One of the main worries vegans have is how to get their protein when they aren't consuming the Standard American Diet or what many consider to be the traditional sources of protein.
In addition to not eating meat, vegans take their diet a step further than vegetarians because they cut out all animal byproducts including protein-rich foods like eggs, Greek yogurt, and certain brands of dry-roasted peanuts that contain gelatin, which is made from animal collagen.
Vegan protein sources
Below are a few of the best vegan protein foods, broken up into specific categories:
- Spinach: 3.5 ounces (100 grams) contains about 2.35 grams of protein
- Broccoli: 3.5 ounces (100 grams) contains about 2.7 grams of protein
- Kale: 3.5 ounces (100 grams) contains about 3.54 grams of protein
- Whole-wheat bread: Once slice contains about 6 grams of protein
- Whole-wheat pasta: 1 cup contains about 12 grams of protein
- Quinoa: 1 cup contains about 8 grams of protein
Nuts and nut butters
- Almonds: 1 cup of dry roasted contains 20 grams of protein, or two tablespoons of almond butter gets you 6.7 grams of protein
- Cashews: 1 cup of dry roasted contains 30 grams of protein, or two tablespoons of cashew butter gets you 3.9 grams of protein
- Pistachios: 1 cup of dry roasted contains 22 grams of protein, or two tablespoons of pistachio butter gets you 2 grams of protein
- Chickpeas: 1 cup cooked contains 12.5 grams of protein
- Lentils: 1 cup cooked contains 17.2 grams of protein
- Beans (black, kidney): 1 cup of black beans contains 8.9 grams of protein
- Peas: 1 cup contains 10.1 grams of protein
Another important thing to remember is that timing matters. We can only absorb about 25 to 40 grams of protein per meal, so it's important to make sure that you space out how much you consume throughout each day.