Best vegan and vegetarian protein sources

Nutritionist Karmen Matković Melki explains that proteins are involved in all biochemical processes of the cells, in building and restoring muscle tissue, hair and nail growth, skin regeneration, transfer of nutrients and oxygen. That extensive and demanding job is done by at least 10,000 proteins that are made of amino acids.

Best vegan and vegetarian protein sources

Before it was advised to, on the daily basis, eat essential amino acids in certain combinations to get all the necessary amino acids, but in recent years scientists around that thesis have disagreed. Because, although foods such as meat, fish and dairy products contain all amino acids, it does not necessarily have to be everybody’s food choice and match everybody. If we bring in a variety of nutrition into the body’s recommended daily calories, it’s almost impossible not to eat enough protein to supply the body with the necessary amino acids.

Difference between plant based and animal proteins

All organisms – bacteria, plants and animals contain proteins. Proteins other than structural function (muscles) have countless functions of vital importance to all organisms (enzymes, antibodies, ribosomes …). The only difference between proteins in different species is the ratio of the individual amino acids in the chain they form. It has been scientifically determined that the herbal diet contains all the essential amino acids, but sometimes at a slightly lower proportion compared to animal protein, which is why it is considered “incomplete”.

Best vegan and vegetarian protein sources
Protein sources

“The rich and high-quality protein content will bring us food of animal origin (milk and dairy products, eggs, fish and meat), and we also have plant choices including legumes, nuts and seeds,” adds nutritionist, adding that although food of herbal origin does not normally contain all the essential amino acids, it does not mean that it is not a valuable source of amino acids, especially for people who avoid or do not even eat food of animal origin.

Plant based protein sources


Beans (except soy) does not contain all the essential essential amino acids that the body requires, but if combined with cereals (bread or rice) then provide all the proteins that vegetarians and vegans need for the normal function of the organism. The usability of leguminous protein in the digestive system is similar to that of meat.


Buckwheat is a gluten-free pseudogulite, which, by its composition, is complete (contains all the essential amino acids that we need for normal functioning).

It’s extremely healthy. It contains magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, and plenty of fiber.

Soy and soy based products

Soy is the only bean that contains all the essential amino acids needed by the human body. That is why the soy is used as a substitute for meat or as a vegetarian meat. Tofu is also made from soy.

Pumpkin seeds

One cup of pumpkin seeds has 12g of protein and a complete amino acid profile. They are rich in zinc, magnesium and iron, and their toasting even enhances their properties. They look healthy but with high caloric value, so you do not have to overdo the quantities.

Hemp seeds

Although long ignored in diet due to botanical association with cannabis, they are inevitable addition to various shakes. Serving 30 g of these seeds your body will supply you with 9 grams of protein, or all of the essential amino acids in good ratios. In addition, they are a good ratio of omega 3- and omega 6 fatty acids (3: 1).

Plant proteins can also be found in powder form, and the best protein powder in the plant is:

  • Soy protein powder,
  • Hemp protein powder,
  • Protein powder from brown rice,
  • Pea protein powder,
  • Mixed vegetable protein powder.

From fat, with proteins are the richest vegetable fat.

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Author: Ema Brajdić, IFBB Bikini

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