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Best Foods That Vegetarians Should Eat For Protein

Updated on January 16, 2017

Vegetarians need to substitute meat with another protein rich food

Over the years, it seems that Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular, this could possibly be due to the inflating concerns about the meat packing industry. People are becoming vegetarian for one reason or another, but it is important to remember that if you are going to cut meat out of your diet you should be sure to have a good recommended substitute for protein so that you are not malnourished. Having a protein deficiency is not healthy, it can ultimately stunt growth. Furthermore, our brain, heart, and muscles need protein on a daily basis to function efficiently. This article will help to answer questions that vegetarians may have regarding what foods they should be eating as a substitute for meat and it will also cover the guidelines for a healthy vegetarian diet.

I encourage people to comment if they have any other vegetarian recipes that they want to share. The more recipes and meal ideas we have, the better this article will be.

Protein rich foods

Awesome Vegetarian Recipes
Awesome Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian substitutes that are rich in protein

There are lots of meat-less foods out there that are high in protein, and it is very important that vegetarians make an effort to include these high protein foods in order to maintain a nutritious diet and not a protein deficient diet. If you allow yourself to eat fish, that is one of the best ways that you can get protein. Foods like tuna, salmon, and other fish like sushi are great sources of protein. However, if you do include these in your diet, make sure you limit tuna to no more than twice a week because of the trace amounts of mercury that exist in tuna. I eat tuna at least once a week, and I am not saying that its unhealthy, I just suggest that you eat it in moderation. With that being said lets get into the nutritious vegetarian foods that are rich in protein.


As mentioned above, fish is a great source of protein. Another additional benefit from fish is the fact that you get omega 3 fatty acids which are crucial to health. Omega 3 fatty acids help with stress, healthy circulation and is a very important nutrient that is essential in most weight loss diets. If you do not eat fish, a great source of omega 3's are chia seeds, you can find them at most health oriented grocery stores. I always put the chia seeds in my water, and they are fun to drink with water- I highly recommend that vegetarians include chia seeds in their diet. You'll love them if you drink them with your water.

Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, Nuts

These are great sources of protein, and they are really good for you too. Make sure you are eating almonds, peanuts, cashews and nuts consistently, they are a great on the go snack too. The nutrients in almonds and nuts are easily digestible and they are essential to preserving brain health, strengthening muscles and overall good health. Almonds are also very good for constipation, maintaining healthy libido.

Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Edamame and other beans or legumes

One time I went to my doctor and asked him if he had any advice on nutrition that would help me to stay healthy and live a long life. His simple answer was to eat mountains of beans. After doing further research, now I realize why: Beans are an excellent source of protein, they are much more pure source of protein than meats in that they contain less contaminants. Beans are essential to any diet, whether you are a vegetarian or not. The health benefits are endless, they are good for your heart, they are good for your muscles, they are low in cholesterol, and they are easy on the digestive system. One of my favorite sources of protein is edamame, its inexpensive and when I add a touch of salt I find it very satisfying. Not to mention that edamame is very rich in protein. Make sure you make beans a priority as they are essential substitutes to a vegetarian diet. There are some awesome vegetarian recipes that you will find in the links below.


Eggs are a great source of protein as well. Eggs have about 6 grams of protein per egg. Almost all of the protein is within the egg whites, not in the yolk. They are also a great source of omega 3's. Although eggs are a great source of protein, it is not recommended that you have eggs every other day, but more like twice a week. The reason behind this is the fact that eggs to have some cholesterol and by eating tons of eggs on a daily basis you would be increasing your risk for heart disease, and high cholesterol. However if you consume eggs in moderation, they are nutritious and healthy if consumed in moderation.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are great sources of protein. Products like milk, cottage cheese, any other kind of cheese and yogurt. Yogurt is also very good for your digestive system as it provides probiotics that help to promote healthy digestion. Drink whatever type of milk you like, all of them are great. If you are going for a low fat milk though, I recommend you at least get 1% or 2% because although fat gets a bad wrap due to exaggeration, it is essential, our brain needs it, our muscles need it and the rest of our body depends on it to function properly. The whole point is to include more of the good fats into your diet. Since you are a vegetarian, you are already avoiding a large majority of the bad fats that come from red meat.

Ideas For Healthy Vegetarian Meals


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    • Entourage_007 profile image

      Stuart 16 months ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Thanks for the comments, if anyone has more advice I'd like to hear from you. :-)

    • profile image

      darrylbradley 4 years ago

      Good blog

    • profile image

      olivia285 5 years ago

      Truly a good advice. Plenty of natural foods, soy products and vegetables, along with certain processed foods are the foundation stones to get essential protein for vegan food lovers.

      Individuals are encouraged to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have a snack to maintain the nutrition as well. So we should choose foods that are natural and have plant-based ingredients like the healthy and nutritious food products by Sheffa Foods, you can google them, which provide rich sources of nutrients for the body.

    • Entourage_007 profile image

      Stuart 7 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Thank you for the compliment. Beans and nuts are some of the best things you can eat for protein, especially if your vegan. What other foods do you incorporate in your diet as a vegan?

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Great advice. Being a vegan, I eat dried beans and nuts every single day. :)

    • profile image

      Sam L 8 years ago

      Interesting hub, thanks for the advice.