What Vegan Foods are High in Protein?
Last updated on September 29th, 2023
And why is protein important?
Everyone needs protein in their diet, and yes, if you’re a vegan you may need to put a little more thought into what vegan foods are high in protein. But there are plenty, don’t panic!
Vegan Foods that are High in Protein:
Grams of protein per 100g
- Almonds – 20.4g
- Kidney beans – 8.7g
- Sunflower seeds – 21g
- Lentils – 9g
- Refried beans – 5g
- Quinoa – 4.4g
- Tofu – 8g
- Hazelnuts – 15g
- Soy milk – 3.3g
- Chia seeds – 17g
- Pinto beans – 21g
- Pumpkin seeds – 19g
- Peanuts – 26g
- Tempeh – 19g
- Seitan – 25g
- Hemp seeds – 32g
- Green peas – 5g
- Wild rice – 15g
If you have recently started a vegan diet I’m sure you’ve already answered the oh-so-common question, where do vegans get their protein?
So, for your health and your sanity, it’s important to know what vegan foods are high in protein.
Protein is an important part of any healthy diet and no matter your lifestyle, beliefs or ideals. To have a healthy body you need protein.
What is Protein?
Protein is classified as a macronutrient along with fats and carbohydrates. This means we need large quantities of it for our body to function well.
Protein is made up of amino acids and there are 20 of them found in protein. Our body can make 11 of the amino acids itself but there are still 9 that we need to find from our food.
These amino acids are known as building blocks and this is because they attach together to create chains.
Why do we Need High-protein Food?
Why is protein important?
- Protein is needed to build and repair muscle. So, whether you want that nice perky bootie, guns of steal, or just to feel your body is strong and capable, protein is an important part of building, maintaining and repairing muscle.
- The protein in your red blood cells is called haemoglobin and this carries oxygen around your whole body – pretty important, right?
- A high protein diet can help to maintain bone mass so as you age your bones will stay stronger.
- If done right a high-protein diet can aid in weight loss. Protein boosts your metabolism and makes you feel full. A busy metabolism will naturally burn more calories and because protein is filling, you’ll want to eat less.
How Much Protein Do I Need Each Day?
This depends on a number of factors such as activity level, gender, age, weight and height. But as a guideline, experts say that 0.75 grams of protein per kilo of body weight is suitable for the average adult.
So, the average male, who is fairly inactive, needs about 56 grams of protein a day and the average inactive woman needs roughly 46 grams a day.
This is based on someone that is seated for most of the day but of course, if you’re more active you will benefit from more protein each day.
If you want to find out exactly how much protein you should include in your diet each day take a look at this protein calculator from calculator.net.
What Vegan Foods are High in Protein?
Grams of protein per 100g
Soy milk – 3.3g
Tofu – 8g
Tempeh – 19g
Edamame – 11g
Nuts and seeds:
Almonds – 20.4g
Sunflower seeds – 21g
Chia seeds – 17g
Hazelnuts – 15g
Pumpkin seeds – 19g
Peanuts – 26g
Hemp seeds – 32g
Beans and legumes:
Kidney beans – 8.7g
Lentils – 9g
Refried beans – 5g
Pinto beans – 21g
Baked beans – 6g
Grains and wheat:
Quinoa – 4.4g
Seitan – 25g
Wild rice – 15g
Couscous – 3.8g
Green peas – 5g
Kale – 4.3g
Spinach – 2.9g
What Vegan Foods are Complete Sources of Protein?
While it is widely known that a vegan diet can easily provide you with all the protein you need, you do still need to make sure you’re doing right.
What do I mean by this?
Well, not only do you need to know what vegan foods are high in protein but you also need to know if they are complete sources of protein. This means the protein contains all 9 amino acids that your body requires.
As a non-vegan, it’s a little bit easier to find complete sources of protein because many types of fish and meat offer this. But as a vegan, you just need to look a little further.
According to Peta here are 11 complete protein sources:
- Hummus and pita
- Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
- Peanut butter toast
- Chia seeds
- Ezekiel bread
However, you shouldn’t worry too much about every meal including complete proteins, as long as you eat a balanced diet you should get exactly what you need throughout the day.
Can you Eat too Many Vegan Foods High in Protein?
I guess the question is can you overdose on protein?
It’s a very hard thing to do as the human body can’t store protein and will get rid of what it doesn’t need. However, if you have pre-existing issues with your kidneys then it is possible for too much protein to cause an issue.
While it’s not common for a healthy person to have an issue with too much protein our bodies will convert extra protein into either energy or fat. So, it’s recommended not to go overboard.
Five vegan foods that are high in protein are almonds, peanuts, tempeh, sunflower seeds and pinto beans. As long as you have a varied and balanced diet you can get all the protein your body needs from vegan food sources.
So, that’s it, we’ve covered what vegan foods are high in protein and the reasons why protein is important. Just remember, as a vegan, it’s not at all difficult to get all the protein you need because there’s a huge range of tasty vegan foods that are high in protein, you just need to know what you’re looking for.
A common issue for new vegans is hair loss or thinning. If this is something you’re wondering about then check out this post – Why Do Vegans Experience Hair Loss? And how to solve it?
Next, take a look at these posts – 10 Essential Tips for New Vegans – To Make Becoming Vegan Much Easier! and The 15 Best Vegan Picnic Ideas.
Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.
Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.