Vegetarian Protein: Plant Protein Sources

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures

It is perfectly possible to get a healthy amount of protein from a diet that is purely plant-based. We’ll show you how to add sources of high-quality vegetarian protein to your diet that would satisfy even an athlete’s needs. 

Vegan Protein Foods: Legumes, Seeds, and Nuts

Vegan protein foods
Beans contain about eight grams of protein per 100 grams. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Pexels)

Whole wheat products and certain types of produce can be great sources of vegetarian protein, but legumes, seeds, and nuts are especially potent vegan protein foods. Nuts also contain healthy fats, which are often missing in a modern diet. 

  • Nuts: Walnuts and hazelnuts consist of about 16 percent protein, and peanuts contain almost 30 percent. But since nuts are also rich in fat, you’ll want to avoid eating more than about a handful a day. 
  • Legumes: Legumes contain slightly less protein than nuts, but they are still one of the best vegetarian protein sources out there. On average, they contain about seven percent protein. Kidney beans contain about eight grams of protein per 100 grams, peas and lentils contain about five grams, and soybeans a whopping 12 grams. Legumes are low in calories but still keep you feeling full for several hours. 
  • Seeds: Seeds are also an excellent source of plant protein. Linseeds and sesame seeds both consist of more than 20 percent vegan protein. Sunflower seeds deliver 26 grams of protein per 100 grams, and pumpkin seeds 36. By mixing a handful of seeds into your salad, or baking them into your bread, you can easily up your daily protein intake. 

Tip: Edamame beans are a source of all nine essential amino acids and they also make a tasty and healthy snack. Learn more about this superfood and perfect source of non-meat protein here: Edamame Beans: Buying, Growing, & Eating This Superfood

Vegetarian Protein: Dietary Supplements from Plant Protein Sources

plant protein sources
Adding a scoop of protein powder to your morning smoothie is a quick and easy way to increase your daily protein intake. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Couleur)

If you’re having a hard time meeting your daily protein intake requirements with vegan protein foods alone, protein powder can be a good way to supplement your diet. This might be an option for you if, for example, you have a nut allergy, play sports, or lead a particularly active lifestyle.  

  • Hemp Protein: A concentrated source of non-meat protein can be found in powdered hemp protein. This dietary supplement is compatible with almost every diet: it is gluten-free and contains neither soy, nuts, nor legumes. But with about 50 grams per 100 grams, the proportion of protein in hemp is relatively low. (Available on Amazon**)
  • Rice Protein: Like hemp protein, rice protein is free from common allergens, but with a protein percentage of about 80%, it packs a more powerful punch. (Available on Amazon**)
  • More Options: Many other types of vegan and vegetarian protein powder are available online or in your local health food store, like pea protein, alfalfa protein, or soy protein, as well as blends of different plant protein sources. 

Note: The most common form of protein powder is made from whey, which is a by-product that occurs in the cheese-making process. Since whey is a dairy product, whey protein is considered a vegetarian protein, but not vegan.

Remember to keep in mind protein powder should be used to supplement, not replace, a balanced diet. 

Tip: Autumn is around the corner! Looking for a new, tasty way to get your daily protein? Try adding a scoop of protein powder to a diy pumpkin smoothie

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Pflanzliches Eiweiß: Diese Lebensmittel liefern viele Proteine

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