Best Vegan And Vegetarian Protein Sources
A constant worry for most vegetarians and vegans is the lack of sufficient protein that one could acquire from vegetarian food sources. You probably know that animal products like meat, eggs and dairy—are good sources of protein; unfortunately, they can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. What you may not know is that you don’t need to eat meat or cheese to get enough protein.
Green peas: Foods in the legume family are good sources of vegetarian protein, and peas are no exception: One cup contains 7.9 grams—about the same as a cup of milk.
Quinoa: Most grains contain a small amount of protein, but quinoa—technically a seed—is unique in that it contains more than 8 grams per cup
Nuts and nut butter: All nuts contain both healthy fats and protein, making them a valuable part of a plant-based diet.
Beans: There are many different varieties of beans—black, white, pinto, heirloom, etc.—but one thing they all have in common is their high amounts of protein. Two cups of kidney beans, for example, contain about 26 grams.
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, these legumes can be tossed into salads, fried and salted as a crispy snack, or pureed into a hummus.
Tempeh and tofu: Foods made from soybeans are some of the highest vegetarian sources of protein: Tempeh and tofu, for example, contain about 15 and 20 grams per half cup, respectively.
Leafy greens: Vegetables don’t have nearly as much protein as legumes and nuts, but some do contain significant amounts—along with lots of antioxidants and heart-healthy fiber.
Non-dairy milk: Milk alternatives aren’t just for the lactose intolerant: They can be great additions to any diet; just watch out for lots of added sugar and flavors.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder, the type used in baking or making hot chocolate from scratch—contains about 1 gram of protein per tablespoon.