vegetarian protein sources

Vegetarian Protein Sources

Are you looking for the best vegetarian protein sources? In this post, I have shared 19 top vegetarian sources of protein.

Top 15 Vegetarian Protein Sources For Muscle Building

This article brings a list of the best vegetarian protein sources for those who follow a vegetarian diet or would like to include more plant based food into their diet. One common challenge for those on a vegetarian diet is getting enough protein. You may already know that protein contains amino acids that are crucial for muscle building and immune function. While animal products are a common source of protein, there are a plethora of vegetarian foods that contain high protein and offer some or all 9 essential amino acids. Here is the complete list of high vegetarian protein sources.

Green peas

Green peas are rich in protein, fiber and packed with power nutrient benefits. They are an incredible source of phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin k, k, and B-complex vitamins. All the vitamins and minerals, high protein, and low sodium levels in peas offer cardiovascular benefits and prevent heart-related conditions. Due to high fiber and protein content, peas make a filling food choice and support weight loss. Peas are easy to cook and can be consumed in soups, stews, rice, and many more dishes. Nowadays companies have started producing pea protein powder for those following a vegan lifestyle. 

Macros profile: 100 g green pea contains

Carbs 78g

Protein 30g

Fat  1.5g

 

Bulgur 

Bulgur is a whole grain made by boiling and drying kernels of wheat and then cracking them into small sizes to get from grains. It is a very common food ingredient in Indian kitchens. Rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, bulgur makes for a great vegetarian protein source.  Eating bulgur will help you feel full for longer due to high fiber content and stabilize cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Daily consumption of whole-grain, including bulgur, is also linked with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

https://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2716 

Since bulgur is precooked, it can be prepared quickly, typically taking 10 to 20 minutes. One can use bulgur in the salad, side dishes, and main course meals to add extra fiber and protein. 

Macros profile 

Per 100 g of cooked bulgur contains 

Carbs 19g

Protein 3.1g

Fat 0.2g

Quinoa

Quinoa is another nutrient-dense and gluten-free food that has all nine essential amino acids. For this reason, it’s an excellent vegetarian protein source. Quinoa is a seed derived from the Chenopodium quinoa plant and comes in different colors like yellow, black, red, and even mixed. Compared with many refined grains, quinoa has much higher fiber content and offers many minerals and vitamins including iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin B and E, and various antioxidant properties. Due to its low glycemic index,  quinoa keeps blood sugar in control and improves metabolic health. 

Despite all the nutrients and benefits, quinoa is hardly considered a low-calorie food. Hence, you should keep track of the serving consumed. 

Macros profile: per 100g of quinoa has

Carbs 21g

Protein 4.4g

Fat 1.9g

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are an unprocessed high-protein food that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica. These black and white seeds are also a rich source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. 

High fiber content promotes satiety and aids in weight loss as well as lowers the risk of developing diabetes. Foods containing omega 3s are known to fight heart disease and support the immune system. Chia seeds can be consumed raw or cooked in a number of dishes. When cooked with water or milk, the chia seeds swell and form a jelly texture with a crunch.

Macros profile: per 100g  chia seeds contain 

Carbs 42g

Protein 17g

Fat 31g

 

High protein vegetarian foods in india

Following are few high protein vegetarian foods in india. These vegetarian protein sources are very common in Indian households and are easily available.

Lentils 

Lentils are one of the most versatile and sustainable high protein vegetarian foods in india. They are small edible dry seeds derived from legume plants that come with a host of health benefits. Packed with high fiber and protein content, lentils assist with digestion and help maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Consuming lentils in your daily diet lower the risk of heart diseases and many health conditions. There are many different types of lentils ranging from red, black, brown, and yellow and they all vary in size, taste, and texture. One of the great things about lentils is that they are easy to cook and can be consumed in the form of soups, stew, sides, or salad. 

Macro Profile: 100-gram lentils contain 

Carbs: 63g

Protein: 25g

Fat: 1.1g

Soybeans

Soybeans belong to the legume family of vegetables and have been popularly known for their high-quality protein content. It is one of the rare plant-based foods that contains all essential amino acids, like those found in meat. Hence, it is considered one of the best high protein vegetarian foods in india. Besides protein, Soybeans are a good source of antioxidants and fiber. Foods made from soybean often come in two forms: fermented and unfermented. Fermented soy food includes miso, natto, and soya sauce, while soymilk, tofu, soy nuts, and sprouts are some unfermented soy foods. Some of the health benefits are strong bone health, lower blood pressure, and protection against some cancer. 

