20 Plant-Based Foods Rich in Protein to Nourish Your Body and Mind

By Rinshi Ansari, 26, 2023

Veganism is more than just a dietary choice; it’s a lifestyle centred around avoiding animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. This plant-based approach emphasises consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. By rejecting products derived from animal cruelty, vegans promote compassion for both animals and the environment. 

The popularity of high-protein vegan and Best nutrition foods is on the rise due to their numerous health benefits. These foods are often low in saturated fat while being packed with fibre and essential nutrients, making them a nourishing choice for individuals seeking a balanced diet.

Benefits and Risks of Following a Vegan Diet


  1. Plant-Based Nutrition: A vegan diet emphasises the consumption of nutrient-rich plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  1. Weight Management: Vegan diets are often associated with lower body weight and reduced risk of obesity due to their focus on whole, unprocessed foods that are naturally lower in calories and saturated fats.
  1. Heart Health: Plant-based diets have been linked to improved heart health, as they are typically low in cholesterol and saturated fats while being high in fibre, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  1. Lower Risk of Chronic Diseases: Studies suggest that vegan diets may lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain cancers, and metabolic syndrome.
  1. Environmental Impact: Vegan diets have a lower carbon footprint compared to animal-based diets, as they require fewer natural resources and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to sustainability and environmental conservation.


  1. Nutrient Deficiencies: Strict vegan diets may be deficient in certain nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. It is important for vegans to plan their diet carefully and consider supplementation if necessary.
  1. Protein Adequacy: While plant-based foods can provide sufficient protein, vegans should ensure they consume a variety of protein sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and seitan to meet their protein needs.
  1. Potential for Poor Food Choices: A vegan diet does not guarantee a healthy one. Vegans should be cautious of processed vegan foods that can be high in sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats.
  1. Social Challenges: Veganism may present social challenges, as it may limit dining-out options and require careful consideration when attending social events or gatherings.
  1. Individual Variations: Each person’s nutritional needs and response to a vegan diet may vary. It is essential to listen to your body, monitor your health, and consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to ensure nutritional adequacy.

It is important to note that, with proper planning and attention to nutritional needs, a well-balanced vegan diet can provide numerous health benefits while minimising potential risks.

What is the daily protein intake?

The recommended daily protein intake varies depending on factors such as age, sex, weight, physical activity level, and overall health status. The general guideline for adults is to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, individual protein needs may differ based on specific circumstances.

Here are some general guidelines for protein intake:

  1. Sedentary Adults: For individuals who are not physically active or have a sedentary lifestyle, the recommended protein intake may range from 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.
  1. Active Individuals: Those who engage in moderate to intense physical activity or exercise regularly may require a slightly higher protein intake. The range for active individuals is typically between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
  1. Athletes and Strength Training: Athletes and individuals involved in intense strength training may have higher protein needs to support muscle recovery and growth. Protein intake in the range of 1.4 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight may be recommended for this group.
  1. Older Adults: Older adults may require a slightly higher protein intake to counteract age-related muscle loss. Protein intake ranging from 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight is often suggested for older individuals.

It is important to note that these recommendations are general guidelines, and individual protein requirements may vary. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalised guidance based on specific needs and goals.

High-protein vegan foods

Here are some examples of high-protein vegan foods:

  1. Lentils: A versatile legume providing approximately 18 grams of protein per cup.
  2. Chickpeas: Garbanzo beans offer around 15 grams of protein per cooked cup and are the base for popular dishes like hummus.
  3. Tofu: Made from soybeans, tofu provides about 20 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It’s a versatile ingredient in various recipes.
  4. Quinoa: A grain-like seed containing about 8 grams of protein per cup. It is also a good source of essential amino acids.
  5. Edamame: Young soybeans with around 17 grams of protein per cooked cup. They make a nutritious snack or addition to salads and stir-fries.
  6. Tempeh: Fermented soybean product that offers approximately 15 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It has a firm texture and nutty flavour.
  7. Black beans: A legume rich in protein, with roughly 15 grams per cooked cup. They are a staple in many Mexican and Latin American dishes.
  8. Chia seeds: These tiny seeds provide about 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fibre.
  9. Hemp seeds: Nutty-flavored seeds that offer around 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons. They are also rich in healthy fats.
  10. Green peas: With approximately 9 grams of protein per cooked cup, green peas are a nutritious addition to salads, stews, and side dishes.
  11. Almonds: A handful of almonds (about 23 nuts) provides around 6 grams of protein. They are also a good source of healthy fats and fibre.
  12. Spirulina: A blue-green algae with about 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. It can be added to smoothies or used as a supplement.
  13. Nutritional yeast: A deactivated yeast that offers around 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. It has a cheesy flavour and is often used as a seasoning.
  14. Pumpkin seeds produce roughly 8 grams of protein per 1/4 cup and are rich in iron, magnesium, and zinc.
  15. Seitan: A wheat-based protein that contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). It has a meat-like texture and is often used as a meat substitute.
  16. Peanut butter: Two tablespoons of peanut butter provide around 8 grams of protein. Opt for natural varieties without added sugars or hydrogenated oils.
  17. Oats: A popular breakfast choice offering about 6 grams of protein per cup. They are also a good source of fibre and complex carbohydrates.
  18. Sunflower seeds: These seeds contain approximately 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup and are rich in vitamin E and healthy fats.
  19. Brown rice: While lower in protein compared to other options, brown rice still provides around 5 grams of protein per cooked cup and is a staple in many vegan diets.
  20. Soy milk: A plant-based milk alternative that typically contains 8 grams of protein per cup. Look for fortified versions for added nutrients.

Incorporating these high-protein vegans and Best nutrition foods into a well-balanced diet can help meet daily protein needs while enjoying a variety of delicious plant-based options.

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