Great vegan sources of protein

Vegans are commonly critiqued that they can’t possibly get enough protein on a plant-based diet. But, fear not because we can, since there are a variety of different foods that provide plenty of protein.

Protein is essential for several functions, including:

  • developing, maintaining and repairing tissues
  • producing enzymes
  • producing some hormones
  • producing antibodies, which fight off infections
  • providing energy

It is recommended that adults eat approximately 50g of protein each day.


Pulses

Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils. They’re a great source of protein, as well as other nutrients, including fibre, vitamins and minerals. Also, they count towards 1 of your 5 a day.

Here’s a table of several pulses along with their protein content per 80g serving:

Pulse Protein per 80g Percentage of Reference Intake
Red lentils 6.6g 13.2%
Green split peas 6.5g 13%
Cannelli beans 6.4g 12.8%
Haricot beans 5.9g 11.8%
Black-eyed beans 5.8g 11.6%
Chickpeas 5.8g 11.6%
Red kidney beans 5.5g 11%
Pinto beans 5.2g 10.4%
Borlotti beans 5.0g 10%
Butter beans 4.7g 9.4%
Green lentils 4.6g 9.2%
Broad beans 4.4g 8.8%
Garden peas 4.2g 8.4%
Green beans 1.3g 2.6%

Nuts and Seeds

Another great source of protein is from nuts and seeds. They’re also rich in unsaturated fat  (the good fat), fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Here’s a table of several nuts along with their protein content per 1oz (28g):

Nut Protein per 1oz Percentage of Reference Intake
Almonds 7.3g 14.6%
Peanuts 7.0g 14%
Pistachios 7.0g 14%
Cashews 5.9g 11.8%
Walnuts 4.8g 9.6%
Brazil 4.6g 9.2%
Hazelnuts 3.9g 7.8%
Pine 3.9g 7.8%
Pecan 3.1g 6.2%
Macadamia 2.4g 4.8%

Here’s a table of several seeds along with their protein content per 1oz (28g):

Seed Protein per 1oz Percentage of Reference Intake
Pumpkin 8.1g 16.2%
Flax 7.8g 15.6%
Sunflower 6.6g 13.2%
Hemp 6.2g 12.4%
Chia 5.9g 11.8%
Poppy 5.6g 11.2%
Sesame 5.0g 10%

Fruit and Veg

That’s right. Even fruits and vegetables contain protein. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals.

These tables contain a list of fruits and vegetables together with their protein content per 100g:

Fruit Protein per 100g Percentage of Reference Intake
Coconut 3.3g 6.6%
Avocado 2.0g 4%
Pomegranate 1.7g 3.4%
Banana 1.1g 2.2%
Vegetable Protein per 100g Percentage of Reference Intake
Kale 4.3g 8.6%
Brussel sprouts 3.4g 6.8%
Artichoke 3.3g 6.6%
Spinach 2.9g 5.8%
Broccoli 2.8g 5.6%
Asparagus 2.2g 4.4%
Potato 2.0g 4%
Cauliflower 1.9g 3.8%
Leeks 1.5g 3%
Cabbage 1.3g 2.6%
Courgette 1.2g 2.4%

Whole grains

Whole grains are packed with protein and fibre, along with other nutrients.

Here are some whole grains together with their protein content per 100g:

Whole grain Protein per 100g Percentage of Reference Intake
Buckwheat 13.0g 26%
Millet 11.0g 22%
Whole oats 11.0g 22%
Bulgar wheat 7.9g 15.8%
Quinoa 3.1g 6.2%
Brown rice 2.9g 5.8%

 

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