Plant Protein: Your Guide To 24 Protein-Packed Plant Foods!


protein-packed plant foods
When you think of protein, the first thing that comes to mind is probably meat, eggs and cheese, right? Did you know, though, that every whole food contains protein? In fact, there are many protein-packed plant foods (some higher than others) that contain a variety of amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein that help build healthy muscle.

Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables will ensure you get the appropriate amino acids that are much easier for the body to use than consuming protein in the form of animal products.

Plant-based foods are high in fibre too, and devoid of cholesterol. They also have an amazing alkalizing effect on the body compared to acid-forming foods like meat, eggs and dairy. An acidic body can lead to a variety of diseases and illness, clogging up your lymphatic and digestive system, and leaving you feeling tired and moody.

Vegan Meat Substitutions

Every food that you eat contains amino acids (some lower than others, but nonetheless, contain these wonderful protein building blocks). Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and can take the food you eat, break it apart, and absorb the nutrients it needs from that food item. When we digest foods, the amino acid chains are broken down and made ready for our bodies to use. Eating wide varieties of plant foods will ensure that you get a wide variety of different amino acids.

For example, lets take the info-graphic below:
You could eat 100 calories of broccoli (4 cups) and receive over 11.2 grams of protein OR,
You could eat 100 calories of steak (a small fist-full) and receive 5.4 grams of protein.

Although you may need to eat a little bit more broccoli to make up for the density of calories in steak, it really isn’t that hard to get enough protein eating a vegan diet. I can easily mow through 4 cups of broccoli in a sitting, plus a meal on top of that. 

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In fact, there are many vegan bodybuilders, ultra-marathon runners and award winning athletes out there, which proves that eating a plant-based diet can easily supply you with more than adequate amounts of protein.

All of your protein needs can be met with a plant-based diet. Below is a list (including but not limited to) which can act as a quick reference for getting you started on consuming amino-acid rich plant foods:

1. Chia seeds (1/4 cup = 12 grams)

2. Hemp seeds (1/4 cup = 10 grams)

3. Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup = 8 grams)

4. Spirulina (1 oz. = 16 grams)

5. Quinoa (1/4 cup dry = 6 grams)

6. Sesame seeds (1/4 cup = 7 grams)

7. Pumpkin seeds (1 oz. = 9.35 grams)

8. Mushrooms (1 cup – 5 grams)

9. Barley grass (1/2 cup, juiced = 12.6 grams)

10. Watercress (1 cup = 3 grams)

11. Peas (1 cup = 8 grams)

12. Asparagus (8 spears = 3.08 grams)

13. Romaine (1 cup = 1 gram)

14. Almonds (1 oz. = 6.03 grams)

15. Cauliflower (1 cup = 2.28 grams)

16. Maca root (1 tbsp = 3 grams)

17. Broccoli (1 cup = 5.7 grams)

18. Kale (1 cup = 2.5 grams)

19. Sprouts (1 cup = 5 grams)

20. Avocado (1 avocado = 4 grams)

21. Brazil nuts (1 cup, shelled = 20 grams)

22. Figs (1 cup = 2.5 grams)

23. Goji berries (1 cup = 10 grams)

24. Spinach (1 cup = 5.35 grams)


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Click the above image to get a full-sized pdf version you can print out and bring with you wherever you go!
Carly Fraser has her BSc (Hons.) Degree in Neuroscience, and is the owner and founder at Live Love Fruit. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with a determined life mission to help inspire and motivate individuals to critically think about what they put in their bodies and to find balance through nutrition and lifestyle. She has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals to re-connect with their bodies and learn self-love through proper eating habits and natural living. She loves to do yoga, dance, and immerse herself in nature.


  1. I had gastric bypass surgery 11 years ago and have found that I need a high protein diet. I am afraid that if I don’t eat the protein found in meats, eggs and dairy, I will have a sugar crash. It has happened many times so I’m not sure how to go about changing. I would like to change because it is healthier. The items on the list seem difficult to make into a meal without adding other things like fruits and veggies that have sugar. Is there any way I can successfully change my diet? Thanks!

  2. […] First, eat more vegetables.   Your plate should be mostly greens and just enough meat.  Don’t go crazy with the bacon, I know it’s delicious, but you have to be diligent about your healthy fat intake.  When purchasing meat, make sure it is from a reputable grass-fed and organic source.  And believe it or not, there are many vegetables that are high in protein. Here’s a helpful guide to proteins in plant foods by Live Love Fruit. […]

  3. […] One thing you should be safe with is protein. Your body will continue to need it, but it can be found in plenty non-animal foods. Remember that all protein is made up of amino acids, and amino acids are found abundantly in all fruit and vegetables. Good choices are dark leafy greens, sea vegetables, quinoa, beans, berries, and more! […]

  4. Amino acids that make up the many protein chains are building blocks for all organic based materials …but strangely some people do believe meat and dairy products are the only source for protein.
    Good post, hopefully it will help to re-educate some.

  5. You might also want to supplement with good quality Moringa Oleifera. Moringa provides a rich and rare combination of nutrients, amino acids, antioxidants, antiaging and anti-inflammatory properties..