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21 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians

21 Sources of Protein for Vegetarians

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

The first response that you’ll likely get if you decide to become a vegetarian is “but how are you getting your protein?” And as more and more people go veg both for the health of the planet and in reaction to the sheer terror that factory farmed animals endure, it becomes evident that protein is available in a host of plant-based sources. How much protein do you really need? And what everyday sources provide ample amounts?

I eat seafood about once every two weeks at this point so the majority of my protein is plant-based. In the extensive research that I’ve done on the subject I’ve found that the protein requirements are about 47 grams a day for women and 56 grams a day for men. While it does vary according to weight, I try and get between 45 and 55 grams of protein per day. Another way to find out your protein needs are to take your body weight, divide it in half, and subtract 10.

I usually have three meals and one snack a day. To ensure I get enough protein each day, I separate my protein requirements into four meals and try and get between 10 and 15 grams per meal. A normal day for me looks like this: I have two local eggs for breakfast with a piece of toast. For lunch, I enjoy fresh local vegetables paired with 1 cup beans of some sort or maybe a homemade veggie burger. My snack is usually cup raw nuts followed by a balanced dinner with ample beans, lentils, soy, or dairy.

Protein Sources and How Much You Are Actually Getting By the Numbers

Beans, Nuts, Seeds

1 cup garbanzo beans 14.5 grams
1 cup pinto beans 12 grams
1 cup refried beans 15.5 grams
1 cup soybeans 28 grams
1 oz. cashews 4.4 grams
1 oz. peanuts 6.5 grams
1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams
1 oz. pistachios 5.8 grams
1 cup tofu 22 grams
1 cup lentils 18 grams


1 cup yogurt 13 grams
1 oz cheddar cheese 7.1 grams
1 egg 6 grams
1 cup cottage cheese 10 grams

Fruits and Vegetables

1 avocado 10 grams
1 cup broccoli 5 grams
1 cup spinach 5 grams
1 cup peas 9 grams
1 medium artichoke 4 grams
1 cup asparagus 5 grams
1 cup beet greens 3 grams

Beyond Tofu: 4 Tasty, Vegan Alternatives to Soy
12 Top Vegan Iron Sources
Life Force Diet: Limit Meat Consumption

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, ,

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
8:57AM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

Good article - opened up an area never knew about!

3:18PM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

I love articles like this. I'm not big on meat and everyone always tells me I'll end up protein/iron deficient. I eat all the foods in this list and I feel healthier than ever.

7:00PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

Great article.

8:20PM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

I never heard a Vegetarian suffered from protein deficiency !

However, we all know what "extra/excess" protein does to living bodies :)

6:41AM PDT on Jun 25, 2014

Adzuki beans are also kickass with protein

11:52AM PDT on Jun 24, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

2:16AM PDT on Jun 6, 2014

Thanks for Sharing!! Here is also a great article about the vegan protein sources I want to share with the users,

1:00AM PDT on May 14, 2014

thanks a lot

7:43PM PDT on May 9, 2014! I love avacodo's & kn ow they are super yummy & nutricious!...but I didn't know they packed a whopping 10 grams of protein! Hail to the avacodo!

1:36PM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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