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Top 5 Vegetarian Foods Rich in Protein

Updated on May 8, 2015

Recently, I was talking to a few friends about food and nutrition. This was an interesting conversation, as most of them are non-vegetarians and I happen to be a vegetarian. And when there is a discussion between these two kinds, you can always expect a discussion on which is better. So, my meat-eating friends proposed that a vegetarian food could never beat meat in terms of protein. Now, I neither support the theory nor deny that. However, this made me do a small search about vegetarian foods that are rich in proteins.

Just for the sake of comparison, 100 g of lean chicken provides an average of 25 g of proteins. Additionally, it also has a significant amount of cholesterol and fat. Let us see how the following vegetarian foods fare.

Note: All the values given here are according to USDA National Nutrient Database.

1) Seitan

Seitan is also commonly known as wheat meat or wheat gluten. Can you guess how much protein wheat gluten contains? It is a whopping 75 g per 100 g of serving. This is probably the highest amount of protein a vegetarian food can give. If you are allergic to soy-based foods, then gluten is the best alternative. Not only is wheat gluten rich in proteins, but it is also rich in calcium and iron and low in carbohydrates and sodium. This can be used as an easy replacement for meat.

2) Lentils

Lentils are generally known to be good sources of proteins. But did you know that lentils contain about 26 g of protein for every 100 g of serving (more than a quarter)? Not only are lentils rich in protein, but they also provide good amounts of fibre. They are also rich in essential minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. They offer very little cholesterol, fat and sodium. And the best part: they are available in most of your regular grocery stores. Hence, if you haven’t yet included them in your diet, it is time to include them.

3) Peanut butter

There are probably very few people who hate the yummy peanut butter. Not only is peanut butter is yummy, but it is also a vegetarian food rich in protein. In fact, peanut butter may be one of the most delicious ways of consuming proteins. Every 100 g of peanut butter offers 25 g of proteins. Apart from being rich in proteins, peanut butter is also rich in potassium, magnesium, and fibre and Vitamin B-6. Peanut butter. However, make sure that you do not overeat peanut butter as it is also rich in fat.

4) Black Beans

Black beans are another commonly known source of proteins. These have been gaining much popularity in recent years, thanks for the dishes made from black beans. Black beans offer about 21 g of proteins for every 100 g. They are recommended for people suffering from diabetes as they help in maintaining healthy sugar levels. As they are digested gradually, you feel full for a longer time, which helps in your weight management program. The good ratio of proteins and fibre helps in keeping your digestive tract healthy.

5) Almonds

Many people may not be aware that almonds are good sources of proteins. While the common notion is that almonds are rich in oil and fat, this fat is healthy fat, much needed by the body. Almonds offer about 21 g of proteins for every 100 g. They also contain a good amount of fibre, making them one of the fibre rich foods. Apart from being rich in proteins, fibre and good fat, almonds offer good amounts of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

So, if you are feeling guilty of not eating meat for the sake of proteins, stop worrying. These vegetarian foods rich in protein will provide you just the amount of protein your body needs.


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    • karthikkash profile image

      Karthik Kashyap 2 years ago from India

      Of course.. But these can definitely help :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting hub. It is always a challenge to get enough protein in a vegetarian diet.