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14 Protein Sources For Vegan


Proteins are one of the body’s most crucial nutrients to stay fit.

There is a reason this specific macronutrient is called the building block of our body. It is because proteins contain amino acids.

They connect in chains to make a protein, and because proteins are present in each cell of your body, you need them to help your body with cell impairment and make new cells.

Animal sources are considered the best sources of proteins for people, which can provide this essential nutrient in higher quantities.

On the contrary, sources of protein from vegan diets are limited. However, experts claim that vegan protein sources are very effective if consumed correctly.

This article will discuss some of the vital sources of protein for vegans.

Protein-rich vegan food

The following are some of the significant vegan protein food sources-

  1. Seitan

    Seitan is well-known for protein-rich quality holds. This vegan food item has the looks and feel of meat and tastes like it.

    Seitan is way much different from soy-based mock meats and is also free from[1] carbohydrates like those present[2] in beef.

    Seitan is also famous as wheat meat and is the richest plant protein source currently available in the market.

    Besides protein, this food provides selenium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

    People with gluten disorders should avoid the consumption of seitan because of the gluten content in it.

  2. Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds are a boon[3] for vegans. When it comes to chia seeds benefits, one could easily say that they are rich in dietary fiber, easy on the gut, and delicious.

    One tablespoon of chia seeds can deliver[4] up to 2 grams of proteins a day.

    Sprinkling them on oatmeal, having chia pudding in breakfast, or soaking chia seeds may improve overall nutrition.

    They are also an egg substitute in vegan baking. Adding a mixture of water and chia seeds to your batter will provide the same binding as an egg.

    Having said all that, one might want to note that no one should go overboard with chia seeds. If they do so, then there are high chances that they may become prone to chia seeds side effects.

  3. Tofu, Tempeh And Edamame

    Tofu, Tempeh, and edamame all fall in the similar category[5] of soybean by-products which are vegetarian replacements for non-vegetarian food.

    These soybean products are widely used in East Asian food items.

    These items are recommended because anything made out of soybean has been claimed to be filled with protein richness.

    Edamame is an immature version of soybean, which has a grassy taste that also feels sweet. One cup of edamame has approximately[6] 18 gms of protein.

    Moreover, it is also full of[7] fiber which could support healthy digestion. It is mainly used in wraps, sushi, salad, and rice rolls.

    Tofu is another soybean product used in different foods due to its property to taste ingredients it blends with.

    This soybean item is created through the cheesemaking process made of bean curds. Tempeh is also a great[8] cheese alternative, fermented soybeans with a nutty flavor.

  4. Beans

    Beans are good for health and contain a high amount of protein for vegans. Most cultures believe in it as a staple food item.

    Alongside, beans also are rich[9] in potassium, iron, complex carbs, folate, and phosphorus.

    They have many health benefits and have been claimed[10] to reduce blood sugar, belly fat, and cholesterol levels.

    Beans can be eaten by either cooking them as a dish or roasting them.

    Chickpeas are one of the most famous beans consumed[11]  and come with a bunch full of benefits, one such benefit of chickpeas is weight loss, as both chickpeas and weight loss are interrelated.

  5. Quinoa

    Quinoa is among the top whole grains available. It is easy to cook, can be eaten with multiple side dishes, and is full of fiber.

    A 100 grams serving of quinoa has about[12] 4 grams of protein. Since it is a complete protein, the protein quantity might be low, but the quality is excellent.

  6. Lentils

    Lentils are one of the cheap protein sources in South Asia.

    Primarily used in Indian cuisine, these food items are added to salads, soups, and dals.

    Vegans love to consume lentils for their protein requirements because they are tasty and healthy.

    The fiber in lentils tends to prevent[13] people from oxidation, excess body weight, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

  7. Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional yeast is a healthy version of yeast that is deactivated for human consumption.

    Yeast, which can harm the body, is healthy if consumed and deactivated. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor, making it more popular in the food market.

    The cheesy flavor of cheese popcorn is given by nutritional yeast, not actual cheese.

    Besides protein, nutritional yeast is also rich[14] in magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper.

    Still, it is recommended to be careful before consuming nutritional yeast and checking the label before buying any such product.

  8. Buckwheat

    Buckwheat is another grain alternative. It provides slightly higher protein than quinoa.

    A 100 grams serving of buckwheat will bring[15] 5 grams of protein.

    Another plus point that makes it popular is that it is gluten-free. It is the main ingredient in flours, pasta, and flakes.

  9. Spelt And Teff

    Spelt and teff are ancient grains that fall under barley, Fargo, and einkorn.

    Spelt is generally used in the placement of wheat and contains[16] a lot of gluten. On the other hand, teff contains[17] no gluten.

