Vegetable Proteins | The best sources of vegetable proteins Blog about Fitness, Nutrition, Health, and Sport | HSN Blog
Home / Nutrition / Proteins / Vegetable Proteins – Discover the best sources of vegetable protein as an alternative
Vegetable Proteins – Discover the best sources of vegetable protein as an alternative

Vegetable Proteins – Discover the best sources of vegetable protein as an alternative

Vegetable proteins are those with a raw material that is exclusively related to a non-animal source. As such, proteins are the macronutrient in charge of performing essential functions for life and the will work like animal proteins do.

Why do we need to consume proteins?

They are one of the fundamental nutrients for any biological process, which is why they are very important in any type of sport diet – They intervene in the digestive process, protect the circulatory system and they make up a fundamental part of the tissues and organs. The amount of proteins that you need will depend on your physical condition, type of training and objectives.

Even though they are mainly found in higher concentrations in foods of animal origin, there are several foods of vegetable origin that are capable of providing different types of proteins, even with some benefits that meat does not have. Even though many of these foods are consumed specially in vegan diets, they can be perfectly combined with an animal protein, which will provide variety a new benefits in fitness diets.

Tofu, soy and peas

Sources of Vegetable Proteins

Vegetable proteins chart

Advantages of Proteins of vegetable Origin

Those proteins of vegetable origin have great advantages like:

  • Low fat content.
  • Ability to contribute to reducing the cholesterol.
  • Prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Where can we find vegetable proteins?

We can find them in soy, nuts, cereals and their derivatives, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, legumes, and vegetables. If we combine them within a balanced diet, these protein foods of vegetable origin can provide an important amount of proteins for our organism.

Types of Vegetable Proteins

Depending on the type of vegetable raw material used we can find:

Which are the Vegetable Proteins?

1. Soy and Tofu

Tofu dices and soy

It is one of the richest sources of vegetable protein. It has around 37g of proteins per 100g and it has low levels of saturated fats. Tofu, tempeh, and soy hamburgers are great alternatives made of soy which have a lot of protein, apart from calcium and iron. It is also advisable to cook stews with soy, legumes, and chickpeas.

2. Quinoa

Spoonful of quinoa seeds

It is one of the best vegetable foods rich in proteins. A cup of boiled quinoa has 18g of vegetable proteins. Quinoa is regarded as a super cereal that also has vitamins, minerals, carbs, and a great amount of amino acids. It helps to reduce the cholesterol and the risk of suffering diabetes. It is also used in diets to control or lose weight and it helps to control of blood pressure.

3. Seitan

Seitan vegetable meat

Produced from wheat gluten, seitan is also called “the vegetable meat”. Apart from having a similar percentage of protein to meat (20g per 100g), it is practically cholesterol-free and it is quite versatile when it comes to cooking it. In order to enhance its benefits you can combine it with cereals to avoid possible nutritional deficiencies.

4. Legumes

Bowls with legumes

Legumes, either if they are lentils, chickpeas, beans, or soy, are one of the foods of vegetable origin with a higher protein content. If they are combined with some cereal, they provide a great quality protein that can be compared to that of meat. They are low in fat and have great amounts of carbs and fiber. A cup of lentils is capable of providing 18g of proteins.

5. Rice

Spoonful of rice

It is a basic and universal food. Its main benefits are due to the fact that it does not have cholesterol nor sodium, it is a complex carbohydrate, easy to digest, and it also has high quality protein. Brown or wild rice has around a 40% more proteins than white rice. The absence of lysine within the amino acids that are present in rice can be compensated by combining it with other foods like lentils, so that we get a complete protein.

6. Amaranth

Spirulina juice

Amaranth is considered one of the most nutritious plants in the world. This pseudocereal is one of the vegetable foods that are rich in proteins. It is rich in the lysine amino acid, which is absent from most of the cereals. Apart from its nutritional supply, it has a high content in vitamins, fiber, healthy fats, and magnesium. Its properties can be found in its leaves and seeds.

7. Spirulina Algae

Spirulina powder

Spirulina is mainly used as a nutritional supplement in fitness diets. Apart from being a safe source of nutritious elements like vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, it has proteins that are more digestible than those of animal origin. It is a source of vegetable proteins. Every spoonful of dry spirulina provides 7g of extra protein and barely any calories.

8. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds on a bowl

The Chia seeds are called a “superfood” because their composition provides an important amount of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. They have a 23% of proteins, which helps to regenerate the muscles and tissues. Moreover, these seeds are a great support during weight loss diets, growth periods, and for the treatment of several diseases.

9. Maca

Maca tubers

The maca root has approximately an 11% of proteins. Moreover, it also works as a multivitamin, it contains minerals in their natural state, and it is regarded as an energizing plant. It is used to treat diseases like tuberculosis, anemia, leukemia, due to the fact that it has essential nutrients for life.

10. Peas

Pea protein

Even though they belong to the leguminous family, peas could be included in this classification. They are an important source of remarkable nutrients in vegetable proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals; they barely provide any fat and just a few calories. The pea protein is becoming a great alternative to other sources.

If we want to get a complete protein from peas we have to combine them with some cereals, since they lack some amino acids. A dish of rice with peas can provide a protein that is as complete as the one from meat.

11. Nuts

A bowl of nuts

A bunch of nuts daily can be an important nutritional supply for our organism. The almonds provide approximately 20g of vegetable proteins per 100 g, while walnuts provide 14 g and hazelnuts 12 g. They also provide a great percentage of healthy fats, and they can be perfectly combined with legumes, whole cereals, or vegetables. Other less known nuts can also be a nice source of proteins: pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, or macadamia nuts.

On the other hand, peanuts and, therefore, peanut butter, is also a good source of proteins, even though it is advisable to consume them moderately because they provide too much fat. *Contrary to popular belief, peanuts belong to the leguminous group.

12. Hemp

It is becoming more and more common to see hemp protein shakes in many sport nutrition stores and parapharmacies. Like the rest of the proteins that have been mentioned, a 100% vegetable protein is ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets. It is not a complete protein and it does not have the appropriate proportion of essential amino acids. However, hemp is the closest to a complete source of protein when compared to other products made from seeds, except for soy.

Hemp vegetable protein

Even though some foods of vegetable origin cannot replace those of animal origin on their own, they can always be combined in order to match and even provide additional benefits. It is important to follow a balanced diet and to include different types of protein foods in order to provide a complete and quality protein

Benefits of Vegetable Proteins

Vegetable proteins provide a series of benefits such as:

  • Amino acids for the growth and regeneration of the muscles
  • They do not have cholesterol, since this is found only in foods of animal origin
  • These proteins do not have lactose, which is a type of carbohydrate derived specifically from milk, which is therefore not found in vegetable sources
  • They are easy to digest and therefore they will not cause stomach upsets

Vegetable Protein and Sportspeople

There are many sportspeople and athletes that follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, which means that they do not get their amino acids from animal sources. But despite that fact, their performance and recovery has not been compromised at all, on the contrary, in many cases it has even improved. Many of these athletes are even Olympic competitors.

When it comes to the protein demands, athletes have greater requirements than the rest of the population. The workouts are physical activities that cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which makes it necessary to supply enough material for their regeneration, which mainly consists on amino acids. Vegetable proteins tend to lack or be low in some amino acids. However, taking a daily intake from several different sources of vegetable proteins will completely solve this issue, since our bodies will ultimately have the entire spectrum of amino acids (the aminogram) with which to carry out the actions that are attributed to them. Consuming products like vegetable protein shakes will make this more simple.

Combining different vegetable protein sources is extremely simple, and by the mere fact of consuming a wide amount of proteins, like in the case of vegan and vegetarian diets, will help us obtain the correspondingly wide range of amino acids that we need.

Related Entries

Vegetable Proteins Review

Aminogram - 80%

Percentage of Proteins - 80%

Low Fats - 90%

Low in cholesterol - 98%

Mineral supply - 95%

Vitamins supply - 95%

Content in fiber - 94%

Muscle mass gain - 99%


HSN Evaluation: 4.6 /5
Content Protection by
Check Also
Soy protein scoop
Soy Protein: What is it, Benefits and Properties

Soy protein has become the competence of whey protein, which is possibly the most sold …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you like our HSNBlog?
HSN Newsletter
Then, you can imagine the offers that we have at our store.

Leave us your email and we will grant you access to the best promotions for our customers

I want to subscribe and I agree to the privacy policy