The main concern before a vegetarian diet or even vegan is if we are going to be able to consume enough protein. The elimination of meat and eggs, products with high protein content, it can leave us a void that we must compensate with seeds, fruits and vegetables with high content in it.
Most nutritionists agree that a complete vegetarian or vegan diet can provide the proteins that our body needs. However, not all vegetables can provide us with the necessary amount.
In this article we recommend 15 products of plant origin that can satisfy your protein needs.
List of foods with high content of vegan protein
1. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are a very fashionable food in recent years and a good source of vegan protein. This seed is native to countries such as Guatemala or Mexico, providing 6 grams of protein for 35 grams of serving, and 13 grams of fiber.
It is common to cook them in water so that they increase their volume and can be used in a multitude of recipes, including smoothies, yogurts or baked goods.
Lentils are an excellent source of vegan protein, providing 10 grams per dish. Its main use is in the form of a stew, but it is increasingly fashionable to prepare cold salads with this legume or even lentil humus.
In addition to being a source of vegan protein, this legume also contains slow-absorbing carbohydrates (interesting as prebiotic foods) and up to 50% of the amount of fiber we need daily.
Read more: types of fiber that exist in food
Especially for the activation of the beneficial microbiology of our gut, this food has been linked to preventing diabetes, excess body weight and reducing the risk of heart disease.
On a nutritional level, they also contain minerals such as iron, manganese and folic acid.
3. Hemp seeds
Almost everything is used from hemp, including for food. When we use the seed, it only contains a very small amount of THC, so we have no risk of suffering any type of intoxication or hallucination derived from the drug.
Its vegan protein content is around 10 grams per serving of 28 grams of hemp seed, being easily digestible by our body and almost double the protein we get from seeds such as flaxseed or chia.
The seitan is the main source of protein from wheat. It is made from gluten and, unlike the preparation of animal meat substitutes from soy, seitan has a great resemblance physically and in terms of texture with respect to meat.
This vegan protein source is known as wheat gluten or even “wheat meat.” Its content per 100 grams of product is 25 grams of protein, being one of the foods of vegetable origin with the highest protein content.
In addition to protein, seitan provides interesting minerals such as phosphorus, calcium or even selenium. To prepare it, the most common way is to cook it, sautéed or even roasted in the oven. There are a large number of original recipes to incorporate it into different dishes.
Do you have gluten sensitivity? Then we ignore this vegetarian food and move on to the next…
Both chickpeas and beans are legumes with a high contribution of vegan protein. We are talking about an approximate amount of 5-10 grams per 100 g of serving.
They also contain a high concentration of carbohydrates from complex sources and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, folic acid and iron.
Chickpeas have a high track record of research where it has been shown that may lower cholesterol and promote balance in blood sugar levels.
6. Edamame, tofu and tempeh
Soy is a vegetable that can provide a large number of food variations. Both edamame, tofu or tempeh have their origin in soy, a rich source of protein and a large load of different amino acids essential for our body.
- The edamame It is a fruit protected by a pod very physically similar to peas, with a sweet taste. It is steamed before ingesting and taken as is or introduced into soups or salads.
- The tofu it is obtained from the setting of soybeans, in a process very similar to the manufacture of cheese. The handicap of tofu is that it does not provide much flavor, so it is used as a complement since it absorbs the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
- The tempeh it is cooked from the fermentation of already ripe soybeans, forming a paste. It provides a slight nutty flavor and is used in a wide variety of recipes, such as soups or even hamburgers.
Both tofu and tempeh can be used in a variety of recipes, ranging from burgers to soups and chilies.
In addition to the high protein value (10-20 grams/100g) provided by the 3 foods, also contain a rich source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and prebiotic substances.
7. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast comes from the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae deactivated, marketed in flake or powder form. Its flavor reminds us of cheese, hence it is used mixed with tofu (it does not provide flavor) or mashed potatoes, with a somewhat bland flavor.
If we buy it in powder, it can also be sprinkled on a large number of dishes, being able to enjoy it as a salty dressing for pasta dishes or even with popcorn.
For every 28 grams of nutritional yeast, it is a source of 14 grams of vegan protein, as well as 7 grams of fiber. In addition, it also provides important minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc. At the vitamin level, it provides us with vitamin B (also counting on vitamin B12).
8. Spelt and teff (Eragrostis tef)
Cereal sources from wheat are a rich source of vegan protein. This type of product comes from historical and ancient varieties of seeds, where we also include the sorghum, farro einkorn.
Spelt does contain gluten, while teff does not.
Both teff and spelt provide about 5 grams per 100 or 120 grams of content, in addition to complex carbohydrates, minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and iron.
9. Green peas
Peas are also a great fuvegan protein entity easy to eat and introduce into our diet. A serving of 240 grams provides about 10 grams of protein, covering almost 25% of our needs for fiber, vitamin A, C and K, folic acid and thiamine.
The small peas that are often served as a garnish contain 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), which is slightly more than a cup of milk ( 32 ).
At the mineral level, they also provide us with elements such as zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
Spirulina is a great source of protein and amino acids from edible algae, having become fashionable in recent years and marketed in the form of powder or even tablets.
The intake of 30 g of spirulina provides us with up to 8 grams of protein, also covering above 20% the needs of iron and thiamine, and above 40% those of copper.
Read more: 7 Clear Symptoms of Copper Deficiency
Spirulina is also an endless source of essential fatty acids, pygmens, antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory capacity. It is in the process of research to prevent cancer and other serious diseases.
11. Amaranth and quinoa
The so-called “ancient grains” are an important source of vegan protein, and here we also include classic cereals such as amaranth or quinoa.
Although in many cases they are not classified as cereals, these grains can be consumed as a complement to many dishes or even from flour powder.
They provide around 3-4 grams of complex protein, important sources of fiber, carbohydrates and minerals such as mangesium, phosphorus, manganese and iron.
12. Ezekiel Bread
The kneading of legumes (lentils and soybeans) and cereals of integral origin (spelt, barley, millet or wheat) forms the well-known Ezequiel bread. The consumption of 2 slices of this bread provide up to 8 grams of protein, a little more than we get from traditional wheat-based bread.
The interesting point of this food is that when combining different cereals and legumes, we have a much more complete amino acid profile for our body. In addition, its gluten content is slightly reduced with respect to wheat flour, so sensitive people will feel greater relief.
13. Soy milk
It is increasingly common to consume milk of vegetable origin, being also a good source of vegan protein, as an alternative to cow’s milk.
A cup with 250 ml of soy milk provides us with around 7 grams of protein, in addition to minerals such as calcium and vitamins such as B12 and D.
The handicap of this vegetarian product is its zero content of vitamin B12, so we must find alternatives to cover your daily needs.
Oatmeal is a very versatile cereal and a source of protein that is easy to incorporate into any diet. The consumption of a cup of 120 ml (half a glass) of dehydrated oatmeal or oatmeal gives us 6 grams of protein and up to 4 grams of fiber.
However, other foods such as rice or wheat provide a higher quality protein.
15. Wild rice
Wild rice increases protein content up to 1.5 times more than traditional rice, basmati or even integral.
A cup of 250 ml provides 7 grams of protein with high fiber content and minerals such as phosphorus, copper, magnesium and manganese, among others.
It is known as wild rice since the bran is not removed, so it increases its content in minerals, vitamins and fiber. The biggest problem is that arsenic, a mineral that can be toxic in high concentrations, is concentrated in the bran. Therefore, washing rice can wash up to 75% of the arsenic contained.