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What you need to know about protein when on a plant based or vegan diet

What you need to know about protein when on a plant based or vegan diet

The most common argument against plant-based diets is that it's hard to get enough protein, particularly if you have a highly active lifestyle.
While meat certainly accounts for the highest volumes of protein, plant-based food isn’t nearly as devout of the macronutrient as people think. A plant-based diet offers enough protein for people of all lifestyles. Food items like legumes, peas, pulses, nuts, etc are an excellent source of protein as well as aid in strengthening the immune system.
The important consideration with a plant diet is likely not whether you're getting enough protein, it's actually whether you're eating enough complete protein, which means the protein contains the essential amino acids. 

Good sources of protein for a vegan diet

The average recommended daily intake of protein is 46 grams per day for women and 64 grams per day for men. It is more than this for someone with an active lifestyle. 
Below are some of the most common vegan protein sources:


Broccoli contains 2 grams of protein per cooked cup. Broccoli also consists of important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and B vitamins. In addition to all of these, a cup of cooked broccoli is just 20 calories.

Broccoli - a good source of protein for a vegan diet


Buckwheat is one of the most important protein sources for someone following a plant-based diet. Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed that is a complete protein (more on that later) and contains nutrients like manganese and fibre. Buckwheat is also easy to integrate into daily meals by replacing rice and other cereals, or by using buckwheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. One cup of cooked buckwheat contains around 5.7 g of protein.

buckwheat is a good source of protein for a vegan diet 


Not only are legumes one of the top substitutes for meat, but they’re also packed with protein. A cup of cooked pinto beans or black beans consists of around 15 grams of protein. As a comparison, the amount of protein you can expect from one serving (85g) of beef is 22g.
Green peas are another good source of protein (8g per cup), as are soybeans (so much so that soy gets its own section below).

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is high in protein and it's a complete protein, meaning it has all the essential acids. Nutritional yeast is a species of yeast called known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It's used for its flavouring and nutritional benefits. It has a nutty, cheesy flavour, which is why it's a popular addition to vegan meals.
One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains contains 2 grams of protein.


Nuts like cashews, almonds and pistachios are a stellar combination of protein, fibre and good fat. This combination provides satiety, long-lasting energy as well as blood sugar regulation. These nuts are a great option for a snack as well as they’re versatile that can be included as toppings. Nut butter, including peanut butter and almond butter, provide a great source of protein.

nuts are a good source of protein for a vegan diet



Similar to buckwheat, Quinoa is also a complete protein. ½ cup of cooked quinoa consists of around eight grams of protein. Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal with considerable nutritional and dietary benefits, which you can learn more about in our blog 'What makes Quinoa a Quin”woah”?'



Seeds are tiny but they pack a punch. Various seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are loaded with energy and protein. A single ounce of chia seeds consists of around 5 grams of protein and also contain essential minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

seeds are a good source of protein for vegan diet


Soy is one of the best sources of plant protein for vegans and vegetarians. From edamame to tofu and other soy-based products, it is a good protein source. A single ounce of tofu has around 6 grams of protein and is a highly versatile food source. There is around 8 grams of protein in a cup of soy milk.


Is Protein enough?

The reason why plant-based diets get a bad rep despite having such excellent protein sources is that most plant-based proteins arent complete proteins. Protein is made up of 20 amino acids, some of which our body can make and others we have to obtain from food. There are nine of them that humans can't produce themselves so must consume. These nine amino acids are essential for the body to function. Meat and dairy contain complete protein while most plant-based protein miss on one or more amino acids. The exceptions are buckwheat, quinoa and other food items that are known ascomplete proteinsources.

The key to having a protein-rich diet is more than consuming a high amount of protein, it is also about ensuring that youre consuming complete protein, containing the essential amino acids.

You can learn more about the essential amino acids in our blog 'How to get Essential Amino Acids on a Plant Based Diet'

You'll be pleased to know that the ingredients in our patties have been carefully selected to contain all essential amino acids, making Amino Mantra patties a complete protein, nutrient-rich food.