    These items provide many nutritional values besides proteins, which include fiber, zinc, iron, manganese, complete carbs, phosphorus, magnesium, and selenium.

    Due to being cheap, spelled is used in the place of wheat in fast food items like risotto. On the other hand, teff is the primary part of a flatbread recipe in East Africa.

  10. Almonds

    Almonds are very rich with benefits. They are one of the most reliable sources of plant-based proteins and are considered one of the healthy high-fat foods.

    Eating raw almonds helps increase your memory and also gives you strength.

    Almonds are a rich source[18] of protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, and many other essential minerals that could boost overall health when taken daily.

  11. Green Peas

    Green peas are yet another popular food item globally with protein richness.

    Even though green peas do not have a higher protein richness in the body, the level present in green peas is enough to fulfill the requirements.

    Green peas are heavily used in Asian food be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

    Other than proteins, green peas may also provide[19] fiber, zinc, copper, folate, vitamins A, C, and K, thiamine, phosphorus, and magnesium.

  12. Greek Yogurt

    Yogurts are lovely dairy products that are also healthy for your gut. Moreover, strained yogurt is said to be a better[20] choice as it has more protein.

    Besides this, plain greek yogurt is also rich in probiotics.

    However, consume only unsweetened yogurts to keep your sugar intake in check and consume fewer calories.

  13. Avocado

    Avocado contains healthy fats and even a decent amount of proteins. An avocado provides about avocado 2 grams of protein along with an abundance[21] of other nutrients. 

    You should also try it because you will never get bored of the countless avocado recipes. You can try hummus, mayo, and other delicacies made with avocado.

  14. Soy Milk

    Soy milk is a different type of milk good for lactose intolerant people. It is fortified milk made out of soybeans.

    This milk contains[22] lots of vitamins and minerals with proteins. Vitamin D, vitamin B12, proteins, and calcium.

    Besides being cheap, this milk is versatile for its use in many baking recipes.

    Sweetened and flavored soy milk is one of the most common and famous forms of this milk available in the market.

    People wishing to lose weight and keep their protein intake good should go for unsweetened soy milk, which will give you a surplus of nutrients and health benefits.

    People with lactose intolerance should specifically fulfill their milk requirements from soy milk.


Proteins have been a prominent diet element for a long time now, and everybody knows how meat is the best source of proteins for humans.

Surprising is the fact that vegans do not have much variety when it comes to protein-rich food.

Still, all the vegan food options are enough to suffice the protein needs of vegans as well.

Thus, these vegan protein sources could be easily added to daily lives and they could support everyday protein requirements for the body without switching to animal sources for the same.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. SEITAN WHEAT PROTEIN STRIPS, SEITAN. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2026764/nutrients
  2. Beef, loin, tenderloin roast, separable lean only, boneless, trimmed to 0″ fat, select, cooked, roasted. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746758/nutrients
  3. Maša Knez Hrnčič, Maja Ivanovski, Darija Cör, et al. Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.): An Overview—Phytochemical Profile, Isolation Methods, and Application. Molecules. 2020 Jan; 25(1): 11. Published online 2019 Dec 18. doi: 10.3390/molecules25010011
  4. Seeds, chia seeds, dried. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170554/nutrients
  5. Soy. Available from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007204.htm
  6. Edamame, cooked. Available from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100450/nutrients
  7. Aelia Akbar; Aparna P. Shreenath. High Fiber Diet. Last Update: May 8, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559033/
  8. Tempeh. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174272/nutrients
  9. Beans, black, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173735/nutrients
  10. Healthy food trends – beans and legumes. Available from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000726.htm#
  11. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173757/nutrients
  12. Quinoa, cooked. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168917/nutrients
  13. Kumar Ganesan, Baojun Xu. Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects.Review Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 10;18(11):2390. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112390. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29125587/
  14. NUTRITIONAL YEAST. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1991802/nutrients
  15. Buckwheat. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170286/nutrients
  16. Spelt, cooked. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169746/nutrients
  17. Teff, cooked. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168918/nutrients
  18. Davide Barreca, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi, Antoni Sureda, et al. Almonds (Prunus Dulcis Mill. D. A. Webb): A Source of Nutrients and Health-Promoting Compounds. Nutrients. 2020 Mar; 12(3): 672.
    Published online 2020 Mar 1. doi: 10.3390/nu12030672
  19. Peas, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170420/nutrients
  20. J Bruce German. The future of yogurt: scientific and regulatory needs. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May; 99(5): 1271S–1278S. Published online 2014 Apr 2. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.076844
  21. Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
  22. Soy milk. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1097542/nutrients

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