A person on a vegan diet does not eat meat, eggs or milk. While some people may think this severely limits their protein sources, there is still an abundance of vegan-friendly proteins that they can consume.

Having a vegan diet means that a person cannot get protein from the same sources as a person with an omnivorous diet. An omnivore is a person who eats both animal and non-animal products.

However, there are many sources of plant-based proteins that a vegan person can consume. Nuts, whole grains and legumes are sources of protein, and they also contain additional nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Some vegetables and seeds also contain good amounts of protein.

This article will cover how much protein a person needs, why it is important and which vegan foods are good sources of that protein.

A person’s protein requirements are based on several categories, including age, gender, weight, and physical activity.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), protein is required in the following daily amounts for different groups of people:

These RDAs are for guidance only, and a person may find that their personal requirements vary. Overall, the RDA for a young and healthy person who does not do much exercise is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day (g / kg / d).

A person who is quite active, or who wants to build muscle, may find that they require more protein per day. An article on Journal of the International Sports Nutrition Society recommends 1.6-1.7 g / kg / d for strength athletes and 1.2-1.4 g / kg / d for endurance athletes.

Furthermore, a person who is pregnant will need to consume more protein daily. According to an article in the online magazine Nutrients, a pregnant or breastfeeding person should increase their daily protein intake by 10%.

There are many foods that are good sources of vegan protein, such as:

Whole grains

A whole grain is a grain that contains the entire grain of wheat, which means that the grain is intact. Many cereals are good sources of protein, including:


When cooked, quinoa contains 4.38g protein per 100g. One cup of cooked quinoa has 7.45g of protein.


Raw oats contain a high amount of protein, with 13.2g per 100g. One cup of raw oats has 10.7g of protein. However, a person should soak oats before consuming it to make it easier to digest.


Although not a whole grain, seitan is a meat substitute made from wheat gluten. The high gluten content from Seitan means that it is not suitable for people who are gluten intolerant or celiac.

When blushed, seitan has 11.28g protein per 100g.


Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is very high in protein. One tablespoon of spirulina, which is about 7g, contains 4.02g protein, which is 57.5g per 100g.


Some vegetables are good sources of protein, such as:


Although it is not rich in protein per se, when used as part of a meal, broccoli can increase the protein content. Raw broccoli contains 2.82g protein per 100g, and 2.84g per 100g when cooked in oil. A cup of raw broccoli has only 2.54g of protein, while a cup of cooked broccoli contains 4.54g.


When cooked with oil, the mushrooms contain 3.74g protein per 100g, and 5.98g per cup.

Furthermore, mycoprotein is a source of protein derived from fungi. People often use mycoproteins in meat substitutes. Mycoprotein contains 11g of protein per 100g.

However, certain products that contain mycoprotein also contain eggs, which makes them non-vegan. A person should be careful to check the ingredients in a mycoprotein dish before eating it.

Pulse and legumes

Some pulses and legumes are good sources of protein, such as:


When cooked, lentils contain 9.02g protein per 100g. Half a cup of cooked lentils contains 8.95g of protein.

chick peas

Chives, also known as garbanzo beans, contain 8.86g protein per 100g when busy. Per cup, boiled chickpeas contain 14.5g of protein.

There are many dishes that use chickpeas as ingredients, such as curry and hummus. Hummus is also a good source of protein, which it contains 8.18g per 100g.


Peanuts are very rich in protein, which they contain 25.8g protein per 100g. One ounce of peanuts contains 7.31g.

Moreover, peanut butter contains 22.5g protein per 100g, and 7.2g per 2 tablespoons.


People use soy to make many products, such as tofu and tempeh. These products make protein-rich ingredients for many dishes.

Soy itself contains 12.95g protein per 100g when it is raw, or 16.92g when cooked. Half a cup of raw soy has 16.6g of protein, while half a cup of cooked soy contains 15.65g of protein.

Fried tofu contains 18.81g protein per 100g, and 5.34g per ounce.

When cooked, tempeh contains 19.91g protein per 100g, which is about one ration.

Nuts and seeds

Many nuts and seeds are valuable sources of protein, including:

Farat Chia

Chia seeds are very rich in protein, which they contain 18.29g per 100g. A 20g serving contains 3.65g of protein.


Raw and salted almonds are another protein-rich food it contains 20.33g per 100g, and 5.76g per ounce.

Almond butter contains 20.96g of protein per 100g, and 6.71g per 2 tablespoons.

Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds are a good source of protein, with 31.56g per 100g. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds contain 9.47g of protein.

Protein is an important nutrient present in various foods. Protein provides the body with energy and is necessary for:

  • proper growth and development
  • building and repairing cells and tissues of the body
  • hair, skin, nails, muscles, bones and internal organs
  • almost all body fluids
  • many body processes, such as blood clotting

Proteins contain chains of smaller units called amino acids. The order of amino acids determines the function and structure of proteins.

There are 20 types of amino acids, which are divided into two categories:

Essential amino acids: These are amino acids that the body needs but cannot produce. There are nine essential amino acids that the body can only get through food.

Non-essential amino acids: The body can produce these amino acids through the consumption of essential amino acids, or through the breakdown of proteins in the body.

Proteins obtained from different foods also fall into special categories:

Whole proteins: These foods contain all the essential amino acids in acceptable amounts. Foods like quinoa, soy products and mycoproteins are complete sources of protein.

Incomplete proteins: These are foods that contain only a few of the nine essential amino acids. Nuts, beans, seeds and vegetables are incomplete proteins.

Supplemental protein: These are incomplete sources of protein that, when eaten together at one meal or overnight, combine to provide all nine essential amino acids. When people eat peanut butter with whole wheat bread, they form a complete protein.

Click here to learn about the difference between animal and plant proteins.

It is possible for a person to have too much protein in his diet. Research suggests that for most people, eating more than 2g / kg / day can cause long-term health problems.

A person with a lot of protein in his diet may have the following symptoms:

  • intestinal discomfort
  • excess amino acids in the blood
  • excess ammonia in the blood
  • high insulin levels
  • dehydration
  • irritation
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • liver and kidney failure
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • seizure
  • increases the risk of cardiovascular disease

Excessive protein consumption can also increase a person’s risk of developing:

  • cancer
  • osteopenia
  • osteoporosis

There are many sources of protein available to a person on a vegan diet. It is important for a person to eat a good mix of protein sources. The amount of protein a person needs may depend on their age, gender, and activity level.