12 Best Protein Sources for Vegetarians

A common concern being vegetarian is the lack of sufficient protein in their diet. A well-planned vegetarian diet can provide all the nutrients you need however some plant foods contain significantly more protein than others. Plus higher-protein diets can promote muscle strength and reducing body fat.

Here are 12 plant foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving:

  1. Quinoa

Often referred to as ancient or gluten-free grains, as it doesn’t grow from grasses like other cereal grains do, they're technically considered "pseudocereals". Nevertheless, they can be prepared or ground into flour similar to common grains. Quinoa is also a good source of complex carbs, fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Protein: 13g per 100g

  1. Tofu

Tofu originates from soybeans and are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide the body with essential amino acids. They also contain iron & Calcium. Made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheese making. As tofu doesn't have much taste it’s best to cook with other ingredients so these can be absorbed. Protein: 8g per 100 grams

  1. Lentils

Lentils can be used in a variety of dishes from soups to salads. They contain a good amount digested carbs and 100g provides approximately 25% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Lentils may also help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. In addition, lentils are rich in folate, manganese and iron. Protein: 9g per 100 grams

  1. Chickpeas and Most Beans

Pinto, Kidney, black and most other beans as well as Chickpeas, contain high amounts of protein. They are also excellent sources of fiber, carbs, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Studies have also shown that beans and other legumes can decrease cholesterol, help control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and may even reduce belly fat. Protein: 6.7g per 100g

  1. Hempseed

Hempseed contains a good amount of omega-3, omega-6, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and selenium. Some studies have even indicated the type of fats in Hempseed may help reduce inflammation and symptoms of PMS, menopause and certain skin diseases. Protein: 25g per 100g

  1. Green Peas

A serving of green peas covers more than 25% of your daily fiber, vitamin A, C, K, thiamine, folate and manganese requirements. Green peas are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and several other B vitamins. Protein: 5.1g per 100g

  1. Spirulina

A blue-green algae which is a nutritional powerhouse. Spirulina contains magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium and small amounts of most of the other nutrients your body needs, including essential fatty acids. Phycocyanin, a natural pigment found in spirulina, appears to have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, studies link consuming spirulina to health benefits ranging from a stronger immune system and reduced blood pressure to improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Protein: 65g per 100g

  1. Ezekiel Bread

Ezekiel Bread is made from sprouted whole grains and legumes. Studies show that sprouting increases their amino acid content and helps boost the overall protein quality. Sprouting also seems to increase the bread's soluble fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene content. It may also slightly reduce the gluten content, which can enhance digestion in those sensitive to gluten. Protein: 7.6g per 100g

  1. Oats

Oats are an easy way to add protein to any diet. It contains good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate. Although oats are not considered a complete protein, they do contain higher-quality protein than other common grains like rice and wheat. You can use oats in a variety of recipes and they can be ground into flour and used for baking. Protein: 16.8g per 100g

  1. Wild Rice

Wild rice contains roughly 1.5x as much protein as other long-grain rice, including brown rice and basmati. In addition, it contains a good amount of fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper and phosphorus. Unlike white rice, wild rice is not stripped of its bran. This means it contains plenty of vitamins and minerals however ensure you wash wild rice properly before cooking, as this will ensure it removes any impurities. Protein: 14.7g per 100g

  1. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are great. These seeds contain a good amount of iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, omega-3 and antioxidants. They have a bland taste and absorb water, turning it into a gel-like substance. This makes them an easy addition to a variety of recipes, ranging from smoothies to baked goods and chia puddings. Protein: 22g per 100g

  1. Mycoprotein

Mycoprotein is a fungus-based protein. Products with mycoprotein are often advertised as meat substitutes such as the brand 'Quorn'. These products are available in forms such as 'chicken' or 'beef'. However, many of these products contain egg white, so people must be sure to check the label. Protein: 14.5g per 100g


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Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to share advise from personal experience and good practices on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. Content is sourced from a host of contributors not all of whom are qualified professionals. This blog is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any injuries/illnesses. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice