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It’s true, you don’t need meat or dairy to get your daily protein requirements. Here 9 common sources of protein that are delicious and good for you!

9 Sources Of Protein Other Than Meat Or Dairy

With more and more studies about how eating a plant-based diet helps your health, the environment and animal welfare, it seems like a no brainer to switch from eating animals to strictly plant based.

First is changing your diet.

The BIG question that is asked by so many… Where do you get your protein?

Contrary to marketing schemes from meat companies, the dark ages, and what grannie says..

You can in fact get all the protein you need to live a healthy life from grains, vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

Here are just 9 of the common protein packed yummies.

1. Black Beans (15 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Black beans contain iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc. All which help maintaining bone structure.

They are high in fiber which is good for the digestive system.

Also, high in antioxidants, black beans may help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

2. Chickpeas (14.5 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Chickpeas are a complex carb and can help control blood sugar levels.

Due to the high fiber content they can help with the digestive system and weight loss.

Chickpeas are also a great source of vitamins and minerals. High levels of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus and B vitamins.

3. Green Peas (8 grams of protein per 1 cup)


A cup of cooked or raw peas provides about one-third of the thiamine you need each day and 20-25% of your recommended daily intake for riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and folate.

One cup of boiled green peas also has 46% of your RDA of vitamin K-1 (known for maintaining bone health and helping blood to clot to prevent bleeding).

Peas are high in fiber and low in fat and contain no cholesterol.

4. Tofu (10 grams of protein per 1/2 cup)

Tofu contains all eight essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. Also, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1.

Tofu is also believed to also lower bad cholesterol.

*We always recommend buying organic tofu, as most soybean crops in the US are genetically-modified. Also, there is a higher amounts of isoflavones in soy products, which was thought to be linked to breast cancer. However, a recent study from the American Cancer Institute shows that that scientists now know that lab animals metabolize soy isoflavones different and are more likely to develop cancer than humans.

Therefore, they report that 3 serving daily of soy products is safe.

5. Lentils (9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup)

Lentils are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, folate and iron.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods like lentils can lessen your risk of many serious medical problems.

6. Broccoli (4 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.

It also has anti-inflammorty properties that have been linked to prevent cancer.

7. Chia Seeds (5 grams of protein per 2 TBSP)

Chia seeds are a super concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

8. Spinach (5 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Spinach is considered a SUPER food. It’s packed with nutrients.

It has high amounts of niacin, zinc, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

9. Quinoa (8 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Quinoa is gluten-free, and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.

It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and antioxidants.

Ok.. there are just so many ways to get protein. Here are 2 extras that I love:

10. Oatmeal (6 grams of protein per 1 cup)

Nutrient-rich oatmeal contains thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

Oats are a good source of fiber and keep you feeling full.

It’s also a quick and easy way breakfast.

11. Bread (5 grams of protein per slice)

Not all bread is good for you, but some can surprisingly can be healthy if it contains whole grains and seeds.

My favorite bread is Dave’s Killer Bread. It is high in fiber and omega-3s.

How Much Protein Do You NEED A Day:

For most Women: 46 grams & For most Men: 56 grams

If you are working out or are very physical, your body needs more protein to rebuild those muscles. Protein power is all too common. Yet, most protein shakes contain whey protein. And whey protein is made from cow’s milk.

There are many plant-based protein powers out there. My favorite protein power after a run or workout is Vega.

Vega Protein Power:

25g plant-based protein per serving

Chocolate flavor is my favorite!

The protein blend is made from peas, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin seed proteins.

Why Meat Isn’t Good For You:

Animal meats are typically high in saturated fat (bad fat) and cholesterol.

Not only that, many animals endure great stress and suffering. By consuming meat, you are also consuming that stress.

Some of the common health diseases of indulgence in meat is high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Hang Ups:

Changing habits that have been engrained in us since childhood can be challenging.

It may seem like a lot of extra work to learn new dishes every day. But, don’t get down. Have fun with this! We suggest trying at least one meal a week as meatless. Lots of people do #meatlessmondays to start.

Join The Conversation

Do you have a favorite plant-based protein? Let us know in the comments below.