Which Vegan Foods Are High In Protein? A Definitive Guide
Updated: Aug 31
With more and more awareness of the environmental and ethical issues associated with animal agriculture, our dietary decisions hold a greater significance than ever. Thankfully, the world of vegan nutrition provides an enormous array of high-protein alternatives that address these concerns and positively impact our health. Win-win!
It's a common misconception that only animal products can deliver our protein needs but in reality, every plant contains some level of protein (it's an inherent part of their cellular structure). Nature's Pantry is a treasure trove of protein-packed deliciousness, and the key to getting enough is hidden within the vibrant spectrum of plants (eat the rainbow!). Put simply, by consuming a diverse range of plant-based foods, we can unlock the power of complete proteins.
So what's wrong with animal protein? Whilst Animal protein indeed offers a package of complete proteins, the data shows that they also come with components that can negatively impact our health - cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones and antibiotics to name a few. Cardiovascular disease is the world's biggest killer and it's intrinsically linked with the consumption of animal protein.
Moreover, if we're to look a little deeper, the consumption of animal proteins raises some serious ethical arguments. Animal farming is often defined by the maltreatment and tight confinement of animals and this raises profound questions about our moral obligations to these sentient beings. Beyond this, the environmental toll of meat production, including deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, highlights the urgency of reforming our dietary habits.
But there's a simple antidote. Shifting away from meat consumption reduces demand for factory-farmed products and this in part forces the animal agricultural industry to reconsider its methods. In fact, as global protein demand continues to climb (due to a growing population), establishing ethical and sustainable alternatives becomes more vital than ever.
Which Vegan Foods Are High In Protein?
The bright side? Vegan diets can be brimming with protein. Here's a list of protein-packed vegan foods that are perfect for substituting meat:
Seitan: Also known as wheat gluten, seitan boasts an impressive protein content, making it a popular meat substitute among vegans and veggies. Approx. 25g/100g
Tempeh: Made from fermented soybeans, Tempeh is not only rich in protein but also provides beneficial probiotics for our gut. Approx. 19g protein /100g
Lentils: These legumes are a protein powerhouse and come in various varieties, making them a versatile addition to many dishes. Approx. 9g protein /100g
Edamame: These young soybeans are not only a great source of protein but also offer a satisfying crunch and nutty flavour. Approx. 11g protein /100g
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are versatile and can be used in everything from hummus to curries. Approx. 8g protein /100g
Black Beans: These beans are a staple in many cuisines and provide a substantial amount of protein along with dietary fibre. Approx. 8g protein /100g
Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu is a versatile protein source that can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Approx. 8g protein /100g
Green Peas: These little green gems not only offer protein but also contribute to your daily fibre intake. Approx. 5g protein /100g
Quinoa: As a complete protein, quinoa contains an abundance of all nine essential amino acids, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Approx. 4g protein /100g
Peanuts: These legumes, often mistaken for nuts, are protein-rich and also provide healthy fats. Approx. 25g protein /100g
Almonds: These nuts are not only a great source of protein but also offer vitamin E and healthy fats. Approx. 21g protein /100g
Chia Seeds: Besides being a good protein source, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. Approx. 17g protein /100g
Hemp Seeds: These seeds offer a complete protein profile and are also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Approx. 31g protein /100g
Spirulina: A type of blue-green algae, spirulina is a concentrated protein source often used in smoothies and supplements. Approx. 57g protein /100g
Broccoli: This vegetable surprises many with its protein content and various vitamins and minerals. Approx. 3g protein /100g
So there you have it - delicious, nutritious, and protein-packed plant-based options that prove you don't need to rely on animal products to meet your protein needs.
Always remember to diversify your plate, eat mainly whole foods and feel free to message with any other protein sources you can think of.
Happy eating :D