13 Surprising Vegetarian Sources of Protein

Healthy eating tips

Proteins are the building blocks of our body. In order to follow a healthy balanced diet, you need to consume some amount of protein on a regular basis. They break down into amino acids and promote cell growth and repair. But when it comes to protein consumption, non-vegetarians seem to have an upper hand.

Many healthy eating tips promote consumption of non vegetarian foods. But the truth is, vegetarians too, have a variety of protein inducing food items. Where it was believed that vegetarians do not get much of protein because of the absence of meat in their diet, the presence of some food items have broken this myth. Here are some of the most uncommon sources of protein for vegetarians to elevate healthy habits:

1. Beans

Healthy eating tips

A source popular for its fiber, also has high protein content. They form an important part of a vegetarian’s diet. Proteins are known for keeping weight under control. Beans, too, are known for the same. A recent study has shown that people consuming beans weighed 8 pounds less than those who do not consume beans on a daily basis. Beans also prevent diseases like cancer. Not only this, beans are also a great source of calcium, and a bowl of beans satisfy your daily calcium intake.

2. Nuts and seeds

Healthy eating tips

They are another meat-free and popular source of protein. Raw and roasted varieties of nuts should be preferred. Nuts like almonds and pistachios contain 5-6 grams of protein per ounce. They are a valuable part of a plant-based diet.

3. Soybeans

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They are the richest source of protein as it is the only vegetable which provides all 9 amino acids which a human body cannot produce. Other things made of soy are tofu. Tofu is said to be very rich in protein, harder the tofu, higher the protein content.

4. Quinoa

Healthy eating tips

Quinoa is technically a seed, which contains 8 grams of protein per cup. Also referred to as the “perfect protein”, it also contains all the 9 amino acids which a human body is unable to produce on its own. It is versatile enough to prepare muffins and cookies of it!

5. Hempseed

Healthy eating tips

Relative of a popular drug, this seed has ample quantities of all 9 amino acids. Another very important thing about hempseed is that it is a very rich and a rare source of omega 3 fatty acids which are usually present in fish. It is also a dairy-free way to add protein to your diet.

6. Green-leaf vegetables

Healthy eating tips

For getting induced to high levels of protein, one needs to consume lots of green vegetables, like broccoli, spinach, peas and asparagus. A cup of chopped broccoli contains 8 grams of protein. They are also very rich in heart-healthy fiber and antioxidants.

7. Chickpeas

Healthy eating tips

Chickpeas are beans rich in fiber, and low in calories. They also provide 7.3 grams of protein in half-a-cup. They can be tossed in a salad, pureed into humus or even fried. Another way of consuming chickpeas is spreading them over bread with some chopped veggies and a completely different version of pizza is ready!

8. Green Peas

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For those who do not prefer consuming dairy products, green peas is a good option. Half a cup of green peas contains 7.9 grams of protein which is equal to the protein content of a cup of milk.

9. Chia seeds

Healthy eating tips

Seeds of the chia plant are rich in fiber and protein content, an ounce of these seeds contains 4.7 grams of protein. The seeds of this plant are also used to make chia pet products. They can be blended in smoothies and sprinkled over salads. They are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids as well.

10. Sesame and sunflower seeds

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Rich in protein content, both these seeds are a great source of life building blocks.

11. Seitan

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A great meat substitute, it looks like duck meat and tastes like chicken. This source of protein is richer than tofu itself. It contains 36 grams of protein in every half cup. It is made of wheat gluten and is full of salty and savory flavors.

12. Ezekiel bread

Healthy eating tips

Made out of wheat, barley, beans, lentils and millets, this bread is a protein factory. It is also made of sprouted grains, which makes it rich in fiber and vitamins, and has good digestibility as well.

12. Peanut butter sandwich

Healthy eating tips

It offers 15 grams of protein per 2-slice sandwich and is a rich source of protein. Peanut butter, on the other hand, also adds to the calories. So make sure you consume it in moderation.

So if you are a vegetarian and feel that you do not have much ways of consuming proteins, without consuming meat, then these 13 are a savior. Follow these healthy eating tips for adding right amount of protein in every meal.


Nirdosh Kataria
Nirdosh Kataria is an experienced and passionate health blogger who believes in leading a healthy lifestyle and also promotes it among others. When not stuck in front of a keyboard, she can be found traveling and exploring.

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