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Do Vegetarians and Vegans Get Enough Protein?

Nutritional quality indices show plant-based diets are the healthiest, but do vegetarians and vegans reach the recommended daily intake of at least 42 grams of protein? In regards to other essential nutrients, how does a vegetarian or vegan diet stack up against the standard American diet?

Plant-based Sources of Protein


  • Butter beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Soy beans
  • Split peas
  • Tofu

Whole Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Seitan
  • Teff

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Brazils
  • Cashews
  • Chestnuts
  • Flax seed
  • Hazelnuts
  • Linseed
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

Leafy Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

As long as you vary your diet and include items from the list of high protein foods above on a daily basis, then you should be fine. Also, be aware that you need to supplement your diet with B12 from a fortified soy milk or another source.

Beans, grains, nuts, and seeds provide protein, fiber, essential oils, and other nutrients.
Besides supplying essential fiber, vitamins and minerals, green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of protein.

This post was researched and compiled by Michael Simms.

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