Best Sources Of Protein Vegan


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More Protein Rich Foods For Vegans

These Are The Best Vegan & Vegetarian Protein Sources | Nutritionist Explains | Myprotein

Data for the curated food lists comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.

You can check our data against the USDA by clicking the link at the bottom of each food listing.

Note: When checking data please be sure the serving sizes are the same. In the rare case you find any difference, please contact us and we will fix it right away.

Vegan Bodybuilders On Protein

With the rising popularity of adopting a plant-based diet, it should come as no surprise that there are more and more athletes, bodybuilders, and vegan strongmen making the switch. Their diets are typically a little less calorically dense so they have to make up for this in volume, but none seem to be struggling to get the necessary amount of protein.

Most non-vegan athletes I meet are confused at first and always have a tonne of questions. Many people are just uneducated about where vegans get their protein. When becoming vegan 13 years ago my stamina increased, my strength increased, I was able to build muscle faster, had more energy and my immune system was so much stronger.

Vanessa Espinoza,

Profressional Boxer, Bodybuilder And Personal Trainer

Strongman Patrik Baboumian as another great example, having won many powerlifting

and strongman competitions around the globe The Armenian Viking definitely has credible credentials when discussing the vegan diet and protein. Baboumians diet includes smoothies and shakes, but his meal plans also include whole foods like vegan sausages, falafel, grilled veggies, and tofu.

The only difference being a vegan athlete makes is in the kitchen it seems, not in the gym.

To be honest I was very anxious how switching to a plant-based diet would affect my performances before I went vegan. I had expected that everything would be very hard for me to get used to. It was much easier than I had anticipated.

Patrik Baboumian

Vegan Strongman

You Need To Consume A Lot Of Fruit And Vegetables

Chitalia recommends that as vegans you should consume great amount of fruit, vegetables which are packed with fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals like anthocyanin, lycopene which are associated with lowering blood cholesterol level LDL that are also known as bad cholesterol which makes most of the body cholesterol.

“High levels of LDL increase the risk of heart disease. Diet consisting of fruits and vegetables tend to have a mixture of phytochemicals antioxidants like Vit C, anthocyanin, flavonoids that are known to protect against cancer. Phytochemicals inhibit cell proliferation, a process in which the number of cells increases as result of cell growth and division, increases apoptosis, a process in which abnormal cells are destroyed,” she adds.

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Vegan Protein Source #: Farro

This ancient grain packs a decent amount of protein when compared to other grains in the American diet. Although the exact amount of protein varies per type of farro, half of a cup of pre-cooked Italian farro has 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture . Naturally rich in iron, a nutrient even nutritionists dont get enough of, farro is an excellent source of nutrition for vegans. Use farro like you would use any other cooked grainas a base for cooked Asian vegetables, an addition to your favorite soup, or topped with berries and almond milk for a delicious breakfast.

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How Can You Tell If A Protein Powder Is Lactose

Top Sources Of Vegetarian Protein

Its always important to read the label of a particular protein powder before buying it to ensure its lactose-free. Some powders will have a note on the label that indicates it is lactose-free.

If this isnt the case, take a look at the list of ingredients. When looking for a lactose-free whey protein powder, check that its made with whey protein isolate instead of whey protein concentrate.

Whey protein concentrate is less processed than whey protein isolate. It still contains lactose when the processing is finished, as well as higher concentrations of carbohydrates and fat.

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The 16 Best Sources Of Vegan Protein

Eating fewer animal products or cutting them out completely comes with a lot of questions. What will I put in my coffee? How do I bake without eggs? Wont I always be hungry? But the most common question seems to be about protein. Luckily, the plant kingdom is abundant in protein thats not only healthy but also better for personal and planetary health. Here are the best vegan protein sources.

A Good Option For People With Soy Allergies

Many plant-based meat substitutes, such as tofu, tempeh, and premade veggie burgers and hot dogs, are made from soy.

But soy is one of the top eight food allergens, along with milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts .

Therefore, it can be difficult for those who eat a plant-based diet but have a soy allergy or intolerance to find suitable meat alternatives.

Fortunately, seitan is an excellent soy-free option if you need to avoid the allergen. Just be sure to check the ingredient list on packaged seitan products to make sure no soy-containing ingredients have been added.


Seitan is made with wheat gluten, so its a good soy-free meat alternative for people with soy allergies or intolerances. Just double-check the ingredient list on premade seitan to be sure it doesnt contain soy products.

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Mediterranean Vs Vegan Diet: Which Is Better

The Mediterranean diet and vegan diet are two popular eating plans. Both have been well-studied for their many potential health benefits.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating patterns of people in Mediterranean countries like Greece, Spain, and Italy. Its known for promoting a variety of foods that are both flavorful and nutritious.

