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

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Anneke Swanepoel

Thank you.

Cecilia Durham
Past Member 4 months ago


Jordan G.
Jordan G.6 months ago

Excellent info; thanks.

Andreas Mohammed
Andreas Mohammed8 months ago

a lot of food around us that contains a source of protein, but we do not aware of it. Your article helped our protein needs. thank you

Yrena E.
Yrena E.8 months ago

Although I commend your passion for being healthy, eating dairy, eggs and fish negates 90% of the benefits derived from your plant based foods - especially if they are gmo derivatives.

Teresa W.
Teresa W.9 months ago


Manojkumar Bhoyar
Manojkumar Bhoyar9 months ago

soaked almonds

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen9 months ago

Thank you

Ram Verma
Ram Verma9 months ago

Thanks for Sharing!
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Lena Olsen
Lena Olsen9 months ago

Thank. Well written and informative.