Vegan Protein Sources
1. Lentils – This mighty legume packs a punch with one cup containing a whopping 18 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbohydrates. They are also very high in fiber, containing 16 grams a cup.
2. Quinoia – Quinoia (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an excellent source of protein, containing 8.14 grams in one cup (of cooked quinoia). It has all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a great source of fiber and iron, and to top it off it’s even gluten free.
3. Spinach – No wonder why Popeye loved spinach so much. Add one bunch (340 g) of spinach into your salad and you get 10 grams of protein just in the spinach alone. Spinach is a great source of fiber with a nice 7 g per bunch, and it’s low on calories if you are tying to keep your calorie intake low. So do as Popeye and eat some spinach!
4. Spirulina – Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be consumed by humans and animals. It’s used as a dietary supplement and whole food. It’s a complete protein which contains all amino acids. With 4 grams of protein in 1 tablespoon, it’s a perfect vegan protein source to add to your diet. (Try adding it to your smoothie or juice).
5. Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are one of the most underrated/under-looked sources of protein for anyone to eat. I believe there will be a pumpkin seed craze in the next few years, just like the quinoia craze – mark my words. Just one cup (64g) of pumpkin seeds contains 12 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, and 34 grams of carbohydrates. They are also a rich source of zinc and magnesium.
6. Green Peas – This powerful pea is also part of the legume family, and contains a whopping 39 grams of protein per cup. They also can help lower bad cholesterol levels by adding 3/4 cup of them into your diet everyday.
7. Hemp Seeds – Hemp seeds are one of my favourite vegan protein sources due to their high rate of digestibility. Lynn Osburne from Hemp Line Journal states that “No other single plant source has the essential amino acids in such an easily digestible form, nor has the essential fatty acids in as perfect a ratio to meet human nutritional needs.” Just 30 grams of hemp seeds contains 11 grams of protein. They’re also a great source of magnesium and zinc. Hemp seeds are very easy to add into your diet. I like putting them in my home-made granola bars, breakfast cereal with coconut milk, on salads, and in my smoothies – about a tablespoon does the trick. My favourite brand is Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseed. These are 33% of protein and are a great source of vitamin E, Omega-3 and GLA. It gives me peace of mind as well knowing that the seeds are grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Check out Nutiva Organic Shelled Hempseed for more info.
8. Almonds – Almonds are the perfect convenient snack. Just 1 cup of whole almonds (143 g) is packed with 30 grams of protein. They’re re also an excellent source of antioxidants and help with weight loss. Slice them up and throw them in your smoothie, add them into a granola bar mix, or just enjoy them the good old fashion way. All options are a quick and easy way to get your protein on the go.
9. Oats – One cup of oats are loaded with a heaping 26 grams of protein and are an excellent source of fiber, containing 17 g a cup. Whether it’s served as oatmeal or in a granola bar – oats are an excellent way to get in some protein.