Meanwhile, the vegan diet encourages a wide range of plant-based foods and is associated with both health and environmental benefits.

While there are some clear similarities between these two diet plans, you may also wonder how they compare.

This article takes a closer look at the Mediterranean and vegan diets to help you determine which is right for you, if either.

Vegan Meats And Dairy Alternatives

Best Vegan Sources of Protein

Animals arent protein sources theyre our friends. There are so many vegan meats, non-dairy milks, and other plant-based foods that are high in protein, mind-blowingly delicious, and so much healthier that you wont even have time to crave animals bodies, eggs, or milk.

Nutritional Yeast 9 grams of protein per two tablespoons : Good source of fibre, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, and all the B vitamins, including B12

Seitan 25 grams of protein per 100 grams : Great source of selenium

Soy Milk 8 grams of protein per cup : Great source of potassium, isoflavones, and vitamins A and B12, and often fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Tempeh 41 grams of protein per cup : Great source of probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus

Tofu 20 grams of protein per cup : Great source of calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine

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Why Is Protein Important

Protein is the building block of the human body. We need it to build our muscles, as well as make our hair, blood, antibodies, enzymes, and more! Its no wonder animal products became so dominant in peoples dietsmeat companies have used protein as a marketing tool to get people to believe that meat and dairy are the only reliable sources of the nutrient we need the most! But this is just plain wrongand with a balanced diet, plant proteins are just as effective, and come free from the huge carbon footprint, long list of health risks, and ethical nightmares that weigh down animal products.

How Much Protein Do We Need

Before we take a look at how much protein we need, lets first consider why we need it. Your body needs protein like it needs oxygen it performs endless bodily functions. Your muscles need it to stay strong, and your organs and skin demand it to stay healthy.

The immune system cant produce antibodies without it, and fat metabolism cant take place in its absence. It is of little wonder that the Greek meaning of protein translates to primary.

Now that we know why protein is so important, we can look at just how much we need on a daily basis. The average adult, according to the Dietary Reference Intake Report, needs about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. However, these recommendations are based on a sedentary lifestyle and are just enough to keep you healthy. Physically active adults will have to adjust their intake accordingly.

A daily protein diet that consists of 25% to 30% of your daily calories has been shown to boost metabolism significantly. With a bit of careful planning and research into high-protein vegan food, a vegan-only diet can certainly help you hit these digits

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The Best Vegan Protein Sources: The Ultimate Guide

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But where do you get your protein? must rank as the number-one-most-frequently-asked question to vegans. What the question tells us is that so many people associate protein with eating animals. Therefore, they assume it is impossible to get non-meat protein. However, that is definitely not the case, as this ultimate guide to plant-based protein proves. Here we give you our rundown of the top high-protein vegan foods. So youll have the definitive answer to the protein question the next two hundred times that youre asked it.

We break down the list of high protein vegan foods in various categories, including meat substitutes, nuts, and veggies high in protein. But first, lets take a quick look at what protein is and the role that it plays in ensuring our bodies function properly.

Plant Versus Animal Protein


Protein is made up of chains of molecules known as amino acids.

There are 20 amino acids found in nature that your body can use to build protein. Out of these 20 amino acids, 9 are considered essential, which means that your body cannot produce them itself, so you need to get them from your diet.

The remaining 11 are considered non-essential, as your body can produce them from the 9 essential amino acids.

Animal protein contains all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. Plants also contain all nine essential amino acids however, besides a few exceptions, most typically offer a limited amount of at least one essential amino acid.

For instance, beans, lentils, peas, and many vegetables tend to contain low amounts of cysteine and methionine. On the other hand, grains, nuts, and seeds tend to be low in lysine (

34 ).

However, as long as you eat a variety of plant-based proteins, this shouldnt pose a problem. You can still get sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids your body needs.


Despite being considered incomplete source of protein, plant foods can be easily combined throughout the day to provide you with sufficient amounts of all amino acids.

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What About Protein Supplements

Some protein powders are plant-based. Depending upon the plants used to make the powders, they may be complete or incomplete proteins.

The position of the American Dietetic Association is that while food supplements can help people meet their daily nutrition goals, eating a wide variety of nutrients rich in protein is usually a better strategy for meeting daily goals.

Some protein supplements may also be high in sugar or sodium to improve the taste, so it is important to read the nutrition labels.

Plant Based Protein Supplements

A simple yet very effective way to increase your plant-based protein intake is through vegan protein supplements. The two most popular options are vegan protein shakes and vegan protein bars. The best vegan protein shakes will provide you with around 15-20 grams of plant protein per serving and will generally source their protein from soy protein, rice protein, hemp or pea protein. For those with digestive issues or a higher level of food intolerances, a rice protein or pea protein formula will be the best choice.

