Best Vegetarian Sources of Protein

The best vegetarian sources of protein are those that form complete proteins together. A protein-rich diet is essential even if you aren’t an athlete or a fitness enthusiast. An adequate supply of protein is essential for maintaining your health and body. Undoubtedly, it’s a core element if you’re looking to build muscle and get fit. The average person requires anywhere between 0.8g to 2.2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. As you can see, that number varies drastically based on age, body type, activity level, lifestyle habits, and physique goals.

Best vegetarian sources of protein- tofu, beans, legumes, broccoli

Vegetarian proteins are incomplete sources of protein, this means they do not have all 9 essential amino acids that your body requires. These are found in animal-based products. However, with a healthy balanced diet, you can get all the required amino acids from vegetarian food sources.

The best vegetarian sources of protein tend to be expensive like soy milk. Instead of running in for an already complete source, you can find mix and match foods according to your taste to find the right balance.

Which are the Best vegetarian sources of protein?

When you consume a protein food source you do not necessarily absorb all the protein content. This means the 10g available in certain food you may only digest 6g. Without getting too far into the science, it is known as availability and digestibility of protein in food. This is represented as PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Scores). The chart below represents the same. The number 1 is the highest a food source can rank, showing almost 100% availability to digestibility.

Grains, nuts, & seeds 1.0
Rice & peas 1.0
Legumes, nuts, & seeds 1.0
Black beans0.75

There are now two issues at hand, acquiring the adequate amount of protein and ensuring you get all 9 essential amino acids. How do you climb this hurdle? Well, the answer is simple, eat foods that rank higher on the chart above. Grains combined with nuts and seeds make up a complete protein source and are easily digestible. On the other hand, if you prefer brown rice, add a generous serving of peas to the mix and whip up a rice bowl with mushrooms, baby corn and some carrots.

Best vegetarian sources of protein,- nuts, broccoli, cottage cheese, milk

When it comes to getting the required protein content measured the following table shows you the protein, carbohydrate, and caloric value of the best vegetarian sources of protein.

Protein SourceProtein per 100gCarbs per 100gCalories
Chickpeas 1961 364
Lentils 920 116
Soy 3630 446
Paneer 201.2 265
Tempeh 208 195
Seitan (gluten steak) 304 130
Tofu112.2 80

These are the main foods you should include in your diet. Paneer, chickpeas, and rice are a scrumptious combination that gives you all the necessary nutrients.

Remember, some vegetarians eat eggs (eggetarians) and eggs are a complete source of protein. You can have one egg yolk with 6 egg whites to kickstart your morning. That’s not all, not only will you get the amino acids but eggs keep you fuller for longer, which helps you avoid snacking.

Consider making a stew with tofu or legumes of your choice, add some yogurt to your evening snack plan to get another complete source of protein. Keep in mind, that you can pair a carb-heavy protein source with a one that doesn’t have many carbs. You can also include whole-wheat and multigrain bread. Once you have a solid base of proteins you can add a carb of your choice.

Best vegetarian sources of protein-protein shake

Is there a simpler way to get the required nutrition?

If memorizing food combinations isn’t for you then there is a simpler way. Protein supplements can help you get the required nutrition. Based on your goals you can choose a supplement that offers anything from 8g per serving to 26g per serving. Additionally, some protein supplements come with BCAAs that support recovery and prevent muscle loss. To make it simpler, here are some of the types of protein you can choose from.

  • Whey
  • Whey isolate
  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Egg white protein
  • Soy protein
  • Mixed protein

If you are lactose intolerant or vegan they whey protein may not be an option for you. In such a case, your best bet is finding a pea protein powder or soy protein to meet your needs. A mixed protein supplement can be ideal as it ensures you get all 9 amino acids. So, take a look at some plant-based protein supplements and best vegan protein supplements available.

Here is a list of products that are considered the best vegetarian sources of protein supplements

1. MyFitFuel

2. Plix Strength

3. Flex Protein

4. Unived Organic Pea Protein

5. Nature’s Velvet Pea Protein Isolate

Go Green!

Ahem!!! plant-based foods offer you all that your body requires in terms of nutritional content. Research indicates that people shifting to a vegetarian lifestyle have to carefully plan out their diet. This makes them mindful of eating habits and leads to better food choices. Vegetarians also put themselves at reduced risks of diseases such as ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

If your goal is to build muscle or get fit to consider adding supplements to your daily routine. When going veg or vegan remember to check in with your doctor or health professional as well as pay attention to portion sizes.

Danesh Engineer
Danesh writes on a broad spectrum of topics such as financial health, consumer goods, health & fitness, and on best protein sources about protein and their impact upon the human body. His passion for lifting weights sees him in the gym before and after his professional life. No one loves a meathead so he works out his mind here. Research, experience, and factual data helps Danesh flex his Brain Gains.


  1. […] go ahead and mix them to your heart’s and muscle’s content! There are some more vegetarian sources of protein that you might want to […]

  2. […] should be your first choice. If you are a vegetarian then you can take a look at some of the best vegetarian sources of protein. Along with a healthy supplement, you need a disciplined attitude to stick to your diet and […]

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