Vegan Sources Of Protein You Can Easily Add To Your Diet

Vegan Sources Of Protein You Can Easily Add To Your Diet


22 November 2018


As plant-based diets become more popular, and veganism is on a rapid ascent, proper nutritional values must be consumed. Sources of vegan protein are surprisingly varied and there are enough choices to keep the menu appealing and healthy.

We have compiled a definitive list for sources of vegan protein, which are all readily available locally, are versatile ingredients (lentil bolognaise, anyone?), cost-effective and lessen your impact on the environment. With the right combination and amounts of legumes (peas, beans, lentils), vegetables, fruits, whole grains and tubers (carrots, beets, potatoes, yams), your protein intake will be more than sufficient.


Note: The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight. 



bigstock spoon of white quinoa seeds on 228705019

Whole grain, seed from a plant related to spinach, complete protein containing essential amino acids, source of iron, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium and fibre; ½ cup = 14g protein 



bigstock Cut Tofu In The Glass Bowl 265722700

Bean curd made from soya, contains all 9 amino acids, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1; ½ cup = 10g protein



bigstock Fried Cubed Tempeh Garnish Wit 263602615 1

This popular Indonesian and Malaysian staple is made from fermented whole soybeans and is a good meat replacement due to its texture and protein content. Also contains calcium, iron and balances healthy gut bacteria; 100g = 19.9g 



andrea tummons 448848 unsplash

Gluten-free whole grain, complex carbohydrate (slow release), excellent source of fibre, contains manganese, phosphorous, vitamin B1, copper, zinc and iron; ½ cup cooked oats = 5g protein 


Black, red & brown rice

bigstock Brown Red And Black Rice On W 245440714

To complement a plant-based diet, brown / red / black rice is recommended as opposed to white. They all contain beneficial nutrients and antioxidants with black rice having anthocyanin – a unique flavonoid with many health benefits. Protein content per 1/3 cup servings:

  • Black rice = 6g
  • Red rice = 4g
  • Brown rice = 5g



chiara conti 505587 unsplash

Packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, amino acids and antioxidants; these vegetables should be part of your daily 5 (minimal) servings. Protein content per 100g servings:

  • Spinach = 2.9g
  • Broccoli = 2.8g
  • Asparagus = 2.2g
  • Brussels sprouts = 3.4g
  • Cauliflower = 2g
  • Chinese cabbage = 1.5g
  • Kale = 4.2g
  • Peas = 6.3g
  • Corn = 2.1g



bigstock Assorted Lentils Marble Red 235885555 1
An edible seed that grows in a pod, pulses are the ideal vegan low-fat protein source high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are also very affordable and an incredible adaptable ingredient. Protein content per 100g servings:

  • Chickpeas = 8.4g
  • Red lentils = 7.6g


Nuts & Seeds

bigstock Homemade Lsa Mix In Plate And 231729049 1
Nuts and seeds can be eaten as a snack, added to salads, cereal and pasta dishes, and are the base for vegan cheese, desserts and sauces. Rich in fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, be sure to add these nuts and seeds to enhance protein levels. Protein content for seeds per tablespoon, nuts per ¼ cup:

  • Almonds = 8g
  • Cashews = 7g
  • Pine nuts = 4g
  • Walnuts = 5g
  • Chia seeds = 2g
  • Hemp seeds = 5.5g
  • Sunflower seeds = 1.7g
  • Pumpkin seeds = 3g
  • Flax seeds = 1.3g