Nutrition

12 Vegan Protein Rich Foods

The only thing better than a great workout is knowing you are fueling your body with all the right nutrients. This can be hard for vegan fitness fanatics, but there are plenty of nutritious foods that will provide adequate protein. Here is a list of 12 Vegan Protein Rich Foods to get you started! 

But, you’re new to being vegan or feel you’re not getting enough of these all important amino acids, it’s essential you know which vegan protein rich foods should be included in your diet. 

Of course, you could always look at exploring vegan protein supplements, which can be a great way to boost your protein intake, however, it’s always best to base your diet in healthy, rich whole foods wherever possible. 

As a bonus, vegan protein rich foods can also help with satiety, or keeping you fuller for longer, which can be something many who are new to veganism can struggle with [1]. 

When you think protein rich foods, so many people go straight to meat or even dairy. However, that’s not an option if you’re plant based. So, with that in mind, you’ll need to know more about the best vegan protein rich foods out there. We’ve rounded them up for you below. 

 

Seitan

Let’s talk about seitan! Seitan has a great nutritional profile for vegans as well as meat-eaters alike. It contains more protein than beef or chicken and also more iron that those two foods combined. 

What are the benefits of seitan?    

-Great source of protein 

– Low in cholesterol 

– High in Iron 

– Great to cook with!

Made from gluten, Seitan is a very popular option in our list of vegan protein rich foods. 

Gluten is the main protein found in wheat and, one of the most popular elements of it is that when it’s cooked, it has the feel and texture of meat. This means many use it as a plant-based substitute for meat. 

And, with 25g of protein per 100g of seitan, it’s top of our list of vegan protein rich foods [2]. 

It isn’t hard to add seitan to your diet either. Nowadays you can find it in most good food stores, and many seitan products are also available in the form of chicken substitutes. 

Note: Those who have a wheat or gluten allergy should avoid seitan. 

Tofu

Tofu is a soybean product made by pressing the beans to remove their water content. This can be done in several ways, but generally it is done with machines that are similar to cheese-making equipment. 

Tofu has many benefits for your health and can provide you with protein, iron, calcium and other nutrients vital for maintaining good health.  

There are three major types of tofu: Firm tofu has a dense consistency; Soft tofu has an elastic texture when cooked; Silken tofu is often used in desserts or sauces because it blends easily into dishes without breaking them down. 

Per 100g Tofu contains about 16g of protein, which makes it one of the best vegan protein rich foods [3].

Tempeh

Tempeh is another fantastic vegan protein rich food you simply can’t miss out of your diet. 

Tempeh is a traditional soy product that has been around for centuries. It’s often made with fermented soybeans, which are high in protein and nutritional value. Tempeh is also low in calories, making it perfect for those looking to lose weight! 

And, with a fantastic 18g of protein in every 100g, it’s got you covered when it comes to hitting your macronutrient targets [4]

Edamame

Vegan protein rich foods quinoa bowl

Edamame is a legume that originated in China. The word “edamame” means “boiled soybeans.” It is actually one of the most popular snacks in Japan, and it’s also gaining popularity here in the West too. Edamames are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, zinc and manganese. They’re also high in antioxidants! 

Do you know your soy? Edamame and tofu are two of the most popular forms of soy, but they’re different. Tofu is made from coagulated soy milk that’s pressed into blocks or cakes. It has a spongy texture and can be used in savory dishes like stir-fries, curries, soups, stews, salads (think: tempeh bacon!), pastas (like lasagna!) or even desserts! Edamame is boiled whole soybeans with their pods attached. They can be eaten on their own as a snack or cooked in other dishes to provide some extra protein. 

On thing to be aware of though, is the calorie content. One cup of shelled edamame has about 10 grams of fat, while one block of tofu only has 4 grams. So if your goal is weight loss, then go with the lower calorie option.

When it comes to protein, edamame offer up just more than 10g for every 100g. Not the highest number, but still a good source nonetheless [5]

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are an excellent source of nutrients, including folate, manganese, iron and phosphorous. They’re also a great low-fat vegan option for anyone looking to boost their protein intake without the added calories. 

Do you know what chickpeas are? Chickpeas are legumes that can be eaten raw or cooked in many dishes! There’s no need to worry about whether they’re good for you because they contain folate – which is important during pregnancy – as well as important minerals like phosphorus and iron! If you’re trying to eat healthier but want more protein in your diet, adding chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour) in place of normal flour can be a brilliant idea. 

