Top 9 Vegan Protein Sources

August 06, 2019

Top 9 Vegan Protein Sources-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue and even give the body the energy it needs to grow and develop properly. When protein is digested, it breaks down into amino acids. The Institute of Medicine says that women need at least 46 grams of protein a day, and men need at least 56 grams a day. The main sources of protein are meat, dairy products, fish and eggs. But this does not mean that vegans cannot get the proper amounts of protein. Almost all foods have some protein, except for very processed foods, alcohol, and oils.

There are actually many good things about not eating meat for protein. For example, it can help you stay away from the high saturated fat and cholesterol level that is in animal-based protein. It is also good for the environment and helps you save money. There are other foods that are full of protein vegans can add to their diets.

It can be hard to get all the protein you need from one place, but if you use a few foods that are full of protein in your diet, you can reach the amount you need every day. Here are the top 10 sources for vegans:


Lentils are a good choice for protein, but they are not full protein food because they don’t have all nine important amino acids. One cup of boiled lentils has 18 grams of protein. There are many good health reasons to eat lentils. They give energy, lower the risk of heart disease, help keep normal body weight and keep the digestive system healthy. 


This is a full protein food which means that it has all the important amino acids you need in your diet.  One cup of cooked edamame has 17 grams of protein. Edamame beans have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid. They are also naturally gluten-free and don’t have a lot of calories. 

Kidney Beans

These are another great source of protein. One cup of boiled kidney beans has 15 grams of protein. They have all 9 amino acids, but they are not full protein because they don’t have a lot of methionine, a proteinogenic amino acid. Kidney beans have a lot of fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins K and B6. They are also low in fat and cholesterol. 


Tofu is a soy milk product and is also a good source of protein. ½ a cup of tofu has 10 grams of protein. It has 8 important amino acids and a lot of iron and calcium. It also has manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. 

Chia Seeds

These are yet again, another great source of protein. Two tablespoons of chia seeds will give you 9.4 grams of protein. They are also one of the best plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can help with digestion, treat anemia and give you energy, control blood sugar, stop aging signs and boost brainpower.


Quinoa has all nine important amino acids and is a full protein source. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8.14 grams of protein. Quinoa also has fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate. Eating quinoa every day can lessen swelling, lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. It can also help your digestion and help you keep healthy body weight.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is used instead of milk by a lot of vegans. It is full of protein and has vitamins A, B12 and D. One cup of soy milk has 8 grams of protein

Green Peas

One of the best sources of vegetable protein is green peas or any peas for that matter. Green peas also have fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate, and vitamins B, C, A, and K. They are also low in calories. One cup of cooked green peas gives you 8 to 10 grams of protein. Green peas can help lower the risk of heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a tasty treat and full of protein. This nut butter is a good source of monounsaturated fat and fiber. It is also full of vitamins. Just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter have 8 grams of protein. If you are careful not to eat too much of it at once, this butter can help lower high cholesterol and help keep a normal weight. 

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