Discover the best plant-based protein sources to increase your intake as a vegan, including legumes, tofu, quinoa, nuts and seeds, cereals and vegetables, quinoa. However, there are many plant-based sources of protein that a vegan person can consume. Nuts, cereals and legumes are sources of protein and also contain additional nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Certain vegetables and seeds also contain good amounts of protein.
Soy and soy-based products, such as tofu and tempeh, are one of the most common staples in plant-based kitchens around the world. Not only do they pair well with a variety of dishes, but they're easy to prepare and are a rich source of complete proteins. In addition, soy products contain many important nutrients. According to a review published in Nutrients (opens in a new tab), tofu and tempeh are excellent sources of calcium, manganese and selenium, as well as highly bioactive compounds called isoflavones.
Isoflavones are polyphenols that can mimic the effects of female reproductive hormones. Despite concerns that these compounds may adversely affect men's health, available evidence (opens in a new tab) suggests that this is not the case. In fact, quite the contrary: several studies (opens in a new tab) have shown that a high intake of soy and soy products can significantly reduce the risk of dying from breast, gastric, colorectal, prostate and lung cancers, as well as cardiovascular diseases. Many of these effects have been attributed to isoflavones.
Add tofu and tempeh to salads, stir-fries, and single-pot dishes. Also, use instead of alternatives to meat, beans, peas and lentils. Seitan is a plant-based meat substitute made with wheat gluten and, as such, is often referred to as “wheat meat” or “wheat gluten”. Unlike other similar soy-based products, it closely resembles the appearance and texture of cooked animal meat.
In addition to its distinctive chicken flavor, seitan is renowned for its exceptionally high protein content. However, despite being one of the richest vegan sources of protein available on the market, it is worth mentioning that seitan is relatively low in the essential amino acid lysine, unless the wheat used for its production is fortified with this ingredient. When it comes to nutritional value, seitan is low in fat and carbohydrates, and quite high in selenium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It's a great addition to any plant-based diet, but because of its high gluten content, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity can't consume seitan.
Seitan is an excellent alternative to cooked meat. It can be fried, sautéed or grilled and added to soups, salads and stews. Quinoa (pronounced keen-waa) is a very versatile and easy-to-prepare pseudo-grain from South America, and has a mild, nutty flavor that easily complements many dishes. This grain is especially appreciated by people suffering from celiac disease, as it does not contain gluten.
While a cup of cooked quinoa provides less than 10 g of protein (slightly less than other plant-based proteins), it's a popular staple among vegans and vegetarians because it has a complete amino acid profile. It also has a particularly high lysine content. But that's not the only health benefit associated with this plant. According to a review published in the journal Molecules (opens in a new tab), quinoa is a rich source of biologically active compounds that have strong antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, several studies (opens in a new tab) have shown that regular consumption of quinoa provides protection against multiple different cardiovascular, metabolic and degenerative diseases. It can also have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the immune system and menopausal symptoms. Quinoa works well for quick one-pan recipes or as an alternative to rice, pasta or porridge. Buckwheat is another gluten-free pseudo-cereal that provides good quality protein.
Like quinoa, it contains a significant amount of the essential amino acid lysine. It is also a great source of phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium and iron, as well as containing a wide range of biologically active compounds such as flavonoids and beta-glucans. In addition, several studies (opens in a new tab) have shown that regular consumption of buckwheat grains can help regulate cholesterol levels, combat systemic inflammation and lower blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several different types of cancer. The most common way to eat buckwheat is in the form of soba noodles.
These grains can also be cooked in a similar way to oatmeal, or they can be ground into a flour and used in baking, especially for pancakes and other breakfast dishes. Chia seeds were first highlighted as a unique cooking aid. The dietary fibers in chia seeds can quickly absorb water and create a jelly-like texture, making them an excellent ingredient in baked goods, desserts and desserts. Because of their great nutritional value, chia seeds can be very beneficial to our health.
According to a review published in Molecules (opens in a new tab), regular consumption of chia seeds can reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative and liver diseases, as well as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Several studies have also shown that they can help lose weight, reduce waist circumference and improve endurance in long-distance runners. Chia seeds can be used to make pectin-free puddings, desserts and jams. They are also commonly used as an egg substitute in vegan baking and work well as a dressing for oatmeal, salads, or milkshakes.
Hemp seeds are the small, edible fruits of the Cannabis sativa plant. If that surprises you, don't worry: hemp seeds only contain traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that this recreational drug is known for. According to a review published in Nutrients (opens in a new tab), the amount of THC in hemp-based foods is below the 0.3% threshold, making them suitable for consumption. Anna Gora is a health writer at Live Science and has previously worked on Coach, Fit%26Well, T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide.
She is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist and health coach with nearly 10 years of professional experience. Anna has a degree in Nutrition from the University of Life Sciences in Warsaw, a master's degree in Nutrition, Physical Activity (26%) and Public Health from the University of Bristol, as well as several health counseling certificates. He is passionate about empowering people to lead a healthy lifestyle and promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet. Fortunately, however, there are plenty of tasty, protein-rich vegan foods you can enjoy, and you might need to be a little more intentional about that.
This list isn't exhaustive, you'd need a textbook to list them all, but here's a list of some of the best protein-rich vegan foods. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can get enough protein if you eat an adequate amount of calories from a variety of whole foods. People who eat or are considering vegetarian or vegan diets may worry about getting enough protein from their food. The most popular types of protein-rich foods (beef, chicken, fish, turkey, pork, and seafood) are prohibited on a vegan diet, of course.
A vegan diet can contain a lot of protein sources, and there's no need to worry about developing a protein deficiency or a lack of variety in your meals (check out these protein-rich vegan recipes). .