Here are 17 plant foods that contain a high amount of protein per serving.
1. Seitan It’s made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. Also known as wheat meat or whet gluten, it contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Seitan is also a good source of selenium and contains small amounts of iron, calcium and phosphorus Seitan can be pan-fried, sautéed and even grilled. Therefore, it can be easily incorporated in a variety of recipes. However, seitan should be avoided by people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
2. Tofu, tempeh and edamame all originate from soybeans. Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs. All three contain iron, calcium and 10-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) Edamame are also rich in folate, vitamin K and fiber. Tempeh contains a good amount of probiotics, B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus.
3. Lentils At 18 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), lentils are a great source of protein Lentils also contain good amounts of slowly digested carbs, and a single cup (240 ml) provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Lentils may also help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, excess body weight and some types of cancer . In addition, lentils are rich in folate, manganese and iron. They also contain a good amount of antioxidants and other health-promoting plant compounds
4. Chickpeas and Most Varieties of Beans Kidney, black, pinto and most other varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein per serving. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are another legume with a high protein content. Both beans and chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml). They are also excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, manganese and several beneficial plant compounds
5. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, sold commercially as a yellow powder or flakes.This complete source of plant protein provides the body with 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per ounce (28 grams) . Fortified nutritional yeast is also an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese and all the B vitamins, including B12.
6. Spelt and Teff Spelt and teff belong to a category known as ancient grains. Other ancient grains include einkorn, barley, sorghum and farro. Spelt is a type of wheat and contains gluten, whereas teff originates from an annual grass, which means it’s gluten-free. Spelt and teff provide 10–11 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), making them higher in protein than other ancient grains
7. Green Peas often served as a side dish contain 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), which is slightly more than a cup of milk What’s more, a serving of green peas covers more than 25% of your daily fiber, vitamin A, C, K, thiamine, folate and manganese requirements. Green peas are also a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and several other B vitamins
9. Spirulina Two tablespoons (30 ml) provide you with 8 grams of complete protein, in addition to covering 22% of your daily requirements of iron and thiamin and 42% of your daily copper needs (33).
Spirulina also contains decent amounts of magnesium, riboflavin, manganese, potassium and small amounts of most of the other nutrients your body needs, including essential fatty acids.
10. Amaranth and Quinoa
Although often referred to as ancient or gluten-free grains, amaranth and quinoa don’t grow from grasses like other cereal grains do.
Amaranth and quinoa provide 8–9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml) and are complete sources of protein, which is rare among grains and pseudocereals.
Also, amaranth and quinoa are good sources of complex carbs, fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.
11. Ezekiel Bread and Other Breads Made From Sprouted Grains
Two slices of Ezekiel bread contain approximately 8 grams of protein, which is slightly more than the average bread .
Sprouting grains and legumes increases the amount of healthy nutrients they contain and reduces the amount of anti-nutrients in them.
Sprouting also seems to increase the bread’s soluble fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene content. It may also slightly reduce the gluten content, which can enhance digestion in those sensitive to gluten.
12. Soy Milk
Not only does it contain 7 grams of protein per cup (240 ml), but it’s also an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 (50).
However, keep in mind that soy milk and soybeans do not naturally contain vitamin B12, so picking a fortified variety is recommended.
13. Oats and Oatmeal Oats are an easy and delicious way to add protein to any diet.
Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats provides you with approximately 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. This portion also contains good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate (51).
Although oats are not considered a complete protein, they do contain higher-quality protein than other commonly consumed grains like rice and wheat.
You can use oats in a variety of recipes ranging from oatmeal to veggie burgers. They can also be ground into flour and used for baking.
Bottom Line: Oats are not only nutritious but also an easy and delicious way to incorporate plant protein into a vegan or vegetarian diet.
14. Wild Rice
Wild rice contains approximately 1.5 times as much protein as other long-grain rice varieties, including brown rice and basmati.