Often Overlooked Plant-Based Protein Sources for Vegans

Often Overlooked Plant-Based Protein Sources for Vegans

It’s not a secret that you need protein in your diet to keep yourself strong and healthy. Protein is essential if you want to maintain and build your muscles. Having bigger muscles keeps your metabolism humming nicely, as it’s more efficient in burning calories. More protein in your diet can help make you feel full, so you’re less likely to crave snacks too soon after eating. Plus, protein keeps your bones strong and it also regulates your hormones.

Ask any trainer or nutritionist from XSport Fitness about the most efficient sources of protein, and you get the usual suspects that include beef, chicken, turkey, fish, egg, and milk. But this is a problematic list for vegans, who choose not to eat animal meat and dairy products.

So, what’s a vegan to do? Sure, there are protein shakes and supplements that can help out. But there are quite a few sources of protein out there that are plant-based. If you’re a vegan, you should make sure that your meals include any of the following excellent vegan protein sources:


You get 18g of protein for a single cup of lentils. It’s a versatile protein source that you can use in plenty of recipes, as you can just add them to your salads and soups. You can even eat lentils on their own, simply by adding a little bit of seasoning.

Soybeans (Edamame and Tofu)

A cup of edamame gets you 18 of protein, while 4 ounces of tofu is good for 11g of protein. These are also great sources for iron and fiber.

Some people do worry about how these soybeans might lead to hormonal issues like man-boobs. That’s because soy contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based hormones that may reduce your testosterone levels. But that will only happen if you eat too much of the edamame or tofu.

How much soybean is too much? Even consuming 4 servings of these soybeans each day is within the limits.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

A single cup of chickpeas gives you 15g of protein. Plus, you’re also getting plenty of fiber to help make you feel full, potassium that’s great for your heart, and magnesium that stabilizes your energy levels.

Chickpeas work very nicely as a meat substitute in your meals. If you find a salad recipe that contains meat, then just replace the meat with the chickpeas.

Black Beans

With just a cup of black beans, you’re again getting 15g of protein. And you also get plenty of iron and fiber.

If you’re a vegan who really sticks to a plant-based diet, you’d be wise to match these black beans with some whole grains such as brown rice. That way, you’re also getting all your essential amino acids.

Hemp Seeds

Add 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds into your diet, and you’re getting an extra 9g of protein. This really ought to be part of your staple foods, as it’s also rich in many other nutrients such as magnesium.

It’s easy enough to add these hemp seeds into your meals. Add it to your Greek yogurt (which also has plenty of protein already). You can toss these seeds into your salad, or just add it to your smoothie.


Eat one cup of quinoa, and you’re also getting 8g of protein. What’s more, quinoa is one of the very few complete plant protein sources, which means you’re getting your protein with all the essential amino acids you need.

And with quinoa, you can have it in so many ways. You can replace the rice with quinoa in your stir fry. You can add it to your hearty salad for lunch. You can even start your day with it by adding it to your oatmeal style breakfast bowl.

Chia Seeds

Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds will add another 5g of protein. Chia seeds may be tiny, but they sure pack a lot when it comes to nutrients. You’re getting calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber. It helps to regulate digestion, and eating chia seeds can improve constipation immediately.

You can sprinkle these seeds into your oatmeal, yogurts, and smoothies. Or you can try them soaked in almond milk (which is ok for vegans) and then eat it like a pudding.

How to Cook Lentils! An Easy, Healthy Recipe!

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