21 sources of protein for vegans

One of the most frequently asked questions to vegans is about their protein intake. 

Protein is known as one of the building blocks of life. This is because it is essential for growth and development, along with cell repair and creation. Proteins are formed by amino acids. They are necessary for growth and maintenance of tissues, to facilitate biochemical reactions. They also help in maintaining pH values of blood and other bodily fluids, in transportation and storage of nutrients, and in providing the body with energy.

  1. Mock meat: Mock meat is a processed, plant-based product designed to imitate the taste and texture of meat. It is generally made from gram flour, wheat gluten, and textured vegetable protein, although the ingredients might vary from one producer to another. Gooddot Proteiz mock meat contains 55 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. Mock meat is generally used in dishes that would have otherwise used meat. The use and suitability of one type of mock meat differ from that of another. A good way to include mock meat in your diet is to try and make traditional meat-based dishes with it.
  2. Almonds: Almonds have 11 grams of protein in a 28-gram serving. Almonds are considered to be a Superfood. They contain Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B2. Almonds are utilized in a plethora of ways such as in cooking, baking, in drink mixes, in energy bars, and in traditional sweets as well. Almonds are also found in certain vegan protein supplements. To better absorb the nutrients in almonds, it is recommended to eat them whole, with their skins. Putting a few almonds into your breakfast cereal or oatmeal is one of the easiest ways to incorporate them into your diet.
  3. Peanuts: Peanuts contain 26 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. They also contain Vitamin E, Biotin, Folate, Copper, Niacin, Thiamine, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. It is widely consumed all around the world. Peanuts are consumed in a variety of ways. They are roasted, salted, boiled, and even consumed in the form of peanut butter. Roasting and boiling were found to be the best ways of increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients in peanuts.
  4. Pumpkin seed: Pumpkin seeds are another superfood, that contain 7 grams of protein in a 28-gram serving. They are a powerhouse of nutrients, containing vitamins like Vitamin K, Zinc, Iron, copper, Phosphorus, Manganese, and Magnesium. They are extremely versatile and have a wide range of uses. They are used in energy bars, salads, as toppings in a fruit bowl or Buddha bowl, as pumpkin seed butter in cooked food, stir-frys, and desserts. Using these combinations also helps in optimal absorption of nutrients. The most convenient way to include them in your diet would be to sprinkle them on your daily meals. 
  5. Cashew nuts: Cashew nuts are a vegan protein-rich food, having18 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. Very much like almonds, they are also considered a superfood and contain nutrients like Potassium, Magnesium, Folate, Calcium, Vitamins E, K, and B-6. It is mainly used in trail mixes, cookies, Indian sweets, and even in traditional cooking in the form of toppings, or paste. Of late, cashew butter, cashew milk, and cashew nut based dips have risen to prominence due to the rise of plant-based and healthy living. To improve absorption, it is best to soak them prior to consumption.
  6. Sesame seed: A serving of Sesame seeds (30gms) contains 5 grams of protein. They also contain Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and Manganese. Sesame seeds are most commonly known for their use as a primary ingredient in Tahini, a Mediterranean condiment. They can be made into sesame milk, powder, or butter. The best way to add Sesame to your diet, while ensuring optimal absorption, is through Tahini paste, which can conveniently be drizzled over your meals. Crushed Sesame can also be used as a salad topping. It is also used in making traditional sweets.
  7. Raisins: Raisins contain 3 grams of protein in a 100gm serving. They also contain small amounts of Copper, Iron, Potassium, and Magnesium. They are mostly used as toppings in muesli, cereal, and other baked items. The nutrients in raisins are better absorbed when they are had together with other dry fruits and nuts. The most convenient way to consume them is in the form of trail mixes or vegan protein bars.
  8. Cauliflower: Cauliflower contains approximately 2-3 grams of protein in a 100gm serving. It also contains minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Pantothenic acid, and Vitamins C, K, and B6. It is used mainly in salads, curries, or steamed with other vegetables and eaten along with a herbed dip. The nutrients in cauliflower are optimally absorbed when it is steamed, microwaved, or eaten raw. Eating it steamed with a vegan herb dip is one of the easiest ways to consume it. 
  9. Button mushrooms: Button mushrooms contain 2-3 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. They also contain Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Selenium, and Potassium. Along with this, they also contain B vitamins and Pantothenic acid. Button mushrooms are generously used in continental dishes like salads, soups, pasta, and spaghetti but are found in Indian curries as well. A convenient way to include mushrooms in your diet is by sauteeing it along with other leafy green veggies, and herbs. This also ensures good absorption. 
  10.  Guava: Guavas contain 2.6 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. They also contain Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium in small amounts. Guavas can be eaten all on their own, cut into pieces with a sprinkling of salt and chilli, or in combination with other fruits, in a fruit salad.
