, the greatest reason is that they are one of the few plant-based protein sources that boast a complete amino acid profile.
Chickpeas contain 19 grams of protein per 100 grams making them extremely high in protein. They are also a very versatile ingredient. Chickpeas can be blended to create hummus or added to almost anything as a substitute to meat, including curries, wraps and burger patties.
#3 Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds are one of the best choices for protein as a vegan, as they are a complete protein source, and thus considered a “superfood”. They pack a whopping 25% of protein content per total calories, including essential omega-3 and omega-6 oils as well.
To put that into perspective, two tablespoons of hemp seed are equivalent to two eggs or half a can of tuna. In fact, the protein ratio is comparable to that of beef or lamb.
The typically recommended “good” sources of vegan protein (tofu, lentils, quinoa, etc.) pale in comparison to good sources of protein for meat eaters. For instance skinless chicken breast is 80% protein by calories, while tofu or lentils are less than 15% protein by calories. The math just doesn’t work out. As such many vegans would benefit from supplementing with a good vegan protein powder to hit their daily protein intake.
There are a few to choose from, but I think the best source of protein for vegans is pea protein. It has a good mix of BCAAs, leucine, and protein when compared to other vegan protein powders. Recent studies have also shown it to be quite satiating. It’s relatively cheap too – so it’s even a practical choice for meat-eaters on a budget.
#5 Wild Rice
Wild rice is high in protein compared to many other grains. Additionally, it’s a complete protein which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Wild rice is also packed with antioxidants which eliminate free radicals in the body and optimize your health. So if you’re looking for the vegan way to add proteins to your diet while improving your overall health, wild rice might be the way forward.
#6 Sweet Nova
Sweet Nova’s Nice Creams were created to fuel the lives of busy, hard-working professionals. In order to maximize nutrition, they retain the integrity of their ingredients, which is why they put whole, clean, superfood ingredients into each tub of Sweet Nova. Each ingredient is something you can pronounce — no chemicals, fillers, or gums allowed. Eating a plant-based diet is not only good for everyone but also the planet.
Sweet Nova’s freezes are 100% plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free. Aka, zero animal products and tons of actual leafy, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Sweet Nova’s Superfood nice creams contain 4-6 grams of protein depending on the flavor that has been purchased. Sweet Nova is the perfect midnight snack or energy boost and with it being whole ingredients you are welcomed to eat the whole tub guilt free.
Think of sprouted breads like breads on steroids. They’re like bread that’s made with whole grains that have been allowed to “sprout”. This is all fancy wording to say it is packed with all types of nutrients and subsequently proteins. The most popular is called Ezekiel bread, and it is DELICIOUS! Just a word of warning however, make sure you put it in the freezer because it will mold fast as it has no additives. Per 1 slice – 80 calories, 4g protein, 0.5g total fat, 15g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 0g sugars, 75 mg sodium.
It tastes just like powdered cheese and has an amazing amount of nutrients and protein. It is a great topping for popcorn or salads as well as makes an amazing vegan queso dip. Per 2 tablespoons – 45 calories, 8g protein, 0.5g total fat, 5g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 0g sugars, 5 mg sodium, 250 mcg folate, 24mg magnesium.
Vegan Organic PBfit Chocolate Plus is all-out protein goodness that’s perfect after you’ve been riding, running, or working out. You can thank real, roasted peanuts and wholesome plant protein for delivering 20 grams of protein in one go.
Plus, you get full flavor that other protein shakes and powders can’t match. That’s because those pressed peanuts give you real peanut taste. Organic cacoa gives it decidedly chocolate deliciousness. And natural organic coconut palm sugar sweetens things up just a touch. All that in one delicious serving.
The first (and most obvious) on the list is definitely tofu. Not only is tofu vegan, but it’s also packed with proteins. A 122 gram serving of tofu contains around 15 grams of protein.
#11 Brown rice
Brown rice is a great source of protein and fiber. 1 cup of long grain brown rice equates to 5 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, so definitely consider including it in your diet.
When it comes to seeds, the protein content varies quite a bit. However, 1 cup of pumpkin seeds packs in 40 grams of protein, 1 tbsp of flaxseed packs in 2 grams, and 1tbsp of sesame seeds offers 1.5 grams.
Much like seeds, you’ll have to keep track of which nuts you’re including in your diet. 1 cup of pecans amounts to 9 grams of protein, 1 cup of pistachio nuts includes 25 grams, and 1 cup of walnuts equates to 12 grams.
#14 Chia Seeds
According to Healthline.com Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that come from the plant, Salvia Hispanica and has become more recognized in the health and wellness phenomenon. They can go in cereals, smoothies, pretty much anything. They also taste delicious.
Additionally, they contain about 14% protein and have a good amount of amino acids, which is helps weight loss, helps reduce obsessive thoughts and helps the reduction of the desire to eat. (Healthline.com , 2019) Overall, chia seeds have good nutritional value and I highly recommend them for the vegan population.. They are truly a great choice.
Simply add 8 ounces of your preferred milk alternative (unsweetened almond milk is recommended) to the packet of oats, shake in the Blender Bottle, and refrigerate overnight for a ready-to-enjoy, drinkable breakfast in the morning.
Plant Based flavors include: Maple Pancakes, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cacao Crunch, and Blueberry Cobbler. Each flavor has a custom pea protein powder, with 20 – 22 grams of protein per serving, featuring superfoods such as flax seeds, maca and cacao. Vegan and gluten free
My top recommendations for vegan foods for protein are falafels because chickpeas are chalk-full of protein and a universally tasty dish. I also love black bean burritos! Chickpeas contain roughly 14.5 g of protein per cup and one cup of cooked black beans contains approximately 15.2 grams of protein.
Spinach is surprisingly high in protein, especially when compared to mushrooms and other meat substitutes. Spinach has 2.9 grams of protein per 100 g. Of course, you do have to eat a good amount of spinach to get the benefits of its protein. But when you look at the percentage of protein per calorie it has 30% which is comparable to meat which has 40%.