Top 75 Sources of Plant-Powered Protein

One of the most commonly asked questions you'll get if you're considering moving towards a more plant-based diet is, where are you going to get your protein? Read this list, and you'll find you have no end to your plant-based protein sources!
Sweet Chilli Tempeh recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics
Prev Next
Gorilla cartoon protein

One of the most commonly asked questions you’ll get if you’re considering moving towards a more plant-based diet is, where are you going to get your protein? Simple answer is – everywhere!

Protein is in fact not a ‘food’ in itself as many people think (ie chicken breast = protein = not entirely true), but a macronutrient found in almost every food available. Most animal-derived foods in fact only contain between 15-25% protein, a figure which you’ll see below gets blown out of the park by some of our tastier plant friends. Furthermore, animal-based proteins, unfortunately, come laden with saturated fat, hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, ethical dilemmas, and global warming.

So this week as a handy resource for you, I’ve been busily putting together a comprehensive list of the top plant-powered protein sources I could find. (Because if you know me, you’ll know that comprehensive is how I roll). I’ve chosen to compare each food’s protein content per 100g to give a uniform comparison, as many other tables and infographics available use random serving sizes which can vary greatly between each individual. Using a per 100g approach means you’ll get a super clear idea straight away as to what’s high in protein, and what’s not.

Note that for things like protein powders and greens powders you’re likely to only be using 1-2 tablespoons,  therefore a typical serving might provide you with around 20g protein. In contrast a typical serving of our Black Bean Pasta might be more like 50g for a female (75-100g for a male), and therefore also provide you with around 25g protein. I’ve kept all figures in their raw states for an equal comparison, so if you’re cooking chickpeas for example, remember that they’ll double in size and weight (due to the absorbed water) so the protein content per 100g will halve.

I’ve linked up each food so you can click through to read more about it and order it from our store. While I was compiling this I realised how many incredible high protein plant foods we in fact already stock! Best thing about it is most of these are complete whole food sources, apart from the two protein powders at the top. Which means they’ll each have all the necessary phytonutrients to ensure maximum absorption of their protein contents. Don’t be worried about ‘incomplete proteins’ either – as long as you’re eating a range of these foods over the course of a day or week, your body (smart thing that it is) will group together all the relevant amino acids it needs and turn them into a protein party.

Next week we’ll go into a bit more depth on some of these key food groups and how you can incorporate them into your diet. Meanwhile, if you have any burning questions about plant-based protein, let me know over on our Facebook page and i’ll look to answer those next week.

Remember also to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it when you need!

Top Plant-Based Protein Foods
 FoodProtein (per 100g raw)
1Pea Protein (Clean Lean)86g
2Brown Rice Protein (Sun Warrior)81g
4Sacha Inchi Powder63
5AFA Blue-Green Algae62g
7Nutritional Yeast52g
8Mung Bean & Black Bean Pasta (Explore Asian)45g
9Soy Bean Pasta (Explore Asian)42g
10Super Greens (Matakana Superfoods)38g
11Adzuki Bean Pasta (Explore Asian)36g
12Soy Beans36g
13Hemp Seeds (hulled)*33g
14Pumpkin Seeds30g
20Peanuts (& Peanut Butter)25g
21Good Green Stuff24g
22Bee Pollen**24g
23Sunflower Seeds23g
24Red Kidney Beans21g
25Black Beans21g
27Adzuki Beans20g
28Black Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)20g
 [If we were including meat, it would fall about here] 
30Tempeh (certified organic non-GMO, I use the NZ-made TONZU brand)17g
32White Tahini (Sesame Seed Butter)19g
33Flax Seeds/Linseed18g
34Sesame Seeds18g
36Cashews (& Cashew Butter)18g
37Choc La Cure High Protein Chocolate Drink18g
39Canihua (Baby Quinoa)16g
40Vegetarian Mince (organic non-GMO, I use TONZU)15g
42Chia Seeds15g
45Wild Rice15g
46Vege Sausages (organic non-GMO, TONZU)14g
48Brazil Nuts14g
49Pine Nuts14g
50Sea Spaghetti14g
53Spelt Pasta13g
54Tofu (organic non-GMO, TONZU)13g
56Goji Berries12g
58Mesquite Powder11g
62Brown Rice8g
63Psyllium Husk8g
65Nori Seaweed6g
67Soy Milk4g
71Collard Greens3g
73Silverbeet/Swiss Chard2g

*Hemp seeds are unfortunately not available for human consumption in NZ and Australia. Rest of the world, you go for it!
**Bee pollen is not strictly plant-based, however if sustainably harvested can assist with offsetting our rapidly declining global bee population. This is a controversial area which we’ll no doubt discuss in another article soon.

Sources: Be Good Organics (individual product nutritional information), USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

Spinach Crepes recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics
Sweet Chilli Tempeh recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics