When we think of protein, we often think of meat. But did you know that there are many sources of good protein in the plant world as well? Whether you’re a vegetarian or if you’re just looking for variety in your protein foods, this list will help. Read on.


Eggs and meat are a great source of protein. But what about those of us who are vegetarians? Are we destined forever to sprinkle our greens with synthetic protein powders? Must we always gulp down double-strength protein shakes twice a day to get our daily protein fix? Will we always play second fiddle to our meat-eating fellow humans?

Thankfully, the answer is no. There are many vegetarian alternatives that are high enough in protein to give you your daily requirement. Here is the list.

1. Soybeans

Cooked soybeans have about 28 grams of protein per cup, which is roughly the same amount of protein that can be found in 150 grams of chicken. More importantly, soybeans are one of two foods – the other being quinoa – which contain complete plant proteins. A serving of soybean also contains 17 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of fat. They’re rich in fibre, which promotes digestive health.

2. Edamame

Edamames are immature soybeans that are boiled or steamed in the pod. Don’t let their small size fool you, because they’re packed with protein richness at 22 grams per cup. These are generally served alongside sushi at many Japanese restaurants, so you may have seen them before. For one meal of the day, pair a cup of edamames with your main protein dish, and you will be able to cover most of the recommended 30 grams of daily protein that your body needs.

3. Lentils

Whether they’re string beans or chickpeas, the beans family is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Among legumes, lentils are the winners because they contain about 18 grams of protein per cup when cooked, and at 230 calories per serving, they’re a great low-calorie protein food that will serve all weight watchers out there. Lentils are a great source of dietary fibre as well.

4. Broccoli

Your mother was right. Broccoli is good for you. Often thought of as a mere side dish that can accompany a plate of beef or chicken, one cup of broccoli contains about 2.6 grams of protein. Besides, unlike your cup of animal-based protein, a cup of broccoli contains your full daily requirement of vitamins C and K.

5. Peas

Peas contain just less than 9 grams of protein per cup. They are also a good source of vitamin A, C, thiamine, phosphorous and iron. In addition, peas contain a generous helping of vitamin B which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. The great thing about peas is the versatility they offer: you can toss them into a salad, serve them alongside a plate of pasta, add them to your biryani rice, or in any way you prefer.

6. Asparagus

At 2.4 grams of protein per cup, Asparagus is considered protein-rich in the plant world. This is besides its ability to being a diuretic, which will give you a slimmer body. It is also the number one source of vitamin K.

Brinda Rajkumar Shah

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