12 Best Vegan Protein Sources You Need To Try TodayJune 11, 2013
So you have made the decision to go vegan, but are a little bit skeptical as to where you are going to get your protein from.
You’re not alone and you came to the right spot.
Cutting out animal foods from your diet can cause a significant decrease in protein intake, so it’s important to be intentional about making sure to include adequate sources of protein in your diet.
If done correctly, it’s easy to get all of the nutrients you need to have
In this post, I list the top 12 best vegan protein sources that vegans can eat that are high in protein.
How much protein do you need?
It is recommended to consume between 10-35% of your diet from protein.
With that being said, if you consuming 2500 calories per day, you would need, at the minimum, 250 of those to come from protein.
Since there are 4 calories per gram of protein, that would equate to about 62 grams of protein daily (250/4).
And at the maximum, you would need 875 calories from protein, which would equate to about 220 grams of protein (875/4).
So if your diet consisted of 2500 calories daily, you would need to consume between 62-220 grams of protein daily.
Figure out how many calories you need to consume daily and then calculate your protein requirements.
It is also important to keep in mind that those who are athletes, bodybuilders, and/or very physically active, consuming towards the higher end of 35% is recommended.
Those who are more sedentary and less active should consume more towards the 10% range. If you have any questions about your protein requirements, feel free to ask!
Below are the top 12 best sources of protein for vegans
1. Vegan protein powder
A great way to supplement your diet is to add high quality vegan protein powder.
My favorite that I use as part of my morning breakfast shake is Sun Warrior that has both hemp and pea protein.
It tastes delicious, unlike most other vegan protein shakes I’ve tried, and I love that it’s GMO-free and Organic.
2. Hemp Seeds
One Serving of hemp seeds contain 11 grams of protein (This is a complete protein as it contains all the 9 essential amino acids).
Hemp seeds are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a great source of iron, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium.
This one from Hemp Hearts is the one I currently use and I highly recommend.
3. Sprouted Grain Bread
Every slice of sprouted grain bread has approximately 5 grams of protein (this is also a complete protein).
Have a sandwich and you will be acquiring 10 grams of protein from the bread alone!
It is also a great source of fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
A great choice for this is Ezekiel.
Consume 1 cup of your favorite beans, be it red beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black beans, ect, one cup of cooked beans contains about 12- 15 grams of protein.
They are also very high in fiber and a great source of iron.
Although beans are not a complete protein, when paired with rice, they are complete proteins.
Although you do not have to consume rice and beans together to reap the benefits of complete proteins, it is important that you consume both within a 24 hour period.
One cup of quinoa contains approximately 12 grams of protein.
Not only is quinoa a complete protein, but it is also extremely high in fiber and a great source of iron and manganese.
In just one cup of edamame, you will be consuming 10 grams of complete proteins. Not only is edamame extremely tasty and high in protein, it is also a good source of dietary fiber, thiamin, iron, magnesium , copper, phosphorus, vitamin K, folate, and manganese
7. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, as 2 tablespoons reaps about 7 grams of protein.
Although not a complete protein, when paired with bread, you will be consuming complete proteins. Peanut butter is also a good source of vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, and dietary fiber.
Other nut butters such as cashew and almond are also good sources of protein.
One serving of tofu has approximately 10 grams of protein, not to mention it is very cheap!
Not only is tofu a complete protein, but it is a naturally good source of calcium and iron as well.
Lentils are a great source of protein as they contain about 18 grams of protein per cup of cooked lentils.
Un-sprouted lentils are, however, lacking in 2 essential amino acids and are thus in-complete. Simply add some brown rice and you have a complete protein.
Lentils are also good sources of fiber, iron, phosphorus, copper, folate, and manganese.
Most vegetables have about 2-4 grams of protein per serving. It may not sound like much, but when you consume lots of vegetables, it adds up.
One cup of cooked spinach contains 4 grams of protein, one avocado contains 3 grams of protein, one cup of cooked kale contains 2 grams of protein.. you catch my drift.
11. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and an array of vitamins and minerals. Listed below are the protein contents of some of the more popular nuts and seeds.
- 1 oz. cashews – 4.4 grams
- 1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams, 3 tablespoons of tahini – 8 grams
- 1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts – 5 grams
- 1 oz. pistachios – 5.8 grams
- 2 tbsp almonds – 4 grams
12. Mushroom Family
One cup of cooked button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, maitake mushrooms, or shiitake mushrooms contain 4 grams of protein.
Although 4 grams is not that much, when you factor in that one cup of mushrooms only contains 40 calories, it makes it a great source of protein.
Mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-glucans, and vitamin D.
But button and shitake mushrooms aren’t the only mushrooms. Check out our awesome article that talks about 7 little known types of mushrooms to eat and add to your diet.