Protein is a fundamental supplement for the development of our muscles. It also keeps our hair and skin healthy. It likewise assists with keeping us feel full for a longer duration. If we have a protein rich food, it helps in quick recovery from medical illness. The quantity of protein required by our body differs from individual to individual. It depends on sex, age, lifestyle and other considerations like breastfeeding or pregnancy. Vegans need satisfactory protein. Let’s understand 21 best sources of protein for vegetarians.

Each cell of our body contains protein. Protein is helpful in repairing and generation of cells. So, it is necessary to include protein in your daily diet.

It is a myth that protein content is present in non-vegetarian diet. There are essential nutrients in vegetarian food, including proteins. These protein-rich foods strengthen the muscles, helps in maintaining healthy weight. You need to pick the right food items in your eating regimen that have rich substance of proteins in them.

Here are some excellent, healthy, best sources of protein rich foods for vegetarians:

1. Lentils

High Protein Foods for Vegetarians

Lentils are great source of fibre and proteins. It is an inexpensive and versatile grain. They provide good bacteria in the body and helps to develop a healthy gut. Lentils contain antioxidants and some health-promoting plant compounds. They are good for your heart, keeps you full for a longer time. It also helps in maintaining healthy weight. Some of the lentils that you can add to your daily diet are moong dal, chick peas, green lentils, etc.

2. Beans

high protein vegan foods
Diagonal stripes of brown shaded beans

Beans are essential staple foods with huge quantity of proteins. It is a magnificent source of minerals and nutrients. They help to bring down your blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Eating beans is beneficial in diabetes and healthy weight management. It is also useful to strengthen the bones, support brain functioning. Beans also help to repair cell damage. It reduces the risk of colon cancer. The best way to eat beans is either by soaking them for few hours, or to sprout them. Beans are one of the best protein sources for vegetarians.

3. Hemp seeds

sources of protein for vegetarians

Hemp seeds are good source of proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. It is also rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are essential to maintain good health. The seeds help to get relieve from inflammation, menopause. It is also beneficial in premenstrual syndrome and skin related issues.  You can have hemp seeds in form of smoothies, by adding some berries and soy milk or yogurt. A smooth paste of hemp seeds adds taste to dips and spreads. You can even sprinkle them on your salads and dressings.

4. Green peas

protein rich food for vegetarians
Fresh green pea isolated on white

Green peas are quite popular and nutritious. It contains a fair amount of fiber that supports digestive health. They additionally contain plant compounds called saponins, which might have anti-cancer properties. Green peas contain more protein than other vegetables. It acts as a good source to build muscle. It is low in fat and calories that is good for weight loss. Green peas help to improve digestion, prevents heart disease and lowers cholesterol. It helps in keeping the body young and strong.

5. Quinoa

protein rich veg food
Quinoa is in the glass container and a wooden spoon,Super food

Quinoa is a protein-rich gluten-free grain. It contains all nine amino acids, forming a complete protein packed food item. Quinoa is beneficial for those suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, calcium, vitamins, iron, and potassium. Quinoa contains beneficial antioxidants. It has low glycemic index that helps to control the blood sugar levels and thus good for diabetics. Quinoa is very high in antioxidants. They are substances that neutralize free radicals. It helps to fight from aging and many diseases.

6. Ezekiel bread

best source of protein for vegetarians
“Organic bun made from four grains and four beans, lentil beet patty, sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato,vegan cheese (made from cassava and arrowroot) on white background”

Ezekiel bread contains sprouted, organic legumes and whole grains. They may include soybeans, millet, lentils, wheat, barley to name a few of them. The quantity and quality of nutrients increases when you sprout grains and legumes. The bread is rich in fiber and offers unique health benefits to persons who consume it. It is an excellent option for bread loving persons and concerned about nutrition.

7. Oats

High Protein Foods for Vegetarians
Oats, rolled oats or oat flakes in wooden bowl and wooden spoon. Top view. Healthy grains, low carb diet food

Oats is one of the healthiest grain and most nutritious food item in the world. It contains fiber, protein and tons of minerals and vitamins. Oats is a versatile food and you can have it in any meal of the day. It is a great source of healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. This helps in body building and in growth and repairing of muscles. Oats are complex carbohydrates that take long time to digest. It is therefore one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians. This helps in providing steady energy for a longer period of time.

8. Soy milk

Soy milk is a healthy alternative to dairy milk and contains soybeans. It has less fats and carbs as compared to cow’s milk. Soy milk is excellent option for people suffering from lactose intolerance. It helps to reduce weight. Isoflavones found in soy are natural plant hormones containing antioxidants. It helps to improve skin elasticity and prevent premature aging. Persons suffering from hypo thyroid and PCODs should not consume soy milk.

9. Chia seeds

sources of protein for vegetarians

Chia seeds is nutritional containing beneficial plant compounds. It has a mild taste. The seeds absorb water and make a gel-like substance. This form adds taste to your food items like smoothies and pudding. Chia seeds are rich in fiber. Fiber is an excellent agent for digestion and prevents constipation. Chia seeds contain quercetin, an antioxidant that reduces risk of heart diseases.

10. Nuts

protein rich food for vegetarians
Top view of a rustic wood table filled with a large assortment of nuts like pistachios, hazelnut, pine nut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, cashew and walnuts. Some nuts are in brown bowls and others are placed directly on the table. Predominant color is brown. DSRL studio photo taken with Canon EOS 5D Mk II and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

Nuts are superfoods with excellent source of proteins. They contain antioxidants known as polyphenols, that protect the body against cell damage. Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have anti-inflammatory properties. You should eat a handful of nuts on daily basis to boost the proteins required by your body. It is a heart-healthy snack with an ample amount of vitamin E and dietary fibre. You should eat raw nuts instead of eating salted nuts.

