Vegan Protein Sources

Top 9 Vegetarian & Vegan Protein Sources in 2024

Proteins crucial for tissue repair and energy are considered to be the building blocks of life. They are also essential to managing your weight and maintaining a healthy weight. While you are following a non-vegan diet, you may have many sources to fulfill your protein requirements, but it may be a daunting task when you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Well, worry no more. In this blog, we will help you find plenty of vegan protein sources to satiate your cravings with. We will also list the benefits and tips you need to follow to ensure you meet your body’s daily protein requirements. 

How Much Protein Does Your Body Need? 

Protein is a crucial component for the production of skin tissues, tendons, and muscles, and it also aids in the production of antibodies that help fight infections. A healthy adult should typically intake around 0.36 grams of protein/pound of their weight daily. Additionally, your body may have extra protein requirements if you are an athlete or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. For most people, counting your protein intake isn’t needed. But if you feel fatigued or weakness regularly or have an increased appetite, this may be a sign that you are not getting enough protein. A licensed nutritionist may help you make dietary changes to ensure you consume enough protein while following a plant based lifestyle. 

What are the Benefits of Plant-Based Protein Sources? 

Consuming more plant-based protein and less animal-based protein has its own benefits, and people have different intentions of eating it. Some do it for the welfare of animals, while others do it for their own health, and some do it for the mother nature. Below, we list some of the benefits of opting for a plant-based protein source:

  • Greater fiber and nutrient content
  • Minimal or no saturated fat, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease
  • Low or no sodium
  • Less risk of stroke and heart-related conditions 
  • Reduced likelihood of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers
  • lowers emissions of greenhouse gases

9 Best Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt: a cup contains 23 g of protein.

You may use Greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream on tacos or in dips, add it to smoothies, or layer it with fruit and granola. If you are trying to cut sugar, you can opt for plain yogurt over flavored ones. 

Lentils

Lentils: 1/2 cup (cooked) contains 9 g of protein. 

Packed into a little compact, lentils are a protein powerhouse. They are not only beneficial for vegans in fulfilling their protein requirements, but they also provide you with eight grams of fiber. It is good for your heart and helps you manage and maintain weight. 

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds: a tablespoon contains 3 g of protein. 

Similar to hemp, chia seeds are loaded with nutrients such as fiber, protein, omega-3s, and many essential minerals and antioxidants. You can make chia-seed jam for toast and bake with it or blend it into smoothies. They may also help reduce blood pressure, improve digestion, and improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

Quinoa 

Quinoa: a cup (cooked) contains 8 g of protein.

Quinoa has all nine of the necessary amino acids, making it unique among vegan protein sources. It provides complete protein. One cup of quinoa also contains 5 grams of fiber. It is also loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, thiamine, and folate. Additionally, for people with gluten intolerance, quinoa is gluten-free. 

Cottage Cheese 

Lentils: 1/2 cup contains 14 g protein. 

Although cottage cheese has a slightly higher sodium content than Greek yogurt, it is still a great source of calcium, so be mindful if you are cutting your salt intake. It is also filled with vitamins and minerals to support your health. To keep your tummy full all day, you can top it with veggies and pistachios or use it as a savory dip. 

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds: a tablespoon contains 4 g of protein 

In addition to being an exceptional source of protein, hemp seeds are also high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They are beneficial for boosting heart health, improving skin conditions, and safeguarding the body. You can sprinkle them into a fruit smoothie or add them to your oatmeal. 

Beans

Beans (lentils, white beans, peas, etc): 1/2 cup contains 9 g of protein. 

Beans contain plant compounds, fiber, protein, and minerals. Additionally, beans are a superb source of plant-based iron. They are beneficial for gut health, blood pressure, and blood sugar regulation, among others. You can use them in tacos, dips, salads, and soups to add protein to your vegan or vegetarian diet. 

Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame

Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame: 100g serving contains 12-20 g of protein. 

Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame, all three, are derived from soybeans, which are a complete protein source that provide your body with all the essential amino acids required for healthy functioning of the body. Edamame is a rich source of vitamin K, fiber, and folate, which can improve digestion and regularity. Meanwhile, tempeh contains vitamin B, probiotics, phosphorus, and magnesium. You can stir-fry these delicious protein-filled products or use them in a salad. 

Green Peas

Green peas: a cup (cooked) contains 9 g of protein 

Most people think that green peas are not a source of protein, but they are wrong. Peas not only help fulfill your body’s protein requirement, but they also contain thiamine, folate, fiber, manganese, and vitamins K and C. They are delicious and filling. You can enjoy them as a side dish or in soups and salads. 

Conclusion

Switching from an animal-based protein source to a plant-based protein source has many health benefits. Following a plant based lifestyle can reduce your risk of stroke, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancers. It can also help you in keeping your weight in check. An easy way to up your protein intake is to incorporate protein-rich food into every meal or snack. There are many different vegan protein options available, including beans, lentils, legumes, seeds, and nuts. 

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