In this article our Hillcrest Kwikspar Natural Team explore the sources of plant based proteins needed to help protect against protein Deficiency. Our Spar Natural Section in store has a ever increasing range of products that help make it easier for our community to make healthier choices.

A higher-protein diet can promote the immune system, skin, hair, heart, brain and muscle strength. The research shows that an average adult needs 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight per day.

The general concern about vegan diets is that they might lack adequate protein.

Studies  have stated that a vegan diet could provide all the nutritional requirements of all people even children, pregnant, or breast-feeding women to satisfy the body’s needs without all the artery-clogging saturated fats that dominate the typical diet1,2,3,4.

But there is moreRecent studies have shown that plant-based can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and reduce inflammation5. Not to mention that our immune system requires protein to help make antibodies that are required to help fight infections and inflammation.

Some plant-based foods can be excellent sources of protein and other nutrients, often with fewer calories than animal products, promoting a healthier body weight.

However, getting enough protein and essential vitamins and minerals from plant-based food can be a little tricky for vegetarians.

Some foods such as soybeans and quinoa are complete proteins, meaning that they contain all nine vital amino acids that the human body requires. Other sources might lack some of these amino acids, so the key to getting the right amount of protein is combining different plant-based proteins to get all type of amino acids.

  1. Seitan

Also called wheat gluten or wheat meat, Seitan is a superb substitute for beef, poultry, soy and fish products; a single serving supplies about 25 percent of your RDA of protein6.

Seitan is a favorite protein source for all vegetarians and vegans.

It is made from gluten, the most important protein in wheat. Unlike a lot of soy-based products mock kinds of meat, it looks like the meat just when cooked. You’ll be able to discover this meat substitute from the refrigerated section of most health food stores or create your own variant with vital wheat gluten.Seitan may be pan-fried, sautéed, and even broiled and is easily integrated into many different recipes.However, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should not eat seitan.



Lentils are an excellent source of protein to use in your dinner or lunch meals. Each cooked cup (240ml) of lentils provides 18 gram of protein.

Lentils also contain great quantities of slowly digested carbs which one cup supplies roughly 50 percent of your recommended daily fiber consumption.

Additionally, the kind of fiber found in legumes has been demonstrated to nourish the good bacteria in your colon, so encouraging a healthy gut. Lentils can also reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer7.

Plus, lentils are full of folate, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and antioxidants and additional health-promoting plant chemicals8.

  1. Soybean-based Foods: Tempeh, Tofu, Edamame

Soy products are whole foods, including tofu, edamame, soy milk, and tempeh and are one of the best sources of protein in a vegan diet.  Like animal sources of protein, whole soy is a complete source of the nine essential amino acids your body needs.

The protein quantity differs with how the soy is made:

  • Firm tofu provides about 10 g of protein per ½ cup
  • Edamame beans or immature soybeans give 8.5 g of protein per ½ cup
  • Tempeh includes about 15 g of protein per ½ cup


As a soybean-based food, tempeh is a healthy protein-packed alternative to its non-fermented corresponding tofu. You can use it for a great veggie burger and doubles as a tasty meat alternative to meatballs in pasta, or over brown rice and vegetables.Tempeh is produced by cooking and slightly fermenting ripe soybeans before compressing them into a patty.


Tofu is produced from bean curds in a method similar to making cheese.When choosing tofu, taking note of the form you’re using. If you want to blend it into a smoothie or use it as a base for making chocolate mousse, soft tofu is a better choice. Firm tofu is used for stir-frying or baking — this type is best for if you want a more meaty texture. Many people aren’t fans of tofu simply because they don’t realize how versatile the ingredient is!Tofu doesn’t have noticeable taste, but quickly absorbs the flavor of the ingredients it’s prepared with. Comparatively, tempeh has a characteristic nutty flavor. Tempeh contains probiotics, B vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus.


People can try tofu, as a meat alternate, in a favorite sandwich or soup, kung pao chicken and sweet and sour chicken.These soy products also contain calcium and iron, which makes them healthful alternates for dairy products.




Edamame is immature soybeans which are also rich in folate, vitamin K, and fiber.

7.Soy milk

Not only does it provide 7 grams of protein per cup (240 ml), but it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin D9.However, bear in mind that soy milk and soybeans do not naturally comprise vitamin B12, so choosing a fortified variety is recommended.Soy milk is found in most grocery stores and is incredibly versatile that can be eaten on its own or in a different cooking and baking recipes.


