A vegan diet is a plant-based diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and any other animal byproducts. A common misconception about veganism is that it provides low protein content. There are many high protein foods available on a vegan or plant-based diet that do not contain meat. Here are some of the best, high-protein foods available on a vegan diet.
Green peas are an excellent source of protein, providing 8 grams per cup. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They’re one of the best sources of vitamin K available on a plant-based diet. In addition to being a healthy snack or side dish, they can be used in soups and other recipes. You can eat them raw or cook them into dishes that require more extended preparation.
This creamy fruit is commonly used as a spread for toast and sandwiches. While most people don’t think of it as a protein source, avocado contains 4 grams per cup! Avocado also provides healthy doses of vitamin K, folate, and potassium. It can be paired with many foods to provide a creamy texture without the animal fat found in most cheeses and spreads.
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber that contain 13 grams of protein per cup. They’re also high in iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and riboflavin. Beans come in many different varieties and can be purchased whole, mashed, ground into flour, or refried beans. They’re a great source of protein for those following a vegan diet.
Where do you think fish get their omega-3 fatty acids? From seaweed! Spirulina is a blue-green alga that is incredibly high in protein, containing up to 60% by weight. It also contains high gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. Spirulina can be taken as a supplement or added to smoothies or juices for an added protein boost.
Hemp seeds are another source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons. They’re also rich in iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. While they are typically used raw or as hemp butter, flaxseeds can be ground into flour for baking or cooking purposes. Hemp seeds can be added to smoothies, cereal, pasta made from whole grain flour, bread, and other baked goods.
Lentils are an excellent source of protein, providing 18 grams per cup. Lentils also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, thiamine, and pantothenic acid. Lentils have been shown to reduce cholesterol while increasing the body’s ability to digest carbohydrates more efficiently. They’re incredibly versatile – lentil soup is famous for a good reason!
If you’re looking for non-dairy milk, soy milk is your best option. It’s rich in protein and contains 4 grams of protein per cup. Like cow’s milk, it also contains vitamin A, riboflavin, B12, and low iron levels. Soy milk can be used to substitute for dairy products in baking or cooking applications or simply eaten with breakfast cereal. Soy milk is great for baking and substituting in recipes that call for cow’s milk.
Grains are another great source of vegan protein! Quinoa provides 8 grams of protein per cup cooked, while brown rice provides 5 grams per cup. Both grains come from whole foods that contain complex carbohydrates that digest slowly to provide steady energy throughout the day and high fiber content for healthy digestion. Whole grains have been associated with many health benefits.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are other great protein sources, with most containing around 7 grams per ounce. In addition to protein, nuts and seeds are high in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They make a great snack or addition to a salad or other dish. Some more popular nuts include almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios. Popular seeds include chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Tofu is made from soybeans and contains around 10 grams of protein per 4 ounces serving. It can be purchased as a firm or soft block, which can then be eaten raw (in salads or on its own), fried, sauteed, baked, or grilled. Tofu takes on the flavor of the ingredients that it’s prepared with, making it very versatile. There are many ways to cook tofu, so it’s an excellent food for those just starting to eat vegan.
Oats And Oatmeal
Oats are another high-protein, whole-grain food. Rats are great for breakfast in porridge form or combined with fruits and nuts in a parfait for a quick meal on the go. Oats are also ground into flour to make bread and other baked goods that contain high protein levels!
Rolled oats contain 6 grams per 1/2 cup dry, while oatmeal contains 8 grams per cup when prepared.
Many different plant-based foods contain high protein levels, making it easy for those following a vegan diet to get the nutrient they need. Beans, spirulina, hemp seeds, lentils, soy milk, grains, nuts, seeds, tofu, and oats are all excellent sources of protein that can be easily incorporated into any vegan meal. With so many options available, there’s no excuse not to get the protein your body needs!