nourishing your body & soul

The Only Plant-Protein Chart You’ll Ever Need

plant proteins

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, inevitably you’ll get the question, “where do you get your protein?!”.

First, let’s talk about how much protein we actually need on a daily basis. I bet it’s a lot less than you think.

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for adult men and women is 0.8 grams of protein for every 2 pounds of body weight. On average, that’s about 46 g of protein per day for women and 56 g for men.

However, these numbers are really geared towards people who are fairly sedentary. For those of us who exercise moderately, we’ll only need to add a few more grams of protein than government recommendation. But if you’re a serious athlete who is trying to build muscle, tone, and/or lose weight, you will need to at least double the RDA depending how intense your training. On average, serious athletes should have about 1 g of protein per pound of their weight. But please consult with your doctor, athletic trainer, and/or nutritionist to find out what your unique protein requirements are to ensure you’re getting enough.

Growing kids and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding also have higher protein requirements. Pregnant women need around 75 to 100 g of protein a day and growing kids require about half their body weight in grams.

So now that we have the daily requirements all sorted out, let’s talk getting protein from plant-based sources. I thought the easiest way to illustrate how a vegan or vegetarian gets their protein needs met was to lay out an average day of meals for me.

Breakfast: Oatmeal made with almond milk, sunflower butter, gojis, mulberries, and carrots + spices then topped with blueberries & walnuts and a sprinkle of chia seeds = 13 g protein

Lunch: Mixed greens salad topped with beans, sunflower seeds, avocado and lots of veggies = 20 g protein

Snack: 1/4 cup raw almonds = 7 g protein

Dinner: 1 cup lentils with kale, broccoli, and carrots topped with parsley-tahini sauce = 30 g protein

That comes to a total of 70 g protein for the day without even trying very hard! Of course you can supplement with protein powders, add in some unprocessed soy products or on a cheat day have a Field Roast Vegan Sausage which contains 25 g of protein in 1 link! The protein is derived from vital wheat gluten, which is not for anyone with gluten sensitivities but of all the fake meat products out there Field Roast is my favorite. While it does contain gluten, none of their “meats” contain any kind of crazy additives and preservatives.

For the rest of the vegetarians and vegans out there, take a look at the chart below, add up your average meal and let me know how your protein intake is going!

Type Serving
Size
Protein
Tempeh Soy 8 oz. 18 g
Sprouted Tofu Soy 6 oz. 20 g
Lentils, cooked Pulse 1 cup 18 g
Mung Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 14 g
Adzuki Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 17 g
Garbanzo Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 14 g
Black Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 15 g
Black Eyed Peas, cooked Beans 1 cup 14 g
Kidney Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 15 g
Pinto Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 15 g
Cannelini Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 17 g
White Northern Beans, cooked Beans 1 cup 15 g
Brown Rice, cooked Grains 1 cup 5 g
Quinoa, cooked Grains 1 cup 8 g
Amaranth, cooked Grains 1 cup 7 g
Lima Beans, cooked Vegetables 1 cup 15 g
Green Peas, cooked Vegetables 1 cup 9 g
Kale, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 2.5 g
Spinach, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 5 g
Chard, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 3.3 g
Mustard Greens, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 3.6 g
Collard Greens, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 5 g
Dandelion Greens Vegetables 1 cup 2.1 g
Broccoli, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 2.6 g
Brussel Sprouts, steamed Vegetables 1 cup 4 g
Almonds Nuts 1/4 cup 7 g
Walnuts Nuts 1/4 cup 4.5 g
Cashews Nuts 1/4 cup 4 g
Pistachios Nuts 1/4 cup 6 g
Pine Nuts Nuts 1/4 cup 4 g
Pecans Nuts 1/4 cup 2 g
Brazil Nuts Nuts 1/4 cup 5 g
Hazelnuts Nuts 1/4 cup 5 g
Sesame Seeds Seeds 1/4 cup 7 g
Sunflower Seeds Seeds 1/4 cup 8 g
Pumpkin Seeds Seeds 1/4 cup 7 g
Hemp Seeds Seeds 3 T 11 g
Flax Seeds Seeds 2 T 3.5 g
Chia Seeds Seeds 2 T 6 g

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