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10 High Protein Sources For Vegetarians


Protein may be considered one of the essential components of our diet. This is because it provides our muscles and other body cells with the critical growth factors required to grow. You might also want to note that amino acids combine and make protein.

Hence, one could easily say that protein and amino acids combined are building blocks of life.

They both try to break down foods and provide strength for the whole body to grow, repair dead cells and keep the person healthy and physically fit.

Protein sources for vegeterians

Best Protein Sources For Vegetarians

  1. Lentils

    Lentils, also known as daal, are a rich source[1] of protein for vegetarians, providing 18g of protein for every 198 grams of a cooked cup.

    Lentils are easy to cook and could be cooked in a vast variety of dishes like fresh soups, delicious daals, salads, etc. Lentils can be eaten with chapatis as well as rice.

    Along with a rich source of protein, lentil is a rich source of fibers. By just eating a cup of 198 grams of lentils a person might fulfill more than half of their daily fiber quota.

    The type of fiber present in lentils may help to maintain a healthy gut by feeding on the good bacteria of a person’s colon. Furthermore, lentils may also help to decrease the chances of heart diseases, diabetes, some cancers, and excess body weight.

    Lentils might also contain several antioxidants and useful minerals like manganese, iron, and folate. These antioxidants and minerals help to protect and maintain[2] a person’s health.

  2. Avocado

    Avocado is a highly nutritious fruit. It is also regarded as a superfood by many people due to the presence[3] of vitamins, minerals as well as macronutrients in it.

    Along with these nutrients[4] avocados are now recognized as protein-rich food. It is vastly used by bodybuilders and other fitness followers.

    There is more than one way to eat an avocado, you can eat it raw, by slicing it, using it in salads, or using it in several other dishes.

  3. Green Peas

    Green peas are a rich source[5] of protein. Green peas give around 9 grams of protein for a single cooked cup of 160 grams of peas.

    Green peas are not only rich in protein but also in vitamins A, K, and C, manganese, folate, and thiamine. Green peas also contain a good quantity of fiber in them.

    A single cooked cup of green peas may fulfill more than 25% of everyday fiber requirements. Just adding green peas to a vegetarian diet provides a good quantity of protein and other mineral requirements.

  4. Nuts

    Nuts are a very good source[6] of nutrients, and so it is good enough to call them a superfood. If you follow a vegetarian diet then you may add various nuts like almonds, cashews, etc to your diet to get the various nutrients and proteins present in them.

    If you eat around 20 to 25 nuts a day you may get 6 grams of protein from them. Furthermore nuts are also rich in vitamin E and fiber. Just keep in mind to avoid too many salted nuts while eating them.

  5. Legumes

    Legumes are the various beans that can be eaten. These beans include black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, etc. Legumes are also known as the powerhouse of protein as it has a good quantity of protein.

    They contain around 15 grams of protein in a single serving. Along with high protein content, legumes also contain a large number of nutrients and minerals that are essential[7] for a person to remain free from diseases and physically fit and strong.

  6. Soy Milk

    In case you are lactose intolerant or due to any other reason you can’t drink milk then soy milk may be the best alternative you could ask for.

    Made from soybeans it contains[8] a good quantity of protein and in most cases, it is fortified with minerals and vitamins. A single cup of 244mL of soy milk may give around 6 grams of protein.

    Along with protein it also gives a good quantity of other nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, etc. It is a great product that you must add to your vegetarian diet to get a good amount of protein.

    It could be found in any nearby store and can be used for various purposes like cooking, baking, and drinking.

  7. Oats

    Having oats in breakfast is the best way to get protein and energy to start your day. A cup of 40 grams of oats gives around 5 grams of protein.

    It also has zinc, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and fiber in it. Oats contain proteins that are of higher quality[9] than those present in rice and wheat.

    Oats can be used in different dishes and can be turned into flour for baking purposes.

  8. Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds are becoming more and more popular worldwide and are gaining a reputation as a superfood.

    These seeds are highly nutritious[10] as they contain nutrients like iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and a good quantity of antioxidants that may prevent various health hazards.

    Chia seeds provide approximately 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber for a 35-gram serving. Chia seeds are soaked in water for some time before they are edible for eating.

