Best 5 protein sources for vegetarians

By Foodism Team


Why should non-vegetarians have all the fun? When it comes to nutrition, vegetarians often get the stick and not the carrot. But that’s not the case anymore! With food tech expanding our culinary horizons, there are so many more options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at the topic.

Lack of sufficient protein is a common concern in vegetarian and vegan diets. They may not have access to meat, fish or poultry but food evolution has not brought them similar foods with matching nutritional value. Many experts agree that a well-planned meatless diet can provide all the nutrients you need, including protein.

Today we will look at 5 such foods which you can include in your vegetarian or vegan diet that will satisfy your body’s protein requirements. Let’s begin-

1- Tofu and edamame

Remember soybeans? These delish foods are all derivatives of soybeans. They are very popular in East Asian cuisine and have made their way to India as well. Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide your body with all the essential amino acids it needs.

Another common derivative you will find in India is nutrella, which people use to make pulav, sabzi etc.

All of these can be inculcated in your daily diet!

2- Beans

When we talk about beans, we mean rajma- everyone’s favourite!

Kidney, black, white beans or lobia are extremely important staple foods across cultures and contain high amounts of protein per serving. They contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (170 grams). They’re also excellent sources of complex carbs, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus etc.

Another good source of protein is chickpeas or kala chana. They also have potassium and manganese and on top of that- they are super delicious! 

3-Nutritional yeast

We know it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but nutritional yeast has been used to add texture to Michelin star dishes for a long time! 

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, which is sold commercially as a yellow powder or flakes. The flavour is a little cheesy and rich which makes it great for pasta, mashed potatoes etc. 

The nutritional value of nutritional yeast is outstanding! Just half an ounce (16 grams) of this complete source of plant protein provides 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fibre!

4- Green peas

Yes, we are talking about hari matar,  they have high protein levels! Green peas contain nearly 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (160 grams), which is slightly more than a cup (237 mL) of dairy milk. The only tricky part would be how to include this in your diet. Visit our recipe blog at to get dishes loaded on green peas!

Fun fact- one serving of green peas covers 25% of your daily fiber needs!

5- Chia seeds

Chia seeds are very in right now. If you are on social media, chances are you have seen multiple recipes of chia seeds in smoothies, overnight oats, breakfast cereal even desserts! Chia seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala, but thanks to globalization you can find them anywhere!

About 30 grams of chia seeds contain 5 g of protein and 10g of fibre, which is very impressive!

These little seeds also contain high levels of iron, calcium, selenium, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. So overall a great addition to your vegetarian or vegan diet.

There are many more foods that are high in protein and plant-friendly such as hemp seeds, amaranth, quinoa etc. The key here is to keep switching between your protein sources in order to maintain a healthy, balanced and not-boring diet! 

Explore delicious vegetarian-friendly recipes made from the mentioned protein sources and more on our food recipe blog at!