Macro Profile: 100 g sprouted soybean contains 

Carbs: 9.4 g

Protein: 13.1 g

Fat: 7.1 g

Oats

Oats are a common whole-grain food that has a well-balanced composition of protein, fiber, and carbs. Even though they are not a complete protein source and don’t provide all nine amino acids, the amount and quality of protein are higher than many grain-based foods.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22530714/  

They offer a wide range of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, preventing the risk of heart condition as well as reducing obesity. Oats are one of the most popular breakfast foods preferred by both vegans and nonvegetarians. It is one of the widely consumed high protein vegetarian foods in india. Oats are best cooked with skimmed or almond milk with a topping of nuts and fruits. 

Macros profile 

Per 100 g of cooked oats contain 

Carbs 12g

Protein 2.5g

Total fat 1.5g

Vegetarian protein sources for snacks

Nuts

One easy and healthy way to incorporate protein-rich food into your vegetarian diet is nuts. Ranging from almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, and brazil, nuts are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. They have antioxidant properties and help reduce inflammation and the risk of some chronic diseases.  Nuts make a great snack at any time of the day and can be used as topping on a salad, oatmeal, and other dishes. Nut milk and nut butter are easily available to enhance the flavor and add extra protein to your regular meal. Despite all benefits, nuts tend to be high in calories and fat, so moderation is key. 

Marco profile: 100 grams of each raw nut contains 

Peanuts

carbs 16.13 g

Protein 25.80 g

fat 49.24 g

 

Almond 

Carbs 21.55 g

Protein 21.15g

Fat 49.93 g

 

Cashews 

Carbs 30.19 g

Protein 18.22 g

fat 43.85 g

 

Walnut 

Carbs 13.71 g

Protein 15.23 g

Fat 65.21 g

 

Hazelnut 

Carbs 16.70 g

protein 14.95 g

Fat 60.75 g

Tempeh 

Did you know that tempeh is known as an alternative to meat for vegetarians? It is an excellent source of complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids. With a nutty taste and great ability to absorb flavor, tempeh blends well with a variety of ingredients and cooking styles. Low sodium and high fiber content make it an appropriate food choice for people with high blood pressure. In addition, it may lower cholesterol levels and improve bone health. Tempeh is a versatile ingredient because it can be crumbled, grilled, minced, fried, and marinated, and used in snacks as well as meals. Studies suggest that soy-based snacks promote satiety and curb appetite, making them an ideal choice for weight loss.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25995282/

Macros profile: Per 100 g of cooked tempeh contain 

Carbs 7.6g

Protein 20g

Fat 11g

 

Tofu

Another excellent vegetarian protein source is tofu. Tofu originated in China and is made by curdling soy milk and pressing it into solid white blocks- the similar process used in making cheese. Unlike many plant-based protein sources, tofu provides all nine essential amino acids that are required for the normal functioning of our body. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, and other valuable minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. The neutral taste of tofu makes it easy to work with all types of flavors and foods. Tofu comes in different textures that can be cooked in different ways. Firm tofu can be cooked by grilling and baking while soft tofu is best when used in shakes, sauces, dips, and salad. 

Macros profile 

100 g of tofu providers

Carbs 2.8g

Protein 17.3g

Fat 8.7g

 

Pumpkin seeds

These green oval shape seeds are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine.  They are a rich source of protein, healthy fat, and omega-6 fatty acids. They also contain antioxidant properties and a range of nutrients, including iron, folate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are eaten alone as a high fiber snack or added to salads for extra flavor and crunchy texture.

 

Marco profile: 100 grams of pumpkin seeds offer 

Carbs 37g

Protein 20g

Fat 33g

Greek yogurt 

With a delicious creamy flavor and thick texture, Greek yogurt makes a great high-protein vegetarian food. They are made by removing the whey and other liquids from a regular yogurt through a multiple straining process. As a result, they are thicker, low in sugar, and contain double the amount of protein when compared to regular yogurt. Geek yogurt can be eaten alone or used in salad, pasta, and other dishes to enhance the flavor. When tossed with nuts and fruits, they make a great dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Because Greek yogurt is low in carbs and sodium, it also keeps your blood pressure in control and supports heart functions. 

Marco profile 

100 gram serving of Greek yogurt contain

Carbs 3.6g

Protein 10g

Fat 0.4g

 

Cheap vegetarian protein sources 

Here are few cheap vegetarian protein sources you can add to your high protein diet.

