Healthy Vegetarian Protein Sources

Getting enough protein on a healthy vegetarian diet can take a little bit of preparation and knowledge, but these days there are plenty of delicious and nutritious vegetarian protein options available to help you reach your daily target.

Here are some of the best vegetarian protein sources to include in your diet:

Eggs

A powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients and one of the most versatile food sources there is – perfect for breakfast, lunch or snacks. A serving of 2 contains 126 kcal and 11g of complete protein.

Lentils

A 50g (uncooked) serving contains 5g protein in just 67 kcal, and id also a great source of fibre and iron.

Chickpeas

With 5g protein and 88 kcal per 100g, chickpeas are perfect for hummus, salads, and stews.

Quinoa

This versatile grain offers 7g of protein per 50g (uncooked) serving, and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Tofu and Tempeh

Both soy-based, tofu provides 8g of protein per 100g for 82 kcal, while tempeh offers a whopping 18g for 197 kcal. They can be used in a variety of dishes from stir-fries to sandwiches and are one of the only plant-based complete proteins.

Edamame beans

These young soybeans provide 9g of protein per 85g (cooked) serving and make for a tasty snack or are perfect added to salads or stir-fries.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals; just be mindful of portion sizes as the fat content can really push up the calories. A 25g serving of almonds contains 5g protein and 145 kcal, and 25g pumpkin seeds provides 8g protein for 147 kcal.

Greek Yogurt & Cottage Cheese

Dairy is a complete protein, and options like 0% fat free Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are excellent for a high-protein breakfast or snack. A 150g serving of fat free yoghurt provides 16g protein at 81 kcal, whilst cottage cheese offers 14g protein for 94 kcal.

Complete Protein Vs. Incomplete Protein

It’s important to note that proteins are divided into complete sources (usually animal derived) and incomplete (plant based). The difference is that incomplete sources are missing some vital amino acids needed for our body, so eating the same incomplete protein all the time will lead to your body missing out. We therefore recommend ensuring you prioritise the complete proteins and eat additional incomplete proteins as well. It is also possible to use combinations of incomplete proteins to make up complete proteins in a meal.

Healthy Vegetarian Protein

Try to focus on including a variety of vegetarian protein-sources in your diet to ensure you’re getting all the necessary nutrients for your body, and remember that a well-stocked spice cupboard can go a long way to keeping things interesting!

High Protein Vegetarian Meals

If you’re looking for some high protein vegetarian meal ideas, we have a huge bank of recipes on our blog. Why not try our Vegan Three-Bean Chilli Recipe or our Middle Eastern Spinach & Herb Omelette.