Consuming adequate amounts of protein regularly is essential for the body’s functioning. Dietary protein is a macronutrient that our body needs in order to build and repair tissue. Proteins also help build muscle mass and aid in weight loss. People following vegan diets have often been concerned themselves or have been warned by other people that they may not be ingesting enough protein. But studies have found that a vegan protein diet can be just as effective as a meat protein diet. If you’re looking for a list of vegan protein rich foods to include in your diet, read on.
Nuts are an excellent source of protein plus they are perfect for snacking. Among all the different types of nuts, almonds and pistachio nuts have the highest protein content at 6 g per 28.4 g (one ounce). Walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans are some other varieties of nuts that you can try. The best thing about this protein source is that requires minimal effort to consume. You won’t have to cook or prepare them before consumption. Just pop them in your mouth and you’re ready to go.
Soybeans are known for their rich protein content. It is usually eaten cooked. A serving of cooked soybean (100 g) contains about 17 g of protein. Soy is also completely cholesterol free and is rich in fiber, iron and zinc. It happens to be the only vegetable that contains all eight essential amino acids which makes it a great meat alternative for vegetarians.
Edamame is an immature soybean that is usually picked while it is still in the pod. One cup of cooked edamame (155 g) contains 17 g of protein. The edamame beans are softer and are usually eaten cooked.
4. Soybean-Based Products
Soybean based products like soy milk, tempeh, and tofu are all excellent sources of protein. Soy milk can be used as a replacement for regular cow milk among people who follow a vegan diet. One cup of soy milk (243 g) contains about 8 g of protein. Tempeh, which is a fermented soy product contains about 19 g of protein in every 100 g serving. Lastly, tofu which is made from coagulated soy milk contains 8 g of protein for every 100 g serving.
Quinoa is usually eaten cooked and can even be used as stuffing. It is a gluten-free seed that is known for its high protein and low fat content. One cup of cooked quinoa (185 g) contains about 8.14 g of protein. Quinoa also contains resistant starch which is not completely broken down by our bodies but rather converted into short-chain fatty acids by our gut bacteria and this is great for your colon.
Beans are some of the best protein sources that you can opt for especially if you happen to be vegan or vegetarian. Kidney beans (24 g of protein in 100 g), fava beans (8 g in 100 g), lima beans (8 g in 100 g), and chickpeas also called garbanzo beans (19 g of protein in a 100 g serving) are some of the types you can try. Beans also have a high fiber, calcium and iron content.
Peas are seeds One cup of boiled green peas (160 g) contains 9 g of protein. Another variety of a pea, called pigeon pea contains 22 g of protein in a 100 g serving. Apart from protein, peas are also a great source of vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, magnesium,and phosphorus.
Lentils are pulses that contain large amounts of protein, minerals and vitamins. They are also known for its folate content. A cup of boiled lentils (198 g) contains about 18 g of protein.
Grains like wheat (4.7 g of protein in 40 g), millet (11 g of protein in 100 g), rye (10 g of protein in 100 g), and cooked brown rice (4.5 g of protein in 195 g) are excellent sources of protein.
Pumpkin seeds (5 g of protein in 28.4 g), sesame seeds (1.6 g of protein in 9 g) , flax seeds (1.9 g of protein in 10.3 g), and sunflower seeds (10 g of protein in 46 g) are some seed varieties that have a high protein content. Most of these seeds can be eaten raw or can be used as toppings with other dishes.