This topic was one of the first on my list when I decided to start writing down all my knowledge about fitness. Without any exaggeration I’m sure that I get asked about vegan protein sources at least twice a day. So here I am. Instead of constantly talking about it I decided to take the time and write down my favorite protein sources once and for all.
This list does not cover every single protein source but I made an attempt to categorize and write down my TOP 10. Please also be aware that the list is not in any specific order. The goal is to combine as many protein sources as possible.
1. BLACK BEANS
Black beans are my favorite type of beans since they are high in fiber, high in protein and also provide you with a great source of carbohydrates. One can of black beans consists of 350 calories and provides you with 70g of carbohydrates, 24.5g of protein and 21g of dietary fiber. You can serve them as a side or use them as a part of a dish like a chili, a buritto, a soup or in any baked meals.
Tofu is a great source of protein since it’s mainly protein and no additional carbohydrates or fats. Depending on which brand you purchase nutritional facts can vary from 45g of protein / 15 oz up to 55g of protein with 0-3g of carbohydrates and 5-20g of fat. I personally use tofu as an addition to meals that aren’t high enough in protein. In other words I load up my plate with plants that provide me with enough protein but in case I need / want more I add tofu to keep carbs low.
Broccoli is such a power plant that I eat it on a regular basis. 3.5 ounces of broccoli has 3.8g of protein and only 34 calories. I understand that it would be hard to eat 40g of protein solely from broccoli but that’s not the case anyways. As I mentioned before you want to combine as many protein sources as possible.
I’m in love with mushrooms. Not only because they are low in calories but also because they taste delicious and provide me with an additional 1.8g per 3.5 oz. It’s fairly easy to add mushrooms to different meals. You can grill them, cook them or blend them up to create a fantastic sauce / dressing.
As a child I couldn’t stand spinach until I discovered fresh spinach for myself. Very easy to incorporate in meals or even shakes. If you want to increase your greens but don’t like to eat them, add a handful of fresh spinach to your banana protein smoothie and you’ll add 3.1g of green protein to your shake.
The champion of breakfast meals. OATMEAL. Not only is it great way to start your day but it also provides you with 13.5g of protein in only 3.5 oz. Now combine that with a scoop of protein powder and you have a powerful breakfast that gives you energy for a long period of time.
Since quinoa don’t grow from grasses they are considered pseudo-cereals. Well I personally don’t care what they’re considered as. All I care about is the additional 12g of protein / 3.5oz in my next meal. Quinoa is also very light and doesn’t fill you up as quickly as rice or pasta does. So depending on your goals quinoa might be the right carb for you.
8. NUTS & SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are high in protein but also high in fats. With that being sad make sure you don’t “overdose” on nuts to meet your protein requirements. I usually use nuts as an addition to a meal that already provides me with enough protein but lacks in fats. Another great way of consuming nuts is through peanut or almond butter.
Pea protein is the most common protein source in vegan protein powder as of today. I personally love the taste and how it makes me feel. Additionally I love adding peas to meals like rice, soups or stews. These tiny little green balls provide you with 5.6g of protein / 3.5 oz.
10. SOY PRODUCTS
This is a controversial topic but I don’t want to lie to you. I also consume products made out of soy that are high in protein such as Tofurky sausages. One sausage consists of 30g of protein which is insanely high. I want to emphasize this one more time – Soy products should be used as an addition to a meal rather than having the soy product as the main source of protein.
I hope this list helps you to see all the hidden proteins the next time you go grocery shopping!