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9 Delicious Vegan Sources of Lysine

Updated on October 31, 2015

Lysine is an amino acid that vegetarians almost always struggle to get enough of. Here are 10 great (and delicious) food sources of this essential amino acid - and no meat or supplements in site!

The RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for Lysine is 32mg per kg of bodyweight.

Peanut Butter

Peanuts are a fantastic source of lysine, so next time you're feeling peckish, head straight for a good old PB&J.

Bonus points: Make sure you choose a fortified bread to make the most of your lysine hit.

Extra bonus points: Do this thing properly and eat it straight from the jar. We promise we won't tell!

Peanuts have 238mg of lysine per ounce (28g), and peanut butter has 187mg per ounce.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (PBJ) on wholemeal bread.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (PBJ) on wholemeal bread. | Source


Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are a great source of lysine, with 794mg per cup of cooked beans. One of the best ways to enjoy chickpeas? Falafel. Not only are these Middle Eastern patties packed full of chickpeas and herbs, they're absolutely delicious, especially in a pita wrap.

You can expect standard falafel to have 856mg of lysine per 100g.

Try this recipe.

Falafel (chickpea balls) with pita and salad.
Falafel (chickpea balls) with pita and salad. | Source


Another dish using chickpeas, hummus is great as a dip or a spread and comes in many different flavours. In just an ounce of this stuff, you'll find 81.5mg of lysine. And once you taste it, it's fairly certain you won't be stopping there!

Jamie Oliver has a great recipe.

Hummus (chickpea dip).
Hummus (chickpea dip). | Source

Meat Free Chili

One of the best sources of lysine is red kidney beans, with 1110mg in just one cup. And one of the best ways to eat kidney beans? Chili! Not only is it warm and comforting throughout the year, it's packed with nutrition.

Check out this recipe over at Martha Stewart.

Vegetarian/vegan chili with bread.
Vegetarian/vegan chili with bread. | Source

Tofu Cheesecake

Soy products are packed full of lysine, so if you're someone you swaps out milk products for soy, you already have a head start. One 100g serve of silken tofu has 459mg of lysine, and firmer kinds have even more.

Not all of us are fans of tofu stir-fry, though. If that's you, try a yummy protein-packed dessert in the form of soy cheesecake.

You can find a great chocolate version here.

Vegan tofu cheesecake.
Vegan tofu cheesecake. | Source

Soy Milkshake

More of a smoothie drinker than dessert lover? That's okay, too. Soy milk is fantastically creamy in a smoothie or milkshake, and depending on the brand, it generally has about 185mg of lysine per cup. Just blend up some bananas or your favourite fruit, add a cup or two of soy milk, and there you are! A delicious, protein packed vegan smoothie.

Bonus points if you throw in some greens! Half a cup of frozen spinach, for example, will add an extra 196mg of lysine.


Pineapple milkshake.
Pineapple milkshake. | Source

Lentil Curry

Like chickpeas and kidney beans, lentils are a fantastic source of lysine. Red lentils are quick to cook, and have 1247mg of lysine per cup. They go fantastically in curries, like this one.

Lentil curry with rice and pita bread.
Lentil curry with rice and pita bread. | Source

Lentil Soup

Another great way to incorporate more lentils into your diet is adding them into a steaming bowl of comforting vegetable soup.

Try this recipe from Cookie and Kate.

Want to incorporate more lentils into your diet? Keep a few bags in your pantry, and throw in a cup of lentils every time you're cooking stews, soups, curries, or even rice! They cook down nicely and even act as a thickener, so you won't need to add flour to your sauces and stews ever again.

Lentil soup.
Lentil soup. | Source

Roasted Salted Cashews

Cashews in any form are delicious, and the paleo and vegan movements have caused the internet to explode with the many uses of this multipurpose nut. However, the best things are always the simplest, and cashews roasted with just a sprinkling of salt won't just fill up your lysine tank, with 260mg per ounce (28g), they'll satisfy the most severe snack cravings as well.

Another great way to roast cashews is with sugar and some spices. Try these gluten free candied cashews next time a sugar craving hits.

Salted roasted cashews.
Salted roasted cashews. | Source

Are you a vegan or a vegetarian? What are some of your favourite ways to make sure you get enough lysine? Let us know in the comments below.


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