Beans

Beans are is one of the healthiest and cheap vegetarian protein sources. They are versatile legumes packed with fiber, protein, minerals, and many other nutrients. They are versatile, inexpensive, and come in different variations including black bean, kidney, and cannellini. Including these beans in a regular diet lowers cholesterol levels, leading to a lower risk of heart attack and Improves digestion.

Macros profile: per 100g of black beans contains 

Carbs 24g

Protein 8.9g

Fat 0.5g

 

Buckwheat 

Buckwheat, being rich in protein, makes it an awesome ingredient for a vegetarian breakfast. It is also a good source of iron, fiber, and other minerals. Buckwheat is a diabetic-friendly food as it keeps blood sugar and cholesterol level in check. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14640572/

Buckwheat is one of the easily cooked and cheap vegetarian protein sources. Buckwheat paratha can be simply prepared either by baking or cooking it on a nonstick pan. To make it healthier, one can also fill grated veggies or scramble eggs in the dough and make it a fulfilling stuffed paratha. Uttapam, dhokla, porridge, and chilla are a few other ways to include this vegetarian protein source in your morning breakfast.

Macros profile: per 100g of buckwheat flour provides

Carbs: 27g

Protein: 5g

Fat: 1.5g

 

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family and are packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Out of all cheap vegetarian protein sources, chickpeas are great food for those who avoid animal products. Due to buttery flavor and creamy texture, chickpeas can be easily paired with other ingredients and enhance many recipes.

 It also slows down digestion, lowers cholesterol, and prevents surges in blood sugar and insulin levels. Chickpeas provide all the essential amino acids, except for methionine. Hence, it is recommended to pair chickpeas with other types of protein sources to achieve complete protein content. There are various ways you can incorporate this protein-rich food into your vegetarian diet. 

Macros profile: per 100g cooked chickpeas contain 

Carbs 27g 

Protein 8g

Fat 2.6g

 

High protein vegetarian diet plan

All the food listed above can be a great addition to your high protein vegetarian diet plan. Start your day with a healthy and protein-rich breakfast. Steamed sprouts, oats,  chia seeds with nuts are great breakfast options. For lunch, focus on foods that are high in both protein and fiber. Steam vegetables spinach, beans, tofu, and lentils are some options you can consider for lunch. Soya and vegetables are also good for dinner.

It is important that your protein consumption is maintained in your high protein vegetarian diet plan. For this reason, you should be regular with your snack time. Nuts, sprouts, and tofu are some excellent vegetarian protein sources for snacks. You would also want to ensure that your diet has a sufficient amount of carbs and fat too. Eating carbs keeps your energy level up and enhances your exercise performance as well as diet. Ultimately, like any other diet, you need to be consistent in following your high protein vegetarian diet plan to see results.  

120 gm protein veg diet

An average sedentary person should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kg of his/her weight daily. For example, an 80 KG person should consume 80 x 0.8 = 64 grams of protein per day. If you’re involved in strength training, then the protein intake should be increased to 1.5 grams. This means 80 x 1.5 = 120 grams of protein per day. 

While you may worry about getting 120gm protein a day following a vegetarian diet, it’s completely possible to hit that goal. Your 120 gm protein veg diet will depend on what type of vegetarian protein sources you consume. There are many vegetarian sources of protein that can help you reach your 120gm protein per day. Include foods like tofu, lentils, whole grain, and many others listed out above.

Here is an example for a 120 gm protein veg diet plan

Breakfast- 

Protein oats: one cup of oats + one tablespoon of nut butter + one banana + one scoop of whey protein powder =34g of protein 

Lunch-

 one bowl quinoa with nuts + 1 block grilled tofu + black bean soup (100g) = 40g of protein 

Dinner-

Chickpea and spinach salad one bowl of yellow curry with brown rice + one cup of Greek yogurt = 45g of protein 

 

High protein vegetarian diet for weight loss

Protein plays a big role in weight loss and a high protein vegetarian diet. You may already know that limiting calories may result in weight loss. But adequate protein intake is as important. Protein promotes feelings of fullness and curbs your appetite. This means you consume fewer calories during mealtime. A high protein vegetarian diet for weight loss should consist of proteins with high fiber content. Fiber is easy on the stomach and reduces belly fat. Choose high fiber vegetables such as mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach.

You can include tofu, nuts, seeds, and fruits high in protein. Your high protein vegetarian diet should limit refined food and focus on getting more whole foods. Here are some foods you can add to a high protein vegetarian diet for weight loss: Sweet corn, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, beans, lentils, brown rice, oats, tofu, soybean, and pumpkin seeds.

