Whether it be for the argued health benefits, religious or moral reasons (etc.) many people nowadays decide not to eat meat, or meat based products. This can make meeting your daily protein requirements tough.
However, don’t panic. There are many vegetarian protein sources which are great tasting and widely available!
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah, for the record!) is arguably one of the greatest protein (and carbohydrate) sources for vegetarians. It’s couscous like consistency makes it highly versatile for use in salads, casseroles and many recipes, as can be found in The Zone.
Quinoa is also high in iron, fibre and magnesium, which makes it the perfect wholefood.
Protein – 14g
Carbohydrates – 64g
Fat – 6g
Chia seeds have grown in popularity as of late, due to their high omega 3 content – higher than any other plant based food. Their consistency when mixed with liquid makes them excellent in recipes, especially as a substitute for eggs.
They are also packed with iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as lots of antioxidants.
Protein – 17g
Carbohydrates – 42g
Fat – 31g
Soy beans are a great addition to any salad, recipe and are great to snack on too! There are lots of products which derive from soy beans, such as tofu.
Whilst many debate over it’s suggested hormonal side effects, it remains one of the greatest sources of protein for vegetarians. Why not try Soy Protein Isolate?
Protein – 36g
Carbohydrates – 30g
Fat – 20g
Mycoprotein, more commonly referred to as Quorn is a meat substitute which derives from a type of fungus.
Most Quorn products are not vegan friendly, since they often use egg whites, however for vegetarians it is an excellent meat substitute due to the macro-nutrient ratios – and great taste! Often available in chunks, ‘minced pieces’ and ‘burgers!’
Protein – 14.5g
Carbohydrates – 4.5g
Fat – 2g
There are dozens of varieties of beans, from black beans, to pinto beans. They make an excellent salad, and can be combined with other food such as rice to make a tasty dish high in protein and complex carbs.
The macros listed are for black beans.
Protein – 22g
Carbohydrates – 62g
Fat – 1.4g
Hempseed is an excellent source of protein, high in magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. It contains large amount of all nine essential amino acids, as well as fatty acids such as omega 3!
They are most commonly consumed in supplement form. The macro-nutritents for the Myprotein Hemp Protein are:
Protein – 50g
Carbohydrates – 26g
Fat – 12g
The macro-nutrients for peanuts are as follows:
Protein – 26g
Carbohydrates – 49g
Fat – 16g
Chickpeas are highly versatile legumes, packing essential amino acids with a high protein content.
They are also used to make hummus, which is a great topping/dip for any snack!
Protein – 19g
Carbohydrates – 61g
Fat – 6g
9. Green Peas
Great tasting, one of your fruit and veg additions and low in calories!
They don’t have as much protein as some of the other items on the list, but for a vegetable, they have excellent macro-nutrient ratios:
Protein – 1.8g
Carbohydrates – 7g
Fat – 1.2g
10. Vegetarian/Vegan Supplements
Many of the protein sources listed here can be bought in supplement form, soy, hemp, pea protein etc. These offer higher a protein content than the raw forms, and are quick, easy and convenient to consume.
We also offer a Vegan Blend, of soy, hemp and pea protein, which will really help you reach your daily protein goals. The macro-nutrients are as follows.
Protein – 82g
Carbohydrates – 4.7g
Fat – 5.5g
BONUS: Check out our Vegan and Vegetarian recipes for extra ideas… Enjoy!
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.