When it comes to vegan protein bars, they are generally used as a snack and a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates to fulfill your recommended daily requirements. Most plant based protein bars use the same range of protein sources as vegan protein powders, predominantly soy, hemp, rice, and peas, but many companies also use nuts to add beneficial fats and alternative flavors. If you have food intolerances, aim for vegan protein bars that are gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free with minimal additives. Its also a good option to pick bars that have minimal additives, using mainly fruits as a sweetener.

Check out our top recommendation for the best vegan protein bars and vegan protein shakes to add some healthy plant-based protein to your diet.

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Where To Buy Whey Protein

When it comes to buying protein, one convenient ordering option is Amazons program, since it can save you up to 15%. Youre able to cancel your subscription at any time, too. Whats great about this program is that it automates ordering products that you replenish regularly.

For instance, if you take a serving of protein powder every day and there are 30 servings in a container, you can have a new tub delivered every month without lifting a finger.

Personally, I like to buy my protein from I usually try a different brand of protein each time I order more, so Amazons Subscribe & Save program doesnt make sense for me, although its a smart option for many people. has reliable customer reviews and it routinely offers deals on popular brands. As a bonus, it offers free shipping on orders over $75.

To figure out the cost per serving on your own, take the products price and divide it by the number of servings in the container. Since the amount of protein per serving varies by brand, its also useful to look at the cost per gram of protein. This is easy to calculate by dividing the cost per serving by the number of grams of protein per serving. Andrew Gutman

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Best Sources Of Vegan Protein

Ultimate Guide to Vegan Protein Substitutes | BEST Vegan Protein Sources

The best sources of vegan protein for you should follow the following criteria:

  • Provides a good amount of protein density at least 25% of the calories are coming from protein.
  • Provides other nutritional benefits like vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, or fiber.
  • Fits within your calorie and macro goals.
  • Tastes good and makes you feel good from the inside out!

To get some ideas on where to start, here are some favorites:

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Nuts And Seeds High In Protein

Power-packed with nutritional benefits, nuts and seeds are a great way for vegans to cram in essential vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like protein. Here are the top five nuts and seeds to get if youre looking to increase your protein intake:

  • Hemp seeds with an incredible 31.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, the humble hemp seed is the superstar of the vegan protein seeds and nuts list. Whats more, as noted above it is also one of the relatively few vegan sources of complete protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. In other words, hemp seeds alone provide all amino acids without needing to be mixed with any other food. They go great sprinkled on salads, added to smoothies, or added as an ingredient to super-healthy energy or bliss balls.
  • Pumpkin seeds coming in not far behind the hemp seed, pumpkin seeds contain an impressive 29.8 grams of protein per 100 grams. Typically eaten roasted, they are also packed with antioxidants, zinc, magnesium, and healthy fats.
  • Peanuts the most common nut often gets a bad rep nutritionally compared to some of its nutty cousins with richer nutritional profiles. But when it comes to protein, the peanut is top of the class, with 24.4 grams of protein per 100 grams. NB technically peanuts are a type of legume but weve classed them here as nuts because thats how they are typically considered and used in a culinary sense.
  • The Digestibility Of Plant Based Proteins

    There are 2 aspects of protein quality.

    First are the nineessential amino acid profile of a protein source.

    Its not a big deal as long as youre eating a variety of foods. Even if one protein source is lacking certain essential amino acids, some other food you eat throughout the day will make up for it .

    For example, beans are generally low in methionine, but if you eat some seeds or oats , you get enough of all essential amino acids.

    The second aspect is that plant based protein doesnt absorb as well as animal protein.

    This is true, many studies have shown this. Its mainly due to antinutrients that inhibit absorption of nutrients.

    Its not a huge amount, but it is significant.

    So vegans might need a little more protein, but its not something to worry about too much.

    For example, a well-known vegan bodybuilder, Nimai Delgado, says he eats about 150-160 grams of protein while weighing 180 lbs .

    Plant protein is a bit lower quality than protein from animal sources, but unless youre an elite athlete , its not going to make a significant difference in planning your diet.

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    Unlikely Vegan Protein Sources

    As long as people keep asking about it, well keep talking about protein. The subject is a seemingly never-ending black hole of conversation when it comes to vegan diets, but it really doesnt have to be that complicated. A vegan diet can contain a bounty of protein sources, and theres no need to worry about developing a protein deficiency or experiencing a lack of variety in meals . All whole foods contain protein , and here are the best vegan protein sources to fulfill your daily needs and satisfy the relentless questions from omnivores about where vegans get their protein.


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