BestBest Veg High Protein Foods for people who are vegan or vegetarian and fail to complete their protein requirement. Although, experts say that having a well-planned diet can provide you with a number of nutrients.
We all know that there are some foods that contain more protein content than others. These certain foods can help you build your muscle strength and promote weight loss.
In the list below, we have given 17 vegetarian high protein foods that will help you complete your protein requirement.
Table of Contents
Best Veg High Protein Foods for Vegans and Vegetarians:
1. Tofu, Edamame, and Tempeh
Tofu, edamame, and tempeh are all the subspecies of soybeans.
While soybeans are the complete sources of protein, they contain and provide us with all the essential amino acids one needs.
Edamame is quite immature soybeans and has a somewhat grassy taste with a pinch of sweetness. You need to boil or steam them before consuming them to make them free from impurities. They can be eaten directly after boiling or can be added to soups and salads.
Whereas Tofu’s preparation is quite similar to that of cheese. The bean curds are pressed together which extracts tofu. Talking of tempeh, it is prepared from cooking and kind of fermenting the mature soybeans before pressing these for a patty.
Speaking about taste, Tofu doesn’t have any of its own; but it has the capability to absorb the odour of materials it is prepared with,
Though, tempeh has a quite nutty flavor.
For their uses, we can use tofu and tempeh in a number of recipes such as burgers ranging from soups to chilis.
All three species are full of calcium, iron and also contain 10-19 grams of protein per 100 grams(3.5 ounces).
On the other hand, edamame has good amounts of vitamin K, fiber, and folate. Whereas Tempeh is rich in B vitamins, probiotics, and minerals like phosphorus and magnesium.
2. Nutritional Yeast
The yellow powder or the flakes that we use commonly in our foods is nutritional yeast. Nutritional Yeast is originally a disbanded strain from Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. Its cheesy flavor keeps it high in demand for dishes like scrambled tofu and mashed potatoes.
As said before, we use Nutritional yeast for sprinkling it over our pasta dishes and pizzas.
This plant protein contains 7 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein per serving of 28 grams. Reinforced nutritional yeast is rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, and other essential B vitamins including vitamin B12.
3. Green Peas
Green peas are also a great source of protein. They contain 9 grams of protein when served in a cooked cup (240 ml). This cup is a bit bigger than a cup of milk.
Along with protein content, green peas also serve to be a great source of thiamine, vitamin A, C, K, manganese, folate, and actually 25% more fiber than the daily requirements.
These green peas are also rich in phosphorus, copper, zinc, magnesium, and iron with some B vitamins.
Peas are also a constituent in many great dishes such as thai-inspired pea soup, pea, and avocado guacamole or pea and basil stuffed ravioli.
4. Soy Milk
Next one in the list of best veg high protein foods is Soy milk. Soy milk is a great option other than cow’s milk which contains a good amount of protein. This milk is prepared from soybeans and along with protein, it contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
To be more specific, soy milk gives a total of 7 grams of protein in a 240 ml cup; also is rich in calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
There is one thing to note that soy milk doesn’t contain vitamin B12 by itself, so going for a fortified variety is preferable. It’s easily available in the supermarkets and you can use it in different recipes for cooking and baking.
And to your benefit, you can opt for unsweetened variants so you can avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds as we all know are now looked upon as a healthy inclusion to the general diet. They are originally extracted from the Salvia hispanica plant, found mostly in the areas of Mexico and Guatemala.
In a serving of 35 grams of chia seeds, you will get 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber essentially. These seeds are also a great source of calcium, iron, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and magnesium like beneficial vegan compounds.
Being very versatile, Chia seeds have a bland taste and develop into a gel-like substance upon absorbing water. You can find chia seeds in many dishes, also in a variety of smoothies, baked goods, and chia puddings too.
I guess you might not have heard about Spirulina before. Am I right? It is an exceptional nutritional powerhouse in the form of blue-green algae.
As low as just two tablespoons(30 ml) of spirulina can provide you with enough protein content (8 grams). Other than protein, it covers 22% of our daily requirements of iron and thiamine; also 42% of the copper content needed.
Spirulina, as we said nutritional powerhouse, contains proper amounts of riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and small amounts of different other nutrients and essential fatty acids.
A powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory with anti-cancer properties, Phycocyanin is a natural pigment present in spirulina. According to many studies, spirulina also helps in making the immune system stronger, reducing blood pressure, and helping improve your natural blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Get spirulina online here.
Lentils are common and actually a great protein source providing 18 grams of protein in 240 ml cooked cups. They find their uses in different kinds of dishes like fresh salads, hearty soups, some spice-infused dahls, and much more.
Along with protein, lentils have a good amount of slowly digesting carbs, covering almost 50% of your daily fiber intake in that 240 ml cooked cup of lentils.
There are also a good number of benefits of consuming lentils. It feeds your colon’s good bacteria, providing you a healthy gut, and also reduces your risk of heart disease, excess body weight, different types of cancer, and diabetes.
As you might have noticed these foods are also a great source of other nutrients too. Likewise, lentils are rich in iron, folate, and manganese; also rich in antioxidants and health-improving organic compounds.
8. Best Veg High Protein Foods: Seitan
The next very popular protein source for vegans and vegetarians is Seitan. It is prepared from gluten(the main protein provider in wheat). Also, it looks like meat when cooked and resembles the texture also.
The best thing is that this wheat gluten or wheat meat provides us with 25 grams of protein for every 3.5 ounces,i.e., 25 grams protein for every 100 grams. This is the plant protein source with the highest protein content on this list. Along with protein, it also contains a good quantity of selenium, some bits of calcium, iron, and phosphorus also.
You can use seitan in many recipes and make them protein-rich. It is available in the pan-fried form, grilled, and sauteed form. You should avoid this if you are allergic to gluten or having celiac disease.
9. Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans
Bean varieties such as black, pinto, and kidney are also high in protein content. The garbanzo beans, Chickpeas are a different variety of legumes rich in protein.
Both beans and chickpeas give almost 15 grams of protein in 240 ml of the cooked cup. On the other hand, they are very high in phosphorus, potassium, manganese, complex carbs, iron, folate, fiber, and other essential plant compounds.
Research and studies show that the diet which constitutes beans and legumes are effective in decreasing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, helping in reducing belly fat, and controlling blood sugar levels.
You can enjoy the premium health benefits of beans by sprinkling some turmeric over the chickpeas or add beans with delicious homemade chili.
10. Nuts, Nut Butters, and Other Seeds
The next veg high protein foods are the nuts. Seeds and some products derived from them. It depends on the nut and seed variety that you choose that defines how much protein will they contain.
On average, one ounce,i.e., 28 grams of these nuts and seeds can provide you with 5-7 grams of protein. In addition to protein, these are also full of healthy fats, fiber, selenium, vitamin E, some B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and iron. They are also rich in antioxidants and other helpful organic compounds.
Whenever you can get it, try getting the raw and unblanched forms of these nuts. Blanching and roasting of these nuts and seeds can harm the useful nutrients present in them. Again, it would be better if you opt for the natural nut butter as it doesn’t contain any excess oil, salt, and sugar.
11. Ezekiel Breads and Other Bread Derived From Sprouted Grains
The special Ezekiel bread is prepared from sprouted, organic legumes, and whole grains. These grains and legumes are barley, wheat, millet, soybeans, spelled, and lentils. More than an average bread, just two slices of this Ezekiel bread gives us around 8 grams of protein.
The presence of these legumes and sprouting grains increases the quantity of essentially healthy nutrients and also helps reduce the anti-nutrients present.
Also, sprouting helps increase the amino acid content as lysine being the limiting plant amino acid. Lysine content also increases during sprouting and this helps in improving the overall protein quality of the bread.
So we know that, if we combine grains with legumes, it will improve the amino acid profile of the bread. According to some research, sprouting is also known to improve vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, soluble fiber, and beta-carotene content in the bread.
This also improves your digestion by reducing the gluten content in the bread.
12. Oats and Oatmeal
You want to eat something tasty and nutritious too? Don’t worry we got you the delicious oats.
Talking about the maths, just 120 ml(half a cup) of dry oats will give you around 6 grams of protein. This also provides you with 4 grams of fiber, good amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, folate, and zinc.
Though oats do not fall completely in the protein foods groups, they have a high-quality protein than normal wheat and rice.
Oats find their uses in a wide range of recipes and meals ranging from oatmeal to veg burgers. Once ground into flour, they can also be mixed with your wheat and used for baking.
