8 crucial ingredients to maintain your protein intake as a vegan

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Eating a balanced vegan diet can give you the fulfillment of making a positive impact in the world and can also enable you to live longer, healthier lives. Being vegan is associated with a wide range of health benefits, including lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, to name a few. However, one struggle many vegans face is getting enough protein in their diet. Protein is an essential component for almost every part of your body to function optimally. Your skin, bones, muscles, and organs all rely on adequate amounts of protein to function as they are supposed to. Even without meat and dairy products, vegans must consume protein sources that contain essential amino acids.

Luckily, there are many plant-based, ethical sources of protein that can help you be successful. Some of the most popular protein sources for vegans come from nuts, nut butters, seeds, grains, soy products, and legumes. As a vegan, it’s important to consciously consume your “complete protein” (protein contains all the amino acids your body needs to keep your metabolism running) every day in order to feel and function at your best!

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1. Oats

No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Source: No-Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

While oats aren’t a complete protein — meaning they don’t contain all nine essential amino acids — they’re still considered a great plant-based source of protein, especially for vegans. Raw oats in particular contain a lot of protein with 13.2 g per 100 g. A cup of raw oats has 10.7 grams of protein. Be inspired by our oat recipes!

2. Seitan

Root Beer BBQ Seitan 'Wings'

Source: Root Beer BBQ Seitan ‘Wings’

Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Due to the high gluten content, seitan is not suitable for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. has seitan 11.28g protein per 100g, and it is also a good source of selenium and contains small amounts of iron, calcium and phosphorus. Check out our seitan archives for plant protein inspiration!

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3. Lentils

Lentil Lasagna Soup

Source: Lentil Lasagna Soup

Up to a third of the calories from lentils come from protein, making them the third highest in protein of any legume or nut. Half a cup of cooked lentils contains 9.02g protein per 100g. Check out our lentil recipes here for delicious ways to use these hearty legumes! You can find recipe ideas in our lens archive.

4. Hemp seeds

Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars

Source: Raw Hemp Chia Seed Bars

Hemp seeds are a good source of protein, with 31.56g per 100g. These seeds are a complete source of protein, meaning they provide all nine essential amino acids, or building blocks for all proteins. Few plant foods are complete sources of protein, making hemp seeds a valuable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Because 25% of their calories come from protein, just 30 grams of hemp seed, or 2-3 tablespoons, contains about 11 grams of protein. Check out our hemp seed archive for recipe ideas!

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5. Soybeans

Soy noodles in peanut butter and spinach sauce

Source: Soybean Noodles in Peanut Butter Spinach Sauce

The soybean is a legume that grows in pods that contain seeds (or “beans” as we call them). Soybeans are an excellent source of high-quality protein that most legumes lack, making soybeans and their food products an excellent source of protein for people following a vegan diet. People use soybeans to make many products like tofu and tempeh. These products yield protein-rich ingredients for many dishes. Contain soybeans themselves 12.95g protein per 100g raw or 16.92 g cooked. Half a cup of raw soybeans contains 16.6g of protein, while half a cup of cooked soybeans contains 15.65g of protein.

6. Spirulina

Blue Spirulina Smoothie Bowl

Source: Blue Spirulina Smoothie Bowl

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is very high in protein. Spirulina is a powerful source of nutrients. It contains a powerful plant protein called phycocyanin. It provides all the essential amino acids you need. One tablespoon of spirulina, which is approximately 7g, contains 4.02g of protein 57.5g per 100g. You can find recipe ideas in our Spirulina archive!

7. Quinoa

Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Mash

Source: Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Mash

Although quinoa is technically a seed, it is classified as a whole grain and is a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. Quinoa is one of the few plant sources of complete protein. That means it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs. Despite this, quinoa is higher in calories than other protein sources. When cooked, contains quinoa 4.38g protein per 100g. A cup of cooked quinoa contains 7.45 g of protein. Check out our quinoa archive for recipe ideas!

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8. Mushrooms

Spicy oatmeal

Source: Savory Mushroom Oats

These mushrooms (and powders derived from them) are considered an excellent source of digestible plant protein. When cooked with oil, mushrooms contain 3.74g protein per 100g and 5.98 g per cup. White button mushrooms are the highest protein mushrooms per calorie, while oyster mushrooms have the most protein per weight. Mycoprotein is a source of protein derived from fungi. Humans often use mycoproteins in meat substitutes. It contains 11g of protein per 100g. You can find recipe ideas in our mushroom archive!

Can Vegans Get Enough Protein?

Source: Medical Committee/Youtube

dr Neal Barnard debunks common myths about plant-based eating, including concerns about protein, calcium and supplements, in a new episode of The Exam Room podcast.

Learn how to make plant-based meals at home

Reducing your meat consumption and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, dietary needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption has also been linked to many health problems including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in adopting a more plant-based diet, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app, which contains thousands of delicious recipes, making it the largest resource for vegan recipes is to reduce your ecological footprint and save animals and get healthy! And while you’re at it, we recommend that you also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more daily content on animals, earth, life, vegan nutrition, health and recipes, subscribe to the A green planet newsletter! Finally, public funding gives us a greater chance of continuing to provide you with quality content. Please note supports us through donations!

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