When it comes to protein chickpeas are fantastic. For every 100g of chickpeas, you can expect a whopping 19g of protein [6]

Beans

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep yourself fuller for longer, and add a strong helping of protein to a meal, then you need beans. They have been a staple in many cultures for centuries because they are so nutritious and versatile. They provide protein, fiber, folate, iron and magnesium.

As far as vegan protein rich foods go, Beans are a big winner. Plus they’re also low in calories- about 100 for 1/2 cup. I’m not talking about canned beans, either! There’s lots of ways to cook them without adding too much sodium or preservatives. Plus, there are so many options out there. From red kidney beans to baked, black beans to soy beans, these legumes are bursting with amino acids.

If you’re thinking of adding them to your diet, you can expect an additional 10g in for every 100g, depending on your choice [7]

Lentils 

You may have not think lentils when you think building muscle, but they are some of the most nutritious foods on earth. They contain protein levels that rival those found in meats, and are also high in fiber to help keep you feeling full for longer.

They’re easy to cook with either a slow cooker or stovetop pot and can be used as an alternative to meat dishes like tacos or sloppy joes. Whether you’re looking for a way to cut down your reliance on processed meats or just love eating plant-based, high protein meals, this is one healthy food worth adding into your diet! 

Some benefits include: 

– High Protein Levels at 26g per 100g of raw lentils [8]

– Low carbohydrate content 

– Fiber content helps keep you feeling full for longer 

– Can be used as a really effective meat alternative. Think warming chillis or wholesome lasagne 

Hempseed

Hempseed is another brilliant option for vegan protein rich foods with plenty of additional nutritious elements like omega-3s and minerals. 

It also contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. This makes hempseed a perfect plant-based protein for vegans or anyone with food allergies to animal products. Hemp seeds are also rich in antioxidants which help fight cancer cells, reduce inflammation and promote overall health.  The best part? You can eat hemp seeds raw or dry roasted – they taste great either way! 

Quinoa

Quinoa is a brilliant go-to for vegetarians and vegans because it contains all the essential amino acids. It also provides 8 grams of protein per cup, which is more than any other grain!  Quinoa has only about 36 calories per cooked cup, which makes it a fantastic choice for dieters too. The best part? All this goodness comes with no cholesterol or saturated fat.

On top of all this, you’ll get about 15g of protein per 100g of quinoa [9].

Peas

vegetable bowl

Peas are a great way to get a great serving of vegan protein rich foods.

Packed with essential nutrients like fiber, antioxidants and B vitamins, they’re an excellent addition to any diet. In addition to their amazing health benefits pea consumption has been shown to promote weight loss by reducing hunger during meals which may lead to reduced calorie intake over time. You’ll find all these benefits and more when you click on through for our recipe for lime lime avocado salad with black beans and peas!

And, you can expect about 5 g of protein in each 100g [9].

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a great way to get your daily dose of nutrients and proteins. It’s also vegan-friendly, so if you’re a vegan or just want to include more plant-based foods in your diet, soy milk is the perfect choice! Soy milk has been shown to have benefits for weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels. In addition, it can help with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.

Add it to your morning oats and you can expect a protein boost of 1.6g per 100g.

Oats

Oats are a nutritious breakfast food that can be eaten by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. They provide the body with iron, fiber, protein, manganese and potassium. Oats also contain antioxidants which help combat free radical damage in our bodies. 

Oatmeal is best served toasted for maximum flavor but there are many other ways to prepare it including boiling it in water or eating it raw as a cereal. You can mix oats into your favorite fruit smoothie for a little extra protein and texture, or enjoy them plain with some extra cinnamon sprinkled on top!

In terms of protein, you can expect about 17g for every 100g of raw oats [11]. 

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are a great option for our vegan protein rich foods that also packed with fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for the health of your heart and brain. 

Chia seeds also contain calcium, iron, magnesium zinc and phosphorus which help to promote bone strength – great if you’re into lifting weights. One ounce has about 130 calories with 11 grams of fat, but if you’re vegan or trying to lose weight then don’t write chia seeds off just yet! They’re a great way to get some healthy fats in your diet! 

Vegan Protein Rich Foods – Conclusion

So, what have you learnt about vegan protein rich foods? At the start of this article you might’ve been thinking, “There is no way I can go vegan with all these restrictions!” But you don’t have to! The list is far more extensive and includes so many tasty options – more than you might’ve initially thought. 

There are plenty of healthy foods that offer a variety of protein sources. Try some new recipes and see how it goes. Let us know in the comments below what you think about this article’s list of vegan protein rich foods items!

gymgirlfit

gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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