Vegetarian Protein Sources: What Vegetarian Foods Are High in Protein?


Do you wonder how to get protein as a vegetarian? Learn what vegetarian foods are high in protein.

Fundamental to the growth and maintenance of muscles, bones, skin and several other bodily structures, protein is an essential part of human health. Although it is easier to find protein in non-vegetarian foods (such as fish, chicken and lean beef), it is still possible to maintain a protein-rich diet without eating meat. Here, we take a look at some of the best meat-free food sources of protein for vegetarians.

Nuts and seeds

It is not recommended that nuts and seeds are your primary source of protein as they do contain a high fat content; however, nuts such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts and cashews, and seeds such as sesame and sunflower, are great as an occasional and natural source of supplementary protein. Easily purchased from supermarkets, they can be eaten on the go as an ideal tasty and convenient snack.

Beans and legumes

Along with being rich in protein, beans and legumes also contain a high level of other important vitamins and minerals. There are many different ways in which beans and legumes can be incorporated into your daily diet; think chickpea hummus, mixed bean salad or split pea soup. With nearly all different forms of starchy beans containing between 12 and 15 grams of protein per cup, it’s no wonder they are so popular amongst vegetarians and vegans.


As they help to provide the full range of amino acids required to remain healthy, foods that contain whole soy are a good source of protein for vegetarians. The great thing about soy is that it can be used to make a variety of food products, for example, ice cream, yogurt and cheese. Tofu, often used in vegetarian meals as an alternative to meat, is also made from soy milk and can be added to most meals to provide a significant protein boost.

Meat substitutes and veggie burgers

Many may be surprised to learn that veggie burgers actually contain quite a high amount of protein. Whilst a ground beef burger contains around 18 grams of this important nutrient, a veggie burger isn’t too far behind with a protein content of 10.99 grams. Many shop-bought mock meats are also high in protein content as they are normally made from either soy or wheat protein, or a combination of both.


Although, at first glance, broccoli may not appear to be high in protein at around 2.5 grams per cup, per calorie broccoli does have a very high protein content. However, the vegetable takes up a lot of room in your stomach, which makes eating a significant amount of it difficult, reducing its effectiveness as a reliable source of protein. Also, as broccoli doesn’t contain all the essential and non-essential amino acids, therefore it may be necessary to pair it with some other foods that will compliment the amino acid makeup, such as cornmeal.

Author Bio – Annaliese Watkins writes around a range of health related topics; including the role that different nutrients like protein play in the fitness of the body.


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