11. Wild rice

protein rich food for vegetarians

Wild rice is nutritional as it is not stripped from its bran. The bran is rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. This rice is low in fat and high in proteins. It is a gluten-free non starchy grain. Wild rice is a healthy option for those who want to lose unwanted weight. This rice is one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians with multiple benefits. It has excellent content of alpha lipoic acid. This is beneficial for people with diabetes type 2. It may enhance the capacity of body to produce insulin. This reduces diabetic nerve damage symptoms.

12. Edamame, tofu, and tempeh

protein rich veg food
Variety of soy products including tofu, tempeh, milk and sprouts.

Edamame, tofu, and tempeh contain soybeans. Soybeans is an excellent source of protein. You can cook edamame by boiling immature soybeans with their pods. You can serve them as a side dish. Tofu is not fermented and a soybean product. The formation is in blocks. The taste of tofu is quite blend, but it can absorb any coating that you add to it. Tempeh contains fermented soybeans. It has a nutty flavour and you can blend it in other recipes.

13. Avocado

best source of protein for vegetarians

Avocado is a high superfood with high nutritional values. It is high in healthy fats. Avocados contain no cholesterol, sodium and are low in saturated fat. It has more potassium content than bananas. Potassium helps to maintain electrical gradients in body cells. It also serves various essential functions. It adds taste in Mexican cuisine. Now a days people are getting aware and consuming avocado for fitness and body building.

14. Sweet corn

High Protein Foods for Vegetarians

Corn is one of the main crops grown today. You can have sweet corn or make corn syrup, and cornflour. Sweet corn is a tasty snack. You can have corn by steaming, boiling, or roasting it. Corn has little fat and no cholesterol. Sweet corn has a large amount of vitamin C that helps to control the cholesterol levels in the body. The folic acid lying in sweet corn prevents any type of anaemia. A nutrient by the name thymine present in corn improves brain functioning.

15. Spirulina

high protein vegan foods
Healthy spirulina drink in the glass

Spirulina contains nutrients that are beneficial for our health. There are powerful properties like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer present in spirulina. Spirulina is world’s most popular superfood and natural supplements. It is a type of cyanobacteria, referred to as blue green algae. Spirulina is beneficial for those suffering from calcium or iron deficiency. It has a salty bitter taste. Spirulina helps to improve gut health and boosts metabolism.

16. Protein rich vegetables

sources of protein for vegetarians

Some of the vegetables rich in protein are spinach, broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, artichokes. These vegetables contain a lot of nutrients other than protein. Vitamins present in these veggies help to maintain immune system and improve vision. They also help to keep the blood flow in your body at healthy rate. Protein rich vegetables can reduce bad cholesterol in your body. The nutrients in these veggies help in cell growth and improve digestive health.

17. Seitan

sources of protein for vegetarians
Roasted seitan steaks with herbs and spices on slate plate

Seitan contains gluten. It is a mixture of wheat and some spices. Seitan is rich in selenium and contains calcium, iron, and phosphorous. Persons having gluten sensitivity or celiac diseases should avoid eating seitan. Seitan is low in carbs and is not high in calories, fat and sugar.

18. Fruits

protein rich food for vegetarians
Heap of fruits

Fruits like guavas, berries, and banana have good source of protein. They are the best diet to stay active and energized. Eating fruits lowers the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. They are low in calories that help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Fruits are good when you have them in raw form. They are excellent source of minerals and vitamins, and they are high in fiber. Fruits provide a lot of health boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids.  

19. Nutritional yeast

protein rich veg food
vegan nutritional yeast flakes in bowl

Nutritional yeast is a form of dry deactivated yeast. It is a cheesy tasting food topping. The yeast has a nutty and savoury flavour. You can get nutritional yeast flakes, granules or powder at health food stores. People who choose vegetarian or vegan diet uses this yeast. Health enthusiast around the world are using it from decades. Nutritional yeast helps to reduce stress, anxiety and boosts the immune system.

20. Mycoprotein

best source of protein for vegetarians
Wild garlic and parsley meat free mycoprotein sausages

Mycoprotein is a type of fungus derived from fusarium venenatum. It is a great source of non-animal-based protein. You can add mycoprotein to make burgers, cutlets and fillets. Many of its products contain egg white. So, please be sure and check the label before eating them. Persons suffering from mushroom or other food allergies should not have mycoprotein. They should opt for some other source of protein.

21. Greek yogurt

High Protein Foods for Vegetarians
Natural creamy Greek yoghurt on wooden table background

Greek yogurt is a good source of protein. It also contains calcium and gut-healthy probiotics. Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamy version of regular yogurt. It is high in protein. Eating enough protein has many health benefits. It improves body composition, and increases metabolic rate. Greek yogurt helps to reduce hunger. In fact, including a source of proteins in meals helps you feel fuller for longer. This helps you in eating fewer calories.


Protein is an essential nutrient for the body. It helps in growth and maintenance of muscles. Protein is also beneficial to keep our skin and hair healthy. Many people think that they do not get adequate protein as they are vegetarians.

You can give protein to your body by following a healthy, well-planned diet. We can get complete protein with all amino acids by many sources of proteins. We have seen 21 best sources of protein for vegetarians. Some of these sources are lentils, grains, soy products, nuts and seeds.

It is not essential to add protein in each meal if you eat variety of proteins every day. This is because our body maintains a pool of amino acids, that store protein from what we eat. The consumption of plant-based protein reduces the risk of some chronic diseases. It may be heart diseases and diabetes.

People are aware about increasing their plant protein intake for many reasons. The list will be helpful to guide you in choosing the right protein as per your taste and other needs. Add variety of proteins to make a balanced and healthy diet.

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