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4-Plant Based Protein Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians

Plant-based foods can provide high amounts of protein and other nutrients while being lower in calories than animal-based foods. Soybeans and quinoa, for example, are complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine necessary amino acids that humans require. Others are deficient in some of these amino acids, thus a diverse diet is essential.

Kritika Madhukar
Quinoa can be used as a pasta substitute in soups and stews
Quinoa can be used as a pasta substitute in soups and stews

Veganism can be practiced for a variety of reasons, including health, animal welfare, and religious beliefs. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics claimed in 2016 that a vegetarian or vegan diet may meet all of an adult's, child's, pregnant, or breastfeeding woman's nutritional needs.

Even so, individuals who do not consume meat or animal products may have a tougher time acquiring adequate protein, critical vitamins, and minerals. This article discusses some of the best plant-based protein sources that you must include in your diet.

Best plant-based protein sources


Lentils, whether red or green, are high in protein, fiber, and essential components like iron and potassium. The protein content of cooked lentils is 8.84 g per 1/2 cup. Lentils are an excellent protein option to include in your lunch or dinner routine. They can be used to boost the protein content of stews, curries, salads, and grains.


Peanuts are high in protein, contain healthy fats, and may help with cardiac health. They have about 20.5 grams of protein per 1/2 cup. Peanut butter is particularly high in protein, containing 3.6 g per tablespoon, making peanut butter sandwiches a nutritious full-protein snack.


Quinoa is a high-protein grain that is also a complete protein. Per cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein. Other minerals included in this grain include magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. It's also extremely adaptable. Quinoa can be used as a pasta substitute in soups and stews. It can be served as a side dish or as the main course.


Mycoprotein is a protein derived from fungi. The protein content of mycoprotein products is roughly 13 g per 1/2 cup serving.

Mycoprotein-based products are frequently sold as meat alternatives and come in the form of "chicken" nuggets or cutlets. Many of these goods, however, include egg white, so consumers should read the labels carefully.

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