    After some time, they’ll be ready to use with various kinds of foods or beverages and will be providing a good amount of protein to the body.

    Hence, if consumed properly, one could easily say that there are many chia seeds benefits. However, having said all that, taking professional help is always recommended. Else one might have to suffer through chia seed side effects.

  9. Brussels Sprouts

    Brussels sprouts are not only rich in protein but also contain a high quantity of fiber. They are a great addition to a well-planned/balanced vegetarian diet.

    Brussels sprouts might give[11] around 3 to 4 grams of protein for a cup of 100 grams. These can be served with salads or eaten roasted or simply steamed.

    Eating them as a snack or side dish may provide you with a good quantity of protein that is required by your body.

  10. Quinoa

    Quinoa is a protein-rich food that has low fat and is extremely healthy. A single cup of quinoa may give approximately 9 grams of protein.

    Quinoa contains[12] a good quantity of dietary fiber, making it good for diabetes patients and it may also help in keeping blood sugar levels under check.

    Quinoa is an ideal food that could be added to a diabetic diet as it has a glycemic index of 53. In addition, quinoa is also rich in complex carbohydrates and various minerals that are healthy[13] for the human body.

    It is an ideal source of protein for vegetarians that can be added to a vegetarian diet as well as to a diabetic diet.

Protein In A Well-Planned Vegetarian Diet

People who prefer a vegetarian diet over a non-vegetarian diet often worry about finding sufficient sources of protein for themselves.

But it is agreed by many health experts that a well-planned vegetarian diet can overcome this problem efficiently[14].

A well-planned vegetarian diet provides all the required nutrients, proteins, vitamins, etc that a person requires for remaining physically fit and protecting themselves from various health-related issues.

A well-planned diet that includes different sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, etc is essential for a vegetarian. The content of protein present in various food items varies from product to product.

Some food items may have more protein than others. While certain food items do not have an adequate amount of required proteins, you will get enough if you may resort to a well-planned vegetarian diet.


Thus, protein is an essential component required by every individual worldwide.

A specific portion of people prefers a vegetarian diet over a non-vegetarian diet as it may have several advantages like lower chance of heart diseases and other heart-related issues, controlled blood pressure, support in weight loss, and many more.

Yet it has several limitations, too, and one of its limitations is that it might lack certain essential elements like protein and vitamin B12.

On the other hand, do keep in mind to take professional help when increasing the protein intake. This is because if your protein content is high, then there are high chances that you may go through some of the many side effects of a high protein diet.


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. Lentils, raw FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172420/nutrients
  2. Kumar Ganesan and Baojun Xu Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov; 18(11): 2390.Published online 2017 Nov 10. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112390
  3. Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
  4. Mark L Dreher, Adrienne J Davenport Hass avocado composition and potential health effects Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638933/
  5. Peas, green, raw FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170419/nutrients
  6. Nuts, almonds FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170567/nutrients
  7. Rani Polak, Edward M. Phillips, and Amy Campbell Legumes: Health Benefits and Culinary Approaches to Increase Intake Clin Diabetes. 2015 Oct; 33(4): 198–205.doi: 10.2337/diaclin.33.4.198
  8. Kristen S. Montgomery Soy Protein J Perinat Educ. 2003 Summer; 12(3): 42–45.doi: 10.1624/105812403X106946
  9. Prasad Rasane, Alok Jha, Latha Sabikhi, et al. Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Feb; 52(2): 662–675.Published online 2013 Jun 25. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-1072-1
  10. Chia seeds FDC Published:10/30/2020 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100612/nutrients
  11. Brussels sprouts, raw FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170383/nutrients
  12. Quinoa, cooked FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168917/nutrients
  13. Liangkui Li, Georg Lietz, Wendy Bal, et al. Effects of Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Consumption on Markers of CVD Risk Nutrients. 2018 Jun; 10(6): 777.Published online 2018 Jun 16. doi: 10.3390/nu10060777
  14. Rylee T Ahnen, Satya S Jonnalagadda, Joanne L Slavin Role of plant protein in nutrition, wellness, and health Nutr Rev. 2019 Nov 1;77(11):735-747. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuz028. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31322670/

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