  11.  Broccoli: Broccoli contains 2.5 grams of protein in a 100gm serving. Nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin k, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, and Iron are present in Broccoli. It is a superfood. It can be consumed boiled or steamed in salads, stir-fried with other veggies, sprouted, or raw, just as it is. The best methods found to absorb the nutrients present in broccoli were quick steaming, boiling, and pressure cooking. They are the easiest and most convenient ways of consuming it as well. 
  12.  Avocado: Avocados contain 2 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. They also contain Vitamins C, K, B5, B6, and vitamin E, along with Potassium and Folate. Trace amounts of Manganese, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Vitamin A, and Phosphorus are found in avocados. Avocados are most popularly used as herb dips, in salads, as salad dressing, and in mayonnaise. These also happen to be some of the best ways to absorb the nutrients present in avocados. The most convenient way of consuming it is by eating it out with a spoon after mixing it with sugar or jaggery.
  13.  Walnuts: Walnuts contain 15 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. They are also rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C. Walnuts are mostly eaten just on their own, but are also found in trail mixes, breakfast cereals, salads, and pasta. It is also used to make walnut milk. Its nutrients are best absorbed when combined with leafy green and non-starchy vegetables.
  14.  Flax seed: A single serving of Flax seeds (7g) contains 1 gram of protein. Flax seeds also contain Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Folate. Flax seed powder can be added to curries, cereal, cookies, muffins, and oats porridge. Flax seed can be sprinkled on buddha bowls, smoothies, and yoghurt. It is even used as an ingredient in vegan protein powders. Using flaxseed powder in your daily meals is a good way to incorporate it into your diet and something that is convenient as well.
  15.  Sun-dried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes contain around 5 to 14 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving, depending on the type of tomato. They contain potassium, Niacin, and vitamins A, C, and K. They are used in salads and pasta. The lycopene present in sun-dried tomatoes is bioavailable to a greater extent than the lycopene in regular tomatoes. Some convenient ways of consuming sun-dried tomatoes are by adding them to your pasta, salads, soups and sandwiches.
  16.  Peas: Green peas contain 5 grams of protein in a 100gm serving. They are very nutritious and packed with vitamins like Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Folate, Manganese, Iron, and Phosphorus. They are a useful ingredient to have in your vegetable rack as they are versatile & can be used in various dishes in different ways. They can be steamed, boiled, cooked, sauteed, and fried along with other food. Since peas are rich in iron, the nutrients in peas are optimally absorbed when combined with foods high in Vitamin C. They can even be consumed all on their own, boiled, with a sprinkling of pepper and salt.
  17.  Sweet corn: Sweet corn contains 3.4 grams of protein in a 100gm serving. Sweet corn is rich in fiber and contains vitamins like Vitamin B6, Folic acid, Potassium, and Pantothenic acid. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, cooked, fried, or even baked. Since it is an incomplete protein, it is best paired with lentils and legumes for optimal absorption of nutrients. One of the easiest ways to have it is by boiling and combining it with salt, chili powder, and lime.
  18.  Spinach: Spinach contains 3 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving. It contains nutrients like Calcium, Folic acid, Iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Spinach is used in salads, soups, pizzas, curries, sandwiches, and burgers. Quite like peas, spinach is rich in Iron and must be combined with Vitamin C rich foods in order to maximize absorption. One of the easiest ways to incorporate spinach in your diet is by having sauteed spinach, or by even using it in soups and curries.
  19.  Soy milk: A single cup of Soy milk contains 8 grams of protein. It also contains Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium. Soy milk is generally used on its own, as a drink, poured over cereals, muesli, fruit salads, and smoothies. It is also used as a substitute for dairy in baking. The amount of nutrients you can get from commercial soymilk depends on how it was processed. It is also used as ‘Soy protein isolate’ in vegan protein shakes.
  20.  Oat milk: A 250 ml (1 cup) serving of Oat milk contains approximately 3 grams of protein. Oat milk is highly nutritious, and also contains Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Riboflavin, and Phosphorus. Oat milk is generally consumed as a breakfast item with muesli or cereal. Goodmylk’s Cashew Oat milk has a good blend of cashews and oats, that promises a thick consistency that won't curdle when combined with Tea or Coffee, along with offering the same mouthfeel as that of dairy.
  21.  Almond Milk: Almond milk contains 1 gram of protein in a single cup. Packaged and fortified almond milk also contains Vitamins A, D, and Calcium along with the nutrients already present in almonds. Almond milk is generally consumed with cereals, muesli or fruit salads, and smoothies. It is also used in baking and in desserts. The most convenient way of incorporating almond milk into your diet is by using it in cereals and smoothies at breakfast, to give you an energy boost right at the very beginning of your day.