Proteins are one of the most essential nutrients of the body. This nutrient is used to build tissue, so essentially, proteins are the building blocks of the body. From a nutritional standpoint, proteins are really important because they are made of amino acids, which as we know the body uses to build tissue and break down the food that we eat. So essentially, proteins are important because they help us build muscle and fuel our body.
When you’re following a Vegan Diet and are eating plant-based foods, chances are that you’re not getting enough protein. While there are vegetables and fruits rich in protein, there are richer sources of protein for people who do not consume meat or animal products. Some of these products are well known and some might not be if you’ve just become vegan recently but all are certainly really healthy, nutritious, and easily accessible nowadays.
Seitan is a vegan meat substitute that is made from hydrated gluten, which is the main protein in wheat. Seitan has been known to be a chicken substitute mainly as people grill it, use it in salads, sandwiches, etc. It is quite simple to make at home and you can season it to your liking.
100 grams of Seitan has around 75 grams of protein.
Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame
Tofu, Tempeh, and Edamame are all derived from whole soybeans and are some of the most popular protein sources for vegans. While edamame is basically cooked soybeans, tofu and tempeh are more complex foods.
100 grams of edamame hold around 11 grams of protein.
Tofu is prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the curd into blocks of tofu. Depending on the pressure, you can get silken, soft, firm, or extra-firm tofu.
100 grams of tofu hold around 8 grams of protein.
Tempeh is another soybean product but this one is made by fermented soybeans. Tempeh differs from tofu for its nutty flavor while tofu is milder.
100 grams of tempeh hold around 19 grams of protein
Lentils are a legume consumed by all but made popular by Vegans due to their protein content. They are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and folate while being low in fat & calories. This makes them a perfect base for your weight loss meals.
100 grams of lentils hold around 9 grams of protein
Chickpeas and Most Beans
Chickpeas are a legume as well, whose use originates from the eastern countries. They are the main ingredient in hummus & falafel, two of the most popular foods in a vegan diet. Chickpea seeds are high in protein and make a great replacement for meat in a vegan and vegetarian diet. They have also proven to improve digestion, help you manage weight loss, and reduce the risk of several diseases.
100 grams of chickpeas hold around 19 grams of protein
If you’ve ever watched vegan food cooking shows or Youtube videos, you will know what nutritional yeast is for sure. Nutritional yeast can help you lower your cholesterol levels, is a great source of protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals. You can use it on basically anything, sprinkled on top, stirred into soups, and as cheese flavor.
100 grams of nutritional yeast holds around 46 grams of protein
If you’re looking for food packed with nutrients that are rich in A, C, E, and B Vitamins, Spirulina is the on for you. This food is usually used in supplements and is not often used in dishes but you can absolutely include it in your diet. Spirulina is a microalga that has been used for centuries due to its richness.
100 grams of spirulina holds around 57 grams of protein
Ezekiel Bread is the healthiest bread option. It is high in protein, fiber, and absorbable vitamins and minerals. The bread is made from a variety of sprouted grains and legumes which makes it as healthy as bread can get.
100 grams of Ezekiel Breads around 9 grams of protein.
Soy Milk is one of the few liquids that’s really rich in protein. Soy, in general, is a great source of protein and so is Soy Milk as its byproduct. Soymilk is made by soaking, grinding, boiling, and then filtering the liquid. Most people use it in their coffee.
1 cup of soy milk contains 8 grams of protein.
Oats are a whole-grain food, used in our everyday lives as oatmeal, oat milk, and by farmers as food for livestock. Oats are a great source of protein, fiber, energy, iron, calcium, potassium, etc. They are completely gluten-free and can help you lose weight, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
100 grams of oats contain 17 grams of protein.
Other Vegan Foods rich in protein:
- Chia Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Green Peas
- Wild Rice