15 Vegan Sources of Protein (Soy-Free and Gluten-Free Too!)
May 01, 2013
Many people believe adopting a vegan diet makes it difficult to get enough protein. And if you are avoiding gluten and soy, that challenge may seem even more difficult. Well, we are here to bust that myth! There are plenty of healthy, soy-free, gluten-free vegan sources of protein that you can add to your diet. In fact, we had a difficult time narrowing this list down. Here are our top 15 vegan sources of protein (soy-free and gluten-free too!) that you can add to your diet:
Beans including lentils, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and many more have an amazing amount of protein - one cup contains 12-18 grams of protein! Add to salad, soups, and entrees for a hearty meal.
Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts have a ton of protein, as well as additional nutrients, and can be consumed as a snack or part of a larger meal. Walnuts in particular are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids.
3. Nut Butters
Nearly every nut out there also has a nut butter to accompany it - not just peanut butter, but almond butter, cashew butter, etc., so you can liven up your gluten-free crackers or bread or spread some on celery. Two tablespoons of nut butter have an impressive 8 grams of protein.
This hearty, grain-like food (it's actually a seed) is an excellent substitute for rice, oats, and other grains. Add to soups or salads, or have as a side. One cup of cooked quinoa adds 8 grams of protein to your diet.
5. Hemp Seeds
These yummy guys offer a ton of protein as well as omega fatty acids. Besides adding to soups, cereals, and salads, you can also use ground hemp seeds to add to smoothies for an additional protein kick.
6. Flax Seeds
With 5.1 grams of protein per ounce, flax seeds also offer omega-3 fatty acids and have a high antioxidant rating, as well as being high in fiber to keep you feeling full for longer.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds have an impressive 18% of their calories derived from protein. Raw, cooked, or roasted they make a great snack and can add flavor to just about any meal.
8. Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds are 20% protein, as well as offering a ton of fiber and five times more calcium content than milk. Enjoy sprinkled on your meals, added to soups, or grind them up and add to smoothies for an extra protein boost.
9. Sacha Inchi Seeds
In addition to being an amazing source of complete protein, the sacha inchi seed also offers a healthy dose of omega-3s - up to 17 times that of sockeye salmon! Enjoy them roasted as a snack or toss them on a salad.
10. Brown Rice
About 8% of the calories in brown rice are from protein and by adding this grain to your diet, you not only ensure you get enough protein, but you also get valuable fiber.
Greens like spinach, romaine and kale may not contain as much protein as nuts or beans, but if you eat several servings a day, you'll boost your protein intake by 4-5 grams per cup, as well as adding important vitamins and minerals to your diet.
These sweet green guys contain 8 grams of protein per cup, and can be added to just about any kind of meal.
This lush green fruit actually contains all 18 essential amino acids, making it a source of complete protein. They also offer omega-3 fatty acids, and trace minerals including zinc and selenium.
Nearly 1/3rd of the calories you consume from broccoli are protein-based, making it one of the highest vegetable sources, next to spinach, mushrooms, and watercress. Eat it raw with some healthy dip, or steam or lightly grill them to retain maximum nutritional benefits.
Not related to wheat at all, buckwheat is actually a seed that is used like a grain. In addition to being a good source of protein, buckwheat is excellent at stabilizing blood sugar. You can enjoy buckwheat for breakfast as you would oatmeal, or try roasted buckwheat, known as kasha, as a healthy side dish.
Healthy Vegan Protein in Every Product
You'll find a healthy, delicious vegan source of protein in every one of our bars and vegan protein powder. We've included almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, nut butters, quinoa, hemp, flax, pumpkin seeds and brown rice protein in our products - not only because they taste amazing, but because they are awesome, healthy sources of gluten-free, soy-free vegan protein. Photo credit: emmadiscovery