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Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Builders

If you are a vegan and want to build up your protein intake here is a guide to grains, beans, nuts, and veggies that will help. Remember to seek out local and organic whenever possible.

 Grains and beans are a truly remarkable way to add protein to a meat and dairy free diet. Quinoa (pictured in a field above) has nine grams of protein. Tempeh is a vegan food that has 41 grams of protein in a cup. Sometimes it is made from cultured organic soybeans, water, organic barley, organic brown rice, and organic millet, like this lightlife tempeh. Here are more grain facts:

  • Quinoa (shown growing in the image above) has 9 grams of protein
  • Bulgur, cooked into cup has 6
  • Brown rice, cooked into a cup has 5

Sunflower seeds make great additions to salads. 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (pictured below) has six grams of protein.

Nuts are another high protein snack. A full cup of shelled peanuts has 40 grams of protein, so you are in luck if you’re fond of peanut butter. 

Here are more nut facts: 

  • Almond butter has five grams of protein or more in 2 Tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds equals eight grams of protein
  • 1/4 cup cashews has five grams of protein

Beans like soybeans (when cooked) in a cup have a whopping 29 grams of protein, with lentils trailing near on the bean chart at 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. Here are more bean stats:

  • Black beans, 1 cup cooked = 15  grams of protein
  • Kidney beans, 1 cup cooked = 13  
  • Chickpeas, 1 cup cooked has 12  
  • Pinto beans, 1 cup cooked has 12
  • Black-eyed peas, cup cooked has 11

Here are a few more tasty vegetables that rank high on the protein list:

  • Broccoli, cooked 1 cup has four protein grams
  • Spinach when cooked to one cup contains five grams of protein
  • A potato has four protein grams

Try tossing tofu (4 ounces firm has 11 grams of protein) and spinach or broccoli in a hot or cold dish with garlic and soy sauce for added flavor. 

What are your favorite ways to get protein from food? 

4 comments
  1. lolli levine

    I’d like to know the protein content in many other vegetables like: kale, chard, green beans, carrots,celery, lettuce (all kinds), yams, tomatoes, cabbage, beets and their greens, etc. Thanks

  2. Gracie

    Hi, I have an important question regarding a vegan diet. I suffer from 2 things. Gout (meat & certain veggies & dried beans, peas etc. contain purines) and #2 I also suffer with painful gas which requires the use of things like Beano for gas relief.
    I would like other suggestions for protein substitute aside from the things that I have mentioned. My diet would really lack a lot of good nutrients. Thanks

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