Proteins are needed by the body to perform various bodily functions. It is helpful during workout and recovery, is needed for brain functions, and muscle building. There is a common myth that we need to consume different kinds of foods to form complete proteins. The debate of plant protein vs animal protein has been going on for a while. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then you can include a variety of high protein vegan foods in your diet and get the daily requirement of protein.
Top 10 High Protein Vegan Foods
If you’re a vegan and are looking for healthy high protein foods, nothing can be better than lentils. You can cook them in various forms – curry or soups and enjoy a hearty healthy meal.
One cup of lentils has protein equivalent to 3 eggs and less than 1g of fat. The high fiber content makes them highly satiating. There have been various studies that show that eating lentils helps speed up fat loss process.
Quinoa is a great gluten free vegan food. This seed-like grain is a fantastic source of protein. You can add it to salads, soups, or make a curry. Eat it for breakfast with banana and milk, or in lunch with salad leaves, light dressing; the choice is yours.
Quinoa also has high content of magnesium, antioxidants, potassium, heart healthy unsaturated fats, and fiber. Because of the high content of fiber, you feel fuller faster. So what are you waiting for, try a quinoa recipe and experiment with this healthy ancient grain.
3. Soy milk
Planning to switch to a vegan diet? Make sure you make friends with Soy Milk. It is indeed a healthy high protein food that vegans should include in their diet. Many studies show soy milk can help prevent cancer. Other benefits of soy milk include –
- Improves heart health
- Provides relief from osteoporosis
- Relieves postmenstrual issues
- Is a great antioxidant
- Lowers cholesterol and controls obesity
- Helps prevent liver damage by oxidative stress
Unfortified soy milk is a good source of not just protein, but also dietary fiber, sugar, and healthy fats. It contains various essential minerals like – calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus etc.
4. Green peas
Another yummy addition to the list of high protein vegan foods is green peas. Cook them up, add them to quinoa recipe, or make a healthy peas soup, there are so many ways that you can relish the goodness of peas. They contain 8g of protein per cup.
Green peas are also rich in leucine, an amino acid which plays a pivotal role in metabolism and weight management. With almost 100% of your daily value of vitamin C in a single cup, green peas will help safeguard your immunity as well.
Tofu is a healthy alternative to cottage cheese for vegan people. It is made from soybean curd and is gluten-free. It contains 10g protein per cup. You can add it to salads and stews for a creamy texture, or roast it for a chewy texture. Contains no cholesterol and is a rich source of iron and calcium.
Tofu helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, relieves symptoms of menopause, improves kidney health, and prevents liver damage caused by free radicals.
a) Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds provide complete protein. Providing 13g protein in just 3 tablespoons, they are a healthy addition to your daily diet. Some of the benefits of hemp seeds are –
- Helps relieve arthritis and joint pain
- Natural appetite suppressant
- Provide high fiber content
- Helps in digestion
- Great for hair, skin, and nails
- Naturally lowers blood pressure
b) Chia Seeds: Chia seeds don’t contain protein, but they do contain all nine essential amino acids. Add them to your smoothies, breakfast bowls, or fruit bowls for that boost of health. They have 5g protein per 2 tablespoons. Some of the benefits of chia seeds are –
- Promote energy and endurance
- Natural appetite suppressant
- Aids in digestion
- Help in stabilizing blood glucose levels
- Rich source of fiber and healthy fats
c) Pumpkin Seeds: The humble pumpkin seeds are one of the most neglected sources of protein and iron. You can add them to smoothies, breakfast recipes, or just munch salted roasted pumpkin seeds as an evening snack. They contain 8g of protein per ¼ cup. Some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds include –
- Have heart-healthy magnesium
- Great for prostate health
- Have anti-diabetic effects
- Beneficial for postmenstrual women
- Good for heart and liver health
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options for vegans and vegetarians. You can add oatmeal to smoothies, whip up a sweet pudding with low-fat soy milk and fruits, or cook it with veggies and spices for a fulfilling meal.
Oatmeal contains three times the protein of brown rice, and it also has more fiber and less starch than brown rice. Oatmeal is also a good source of magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins. Being rich in fiber, it promotes heart health and aids in digestion.
If you’ve been running away from eating soybeans and soy products, it is time you include this beneficial ingredient in your diet. ½ cup soybeans pack 21g of protein. You can eat them dry roasted or steamed. Add them to sandwiches, munch them for guilt-free snacking, or add them to stir-fried greens and give your body the daily dose of protein and essential nutrients.
Broccoli is a fantastic veggie to be added to your diet. It contains not just protein, but also calcium, fiber, Vitamin C, and B group Vitamins. Broccoli contains 4g protein per 1 cup. Some of the main benefits of broccoli are – improves bone and teeth health, promotes heart health, detoxifies your body, enhances liver health, and improves digestive health.
When momma says eat green leafy vegetables, she says it for good. Even Popeye swears by the health benefits of spinach. It contains 5g protein per cup. You can maximize the nutrition of spinach by steaming it, instead of eating it raw. Add spinach to lentils, salads, or stir-fried veggies, and relish a healthy meal.
These vegan sources of protein are packed with nutrition. Including these foods in your diet is the perfect way to keep up with your daily requirement of protein.