Oats are an extensive inclusion in this list of veg high protein foods.
13. Spelt and Teff
Have you heard about the ancient grains? That’s the category spelt and teff belong to. There are also some other grains like barley, einkorn, farro, and sorghum.
Talking about spelt, it is a type of wheat and likewise also contains gluten; on the other hand, teff arises from an annual gluten-free grass.
For every cooked cup(240 ml), spelt and teff gives you 10-1 1 grams of protein which is quite higher than average ancient grains.
Both spelt and teff are rich in various other nutrients also rather than only protein as is the case with almost every food in this list. They also contain complex carbs, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, and fiber. Also, they are rich sources of zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.
Spelt and teff are potential alternatives for common grains like wheat and rice. You can use them in various meals from baked goods to even polenta and risotto.
14. Amaranth and Quinoa
Amaranth and quinoa are technically said to be “pseudocereals” because these two don’t grow from the grasses as other cereals do. They are also referred to as be ancient or gluten-free grains because of this reason.
Like other grains, you can grind them into flour and include that easily in your recipes.
For their protein content, they are also very rare among normal grains and pseudocereals. They provide 8-9 grams of high protein for every cooked cup(240 ml) and are also the complete source of proteins.
Other than protein, these amaranth and quinoa are rich in fiber, phosphorus, manganese, complex carbs, magnesium, iron, and complex carbs.
Get ready to fill your diet with protein with these veg high protein foods and reap the benefits.
15. Wild Rice
As for wild rice, it is the most protein-rich variety in the category of long-grain foods like basmati and brown rice. Wild rice contains almost 1.5 times more protein than these varieties.
Talking of the numbers, wild rice gives you 7 grams of protein, fiber, phosphorus, copper, B vitamins, manganese, and magnesium for every serving of cooked cup(240 ml). For the nutritional side, wild rice doesn’t have its bran stripped off like white rice. Bran contains a great variety of vitamins, fiber, and minerals, and improves the healthiness of wild rice.
Though, many people take it to be a concern as bran can also accumulate arsenic in high pollution areas. This is because Arsenic is a toxic element and can cause different health problems when eaten for longer periods of time.
For the good, you can wash rice before cooking and then boil it, it is effective in lowering the arsenic proportion by up to 57%.
You have heard about marijuana? I’m sure you would have. No, it’s not as bad as marijuana. This hempseed comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, though it comes from the same marijuana family. Don’t worry it’s not like marijuana.
Hempseed, as a whole, contains very small amounts of THC(The main marijuana component); not enough to produce any drug-like effect.
Hempseed is the actual underdog not so famous but provides 10 grams of complete, easily digestible protein per serving of 28 grams(ounce). This protein content is actually 50% more than what is present in chia seeds or flaxseeds. Along with protein, hempseed is also rich in zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium, and calcium. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the right ratio for better health.
Surprisingly, some studies show that the fats available in hempseed help in reducing inflammation, also diminishing the symptoms of PMS, skin diseases, and menopause.
Hempseed finds its use in your diet including some smoothies or the morning muesli. You can also use it in your protein bars or adding them to your salad would be a great idea.
Purchase hempseed online from here.
17. High-Protein Fruits and Vegetables
Well, saying very abruptly, protein is present in almost every fruit or vegetable no matter the amount. They are so small that you can’t even count that food to even contain some protein.
There are some others, who contain more protein than the average. Protein-rich vegetables are spinach, asparagus, potatoes, sweet potatoes, artichokes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. They contain almost about 4-5 grams of protein per serving of a cooked cup. Talking about the facts, some common facts like sweet corn, the grain contains equal amounts of protein as available in these high-protein vegetables.
On the other hand, fresh fruits tend to have lower protein content, unlike vegetables. Fruits like guava, mulberries, nectarines, bananas, cherimoyas, and blackberries contain approximately 2-4 grams of protein in every cup.
Well, vegetarians and vegans suffering from protein deficiencies are a common thing now. For the same reason, people want to increase their plant protein intake through their diet.
This list covers all the veg high protein foods that you can take if you are a vegan or a vegetarian without any worries. These foods will help you in increasing the protein content in your diet.
These are the simplest and easily available protein sources you can go for. Happy dieting:)