Contrary to popular belief, not only is it possible to optimize your health with a plant-based diet, when done right, it actually delivers excellent results.

7 Top Plant-Based Foods High in Protein

Despite the deeply ingrained but misleading conventional wisdom, the truth is that you can survive without meat, eggs, and dairy. Believe it or not, you can thrive, and not suffer from a protein deficiency.

Because no matter how active your lifestyle is, a whole plant-based diet provides more than enough protein to meet the body’s needs without all of the artery-clogging saturated fats that dominate a typical diet.

Many renowned athletes, vegan endurance athletes, bet a lot on their body. And yet a plant-based diet is fed without any negative impact on building or regaining lean muscle mass.

Quinoa: 11g Protein / cup

Quinoa is a high protein alternative to rice or pasta, served alone or on top of vegetables and greens. It provides a good base for a vegan or vegetarian burger and is also a great cereal breakfast when served cold with almonds or coconut milk and berries.

Lentils: 17.9 g protein / cup

Lentils are a rich source of protein, with approximately 18g in each cooked cup. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 0.8 g of protein for every kilo of body weight, so this amount represents about 28 percent of the recommended daily intake for a 180-pound (81.8 kg) person. You can convert your weight to kg by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.2.


Lentils do not provide a complete protein, as they do not contain all the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce, but you can combine lentils with rice or lentil sprouts for a complete protein.

Tempeh: 24 g of protein / 4 ounces

A food made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is an alternative to unfermented tofu. It is packed with healthy proteins. It’s like a great veggie burger and also works as a tasty alternative to meat like pasta dumplings or with brown rice and veggies.

Seitan: 24g protein / 4 oz.

An excellent substitute for meat, fish, and soy products, one serving contains approximately 25% of the RDA for protein. But not for those with gluten sensitivity, as it is made from wheat gluten.

Beans (Black, Red, Mung, Pinto) 12-15g protein / cup

They are very good in a vegetarian burrito, in sauces and soups, in salads or with rice with vegetables, beans of all kinds should be a staple of your daily diet.

Spirulina: 6 g of protein / 10 grams

It is a blue-green algae, spirulina is a highly bioavailable complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids. At 60% protein (the highest of all natural foods), it’s a plant-based protein powerhouse that makes a healthy mix in your daily shakes.

Hemp seeds: 16 g of protein / 3 tablespoons

With a perfect serving of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, hemp seeds are another bioavailable complete protein only comparable to spirulina. A great and simple addition to a multitude of dishes, from breakfast cereals, burgers, salads and smoothies, to vegetables and rice.

Other excellent sources of plant protein are:

  • Kale 4.5%.
  • Mushrooms 3.8%.
  • Broccoli 4.5%.
  • Parsley 3.4%.
  • Green bell pepper 2.2%.
  • Purple cabbage 2.2%.
  • Cauliflower 4.0%.
  • Cucumber 2.4%.
  • Spinach 4.9%.
  • Tomatoes 1.8%.


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