Quinoa is a whole high protein substitute for pasta or rice, served alone or with vegetables and greens. Cooked quinoa includes 8 grams of protein per cup.It can be used as a great base to get a veggie burger, and it’s also an excellent breakfast cereal once consumed cold with coconut or almond milk and berries. Quinoa can fill in for pasta soups and stews.

This grain can be rich in other nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, fiber, and manganese.

9.Chickpeas Cooked chickpeas are high in protein, providing around 7.25 g per ½ cup.Chickpeas can be served hot or cold, and are highly versatile with plenty of recipes. They, for example, can be added to hummus (made from chickpea paste), stews, curries, or spiced with paprika and roasted in the oven. If you’re looking for a more convenient option, consider pasta made with chickpeas.

10.Oats and Oatmeal

Oats are a simple and tasty way for adding protein to any diet plan.Half a cup (120 ml) of sterile oats provides you with about 6 g of protein and 4 grams of fiber. This amount also contains great amounts of magnesium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and folate10.

Although oats aren’t regarded as a complete protein, they do comprise higher-quality protein compared to other commonly used grains such as wheat and rice.

You are able to use oats in an assortment of recipes which range from oatmeal into veggie burgers.


Hempseed is a product of Cannabis sativa plant, but it contains just a bit of THC, the chemical that generates the marijuana-like medication effects.

Though less well known as other seeds, hempseed includes 10 g of total, readily digestible protein per ounce (28 g).

Hempseed also includes a large quantity of magnesium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and selenium. What is more, it is an excellent supply of omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids at the ratio considered best for individual health11.

Lately, some studies demonstrate that the kind of fats found in hempseed might decrease inflammation, also, reduce symptoms of PMS, menopause, and specific skin problems.

You can add hempseed on your home-made salad dressings, protein bars or scatter some on your morning or smoothie muesli..


Spirulina is green or blue algae which contain approximately 8 grams of protein per two tbsp.

Spirulina is available on the internet, as a powder or a nutritional supplement. It may be added to smoothies, water, or fruit juice. Someone may also scatter it over snacks or salad to improve their protein content.

This blue-green alga is a nutritional powerhouse by covering 22% of your daily requirements of iron and thiamin and 42% of your daily copper needs12.


Furthermore, studies link consuming spirulina to health benefits ranging from a stronger immune system and reduced blood pressure to improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels13.


Peanuts are protein-rich, filled with healthy fats, and might enhance cardiovascular health. They feature around 20.5 gram of protein each 1/2 cup.


Peanut butter can also be full of protein, with 8 grams per tbsp, making peanut butter sandwiches a healthy whole protein snack.


Almonds contain 16.5 g of protein per ½ cup. They also offer a good amount of vitamin E, which is great for the skin and eyes.



1.Craig WJ, Mangels AR, American Dietetic Association. Position of the American Dietetic Association: vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009;109(7):1266-1282. Accessed July 5, 2019.

2.Piccoli GB, Clari R, Vigotti FN, et al. Vegan-vegetarian diets in pregnancy: danger or panacea? A systematic narrative review. BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. 2015;122(5):623-633. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.13280

3.Gibson RS, Heath A-LM, Szymlek-Gay EA. Is iron and zinc nutrition a concern for vegetarian infants and young children in industrialized countries? The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2014;100 Suppl 1:459S-68S. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.071241

4.Messina V, Mangels AR. Considerations in planning vegan diets: children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2001;101(6):661-669. Accessed July 5, 2019.

5.Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, et al. Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2017;70(4):411-422. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.047

6.Vital wheat gluten Nutrition Facts & Calories. Published 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

7.Faris MA-IE, Takruri HR, Issa AY. Role of lentils (Lens culinaris L.) in human health and nutrition: a review. Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2012;6(1):3-16. doi:10.1007/s12349-012-0109-8

8.Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories. Published 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

9.Soymilk (all flavors), unsweetened, with added calcium, vitamins A and D Nutrition Facts & Calories. Published 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

‌10.Cereals, oats, regular and quick and instant, not fortified, dry [oatmeal, old-fashioned oats, rolled oats] Nutrition Facts & Calories. Published 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

11.Callaway JC. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica. 2004;140(1-2):65-72. doi:10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6

‌12.Seaweed, spirulina, dried Nutrition Facts & Calories. Published 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

‌13.Selmi C, Leung PS, Fischer L, et al. The effects of Spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens. Cellular & Molecular Immunology. 2011;8(3):248-254. doi:10.1038/cmi.2010.76