5 High-Protein Vegetarian Foods for Muscle Gain
June 23, 2021
Many people choose vegetarian diets because they can benefit their health and align with their values. For example, a vegetarian diet is better for the environment and can help reduces animal cruelty.
Unfortunately, people shy away from vegetarian diets because they believe muscle gain will become a challenge. This misconception relies on the idea that vegetarian diets fall short on protein.
In this article, we will talk about five vegetarian foods rich in protein that can help you build muscle:
1. Soy Foods
Unlike most plant-based proteins, soy is a complete protein. It contains all the necessary amino acids for our metabolism to carry out protein synthesis.
Soy comes in a variety of forms. Consuming 100 grams of the following soy products can provide you with a good amount of protein:
- Edamame – 11 grams
- Tofu – 8 grams
- Tempeh – 19 grams
- Soy milk – 3.3 grams
- Soy protein powder – 90 grams
The versatility of soy products enables vegetarians to get protein for a variety of meals. Some examples are stir fry tofu, soy milk smoothies, and roasted edamame.
Spirulina is an alga with outstanding nutritional properties. For instance, this alga contains all the essential amino acids necessary to enable our cells to make proteins. In fact, one tablespoon or 7 grams of spirulina powder provides us with 4 grams of protein.
Other nutrients are also found in spirulina:
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B3
- Antioxidants (phycocyanin)
Without a doubt, spirulina can provide several benefits to those who are in a fitness program. Likewise, spirulina can also be helpful to increase stamina and endurance.
To include spirulina powder in your diet, you can either mix it with water and drink it or add it to a smoothie.
3. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an excellent food that provides us with a fair amount of protein. In fact, every 100 grams of peanut butter offers 25 grams of protein.
Nevertheless, it is crucial not to rely on peanut butter as your main protein source because peanut butter is not a complete protein – it has low amounts of the amino acid methionine.
Another benefit of consuming peanut butter is that, due to its high carb content, it is an excellent energy source.
Legumes are affordable and highly nutritious foods that are rich in protein. Here are a few examples of how much protein 100 g of legumes can offer:
- Kidney beans – 24 g
- Split Peas – 25 g
- Mung beans – 24 g
- Lentils – 9 g
- Chickpeas – 19 g
- Black Beans – 7.62 g
Besides protein, legumes also contain iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
There are many tasty ways to incorporate legumes into your diet. For example, we recommend trying meals like hummus, bean burgers, and lentil curry.
5. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a type of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast species. This food is popular among vegetarians since it provides a cheesy flavor to meals.
For one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, we get 2 grams of protein. Depending on your dietary needs, you can choose from two types of nutritional yeast:
- Unfortified: Exclusively contains the nutrients naturally found in nutritional yeast, such as iron, vitamins B1, and B2.
- Fortified: Fortified nutritional yeast provides higher amounts of iron, vitamins B1, and B2 than unfortified nutritional yeast. Also, fortified nutritional yeast contains magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper.
At Z.E.N. Foods, we can help you achieve your fitness goals through healthy and tasty meal plans. All your meals are conveniently delivered to your door daily. Call (310) 205-9368 for more information. We are here to help!