Best vegetarian protein sources chart

Here is a list of vegetarian protein sources chart and their protein content per 100g of serving:

Soybean- 13.1g 

Lentils- 25g 

Green pea- 30g

Tofu- 17.3g

Bulgur -3.1g

Tempeh-20g

Oats- 2.5g

Quinoa- 4.4g

Chia seeds- 17g 

Peanut- 25.80g

Almond- 21.15g

Cashews 18.22g

Walnut- 15.20g

Pumpkin seeds-20g

Greek yogurt- 10g 

Black beans- 8.9g

Buckwheat- 5g

Cooked chickpeas- 8g

Plant based protein sources chart

Here is a plant based protein sources chart. These sources of protein are best for a vegetarian or vegan diet. 

Serving size:100 g

Kidney beans: 24g

Mung beans: 24g

Lima beans: 21g

Seitan: 75g

Spirulina: 57g

Chick peas:19g

Sweet corn: 32g

Mushroom: 3g

 

 

How do vegetarians get their protein?

Vegetarians get their protein from plenty of plant-based protein sources. They can get it from lentils, beans, soybean, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. 

How can vegetarians get 150 grams of protein a day?

Vegetarians can get 150 grams of protein per by including plant-based protein food. They include soybean, tempeh, beans, lentils, nuts, pumpkin seeds. 

What are 3 foods that have plant based protein?

Three foods that have plant-based foods are peanut, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds. You can find many other foods that have plant based protein such as lentils and beans. 

Which vegetable is high in protein?

Spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and green pea are vegetable high in protein.

Do vegetarians live longer?

Yes, vegetarians tend to live longer. Studies say that vegetarians are less likely to smoke or consume too much alcohol, which leads to a healthier and longer life. 

 

How can I get 75 grams of protein a day vegetarian?

Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast. Include more lentils and green vegetables in the meal. Frequent snacking on nuts also helps you get 75g of protein a day. 

 

How much protein do vegetarians need?

Vegetarians need 0.75g of protein for every kilo of body weight. Plenty of plant-based protein sources such as lentils, beans, and seeds can help you achieve your daily protein intake. 

 

Do vegetarians lose weight faster?

Yes, vegetarians lose weight faster compared to meat-eaters. Vegetarians also less likely to become obese and tend to lead a healthier and longer life. 

 

What vegetables have more protein than meat?

Green peas, chickpeas, avocado, potatoes, lentils, mung beans, and broccoli are some vegetables with more protein than meat. 

 

Which is the healthiest source of protein?

 The healthiest source of protein includes lentils, beans, chickpeas, soybean, nuts, green vegetables, greek yogurt, and pumpkin seeds.

 

What protein can I eat instead of meat?

Soybean, tempeh, tofu, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and lentils are good protein foods you can eat instead of meat. 

 

Which Daal is highest in protein?

Mung daal and Urad dal(black lentils) are high protein daal. With 9 grams of protein in each half cup, Mung daal is the highest in protein.

Who lives longer meat eaters or vegetarians? 

Many studies have found that vegetarians live longer than meat eaters. Vegetarians live around seven years longer than meat eaters.

Are eggs vegetarian?

Eggs may not be animal flesh. But since they are fertilized and have the potential to become an animal, they can not be considered vegetarian. 

 

Do humans need meat?

Humans have been eating meat for a long time now. It’s an excellent source of protein and other nutrition. But humans do not need meat to survive. Plant-based foods can also provide necessary nutrition for a healthy life as well.

 

Do vegetarians fart more than meat eaters?

Vegetarians fart more than meat eaters because plant-based foods are rich in fiber and include large sugar molecules. These molecules move to the large intestine and combine with bacteria to produce gassy byproducts. 

 

Is chana dal high in protein?

Yes, chana dal is high in protein. 1 cup(182g) of cooked chana dal provides 13g of protein 

 

Which fruit is rich in protein?

Fruits rich in protein are guava, kiwi, jackfruit, blackberries, raisins, avocado, and apricots. 

 

Vegetarian protein sources take away

When it comes to vegetarian protein sources, your options are endless. But in this AnExtraRep article, I have compiled the ones that are easily available, affordable, and versatile. 

With these vegetarian protein sources on the list, you shouldn’t be worried about getting protein from your diet. Protein for being an important part of a healthy diet, these foods ensure you meet your daily protein goal. Some of them not just provide you protein, but offer a host of health benefits. If I missed any food, let me know in the comment section. Also, do share which one is your favorite among these vegetarian protein sources on the list.



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