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

Dairy

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

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

234 comments

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rogers3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Deborah S.
Deborah S.4 months ago

Thank you

Nina S.
Nina S.5 months ago

tyfs

Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyar7 months ago

lots of protien, in daily beans/ been soups- part of an indian meal, occasionally cheeze- w/ bagel for breakfast, or a slice of pizza, or paneer - part of Indian vege dish... fair amount of nuts for snacks too... all in moderation

Nina S.
Nina S.8 months ago

tyfs

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen8 months ago

Thank you

Fi T.
Fi T.8 months ago

There should be nothing missed

Anneke Swanepoel

Thank you.

Cecilia Durham
Past Member about a year ago

epic

Jordan G.
Jordan G.about a year ago

Excellent info; thanks.