VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SOURCES: 13 PROTEIN RICH, VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY FOODS!
As a vegetarian, at one point or another, you may have wondered “where do I get my protein from?”
There is a general myth out there about protein. Many believe that meat, poultry and fish are the ONLY source of protein. This is actually FAAAAR from the truth. All foods (including plant based foods like vegetables and legumes) contain some sort of protein. You may be surprise how much protein you can actually get from veggies, legumes and eggs! Even kale, spinach and broccoli contain protein!
With the above said, there are some sources of plant based foods that contain more protein per gram than others. Most notably of course is soy and TVP. Below, I’ve listed 13 protein rich, vegetarian protein sources.
VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SOURCES: A QUICK NOTE ON SOY
You will note that I’ve written sprouted for all of the soy based foods. The reason for this is because sprouted soy is the safest and healthiest way to consume soy. Soy beans are highly contested. There has been studies linking soy to cancer, low thyroid production, pancreatic disorders and even aluminum poisoning. YIKES! I know! This is partly because soy tops the list for GMOs (genetically modified organism). There are estimates that 90 percent of soy grown in North America is genetically modified. Soy crops are also heavily sprayed with herbicides that are carcinogenic. Fermented soy products (like tempeh and Natto) are the only ones are considered safe to consume.
I know as a vegetarian its hard to avoid soy. Many of the vegetarian products out there contain soy (think veggie burgers) but there ARE other options! I’ve seen bean based, soy free veggie burgers (Amy’s Burgers for example has a line of soy free, vegetarian products). If you choose to have soy, make sure to buy fermented varieties only!
VEGETARIAN PROTEIN SOURCES
- Protein powder: includes whey, rice, hemp, egg, pea and vegan. Check out my post on how to choose a vegetarian protein powder here!
- Eggs: Make sure to buy whole, free range or organic eggs!
- Fish: Not all fish are created equal! There are about a dozen variety of fish including farmed salmon, tuna and orange roughy that are highly contaminated. Stay away from em!
- Sprouts: often overlook but sprout are a great way to get protein and nutrients!
- Tempeh: fermented soy
- Natto: fermented soy
- Texturized Vegan Protein (TVP)
- Soybeans – organic, sprouted only
- Seitan (bean curd)
- Tofu organic, sprouted only
- Hemp (seeds, butter, protein powder): Excellent choice but hyperalleregenic! Make sure you are not allergic to hemp! You can add hemp hearts to almost anything! Hemp also contain good, healthy fats! Great to combat inflammation and boost your cardiovascular health!
- Beans & Legumes – lentils, kidney beans, pinto, chickpeas: There lots of legumes and bean you can choose from! I would suggest simply adding a couple of tablespoons of beans and legumes to all your meals. They go great with salads! Or you can opt to make a chili (check out my vegan chili recipe here!)
- Nuts & Seeds: Not significant enough to be main source of protein, but more of a protein boost- best results if nuts and seeds are soaked and sprouted! Great as a snack, or add a handful to meals!
Make sure to also check out my Vegetarian Grocery List, which includes a list of 20 awesome foods to include on your diet!