Top 10 Vegetarian Protein Food Items for Muscle Building

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Most people do not prefer protein powder to gain muscles. And also do not want to eat non-veg food items. So, what can they do for muscle building? Are you one among them? If yes, then do not underestimate the vegetarian food items.

Many vegetables, fruits, and plant products are also rich in protein. What are they? Can they provide enough protein to fulfil the daily requirement of your body? Yes, why not.

This article will cover the top ten vegetarian protein food items to help you build up muscles and stay healthy and stronger.


How much protein does your body need?

Protein is a group of molecules our body requires to grow hair, nails, bones, and muscles. It helps give original shape to your body organs and tissues. But what is the daily requirement of this building block to your body?

A human body requires 0.8 g per kg of bodyweight protein daily. If your body weight is 40 kg, you must consume 0.8×40, which means 32 grams of protein a day. An average man and woman should eat 56 grams and 46 grams of protein per day, respectively. And if your primary purpose is muscle building, you have to consume 1.2 grams to 2 grams per kg of your body weight.

When you consume vegetarian food to gain protein, consider eating food with low calories and fat because most foods with high protein are also rich in saturated fat and calories. It may help you build muscles, but it may result in weight gain in return. So, to eat the right food item of proper quantity, read further and learn about the top ten vegetarian food items rich in protein.


What are the vegetarian food items rich in protein?

What are the vegetarian food items rich in protein


Protein intake not only helps to build up muscles, but your stomach may also feel full, and you will eat less, resulting in weight loss. Most vegetarian food items provide the same amount of protein as non-vegetarian food or a scoop of protein powder provides you. And even some of the plant products have more protein than others.

There are numerous protein-rich vegetarian foods. And you can add any of them to your daily diet in whichever way you want to cook it and consume it. Therefore, we will detail the top ten protein-rich vegetarian food items. Based on the protein presence, the top ten list is sequenced in decreasing order.


1. Seitan


Have you heard of or cooked seitan? If yes, you consume 75 grams of protein in 100 grams of protein-rich seitan. If not, then read more to know about it.

Seitan is a food made from vital wheat gluten, also called wheat meat—the gluten protein forms by kneading wheat flour with water. You can eat it as a replacement for meat cooked or mixed with other vegetables or dishes. Seitan is highly nutritious, but you must consume it in moderation as you get it as processed food in the market.

The easiest way to cook seitan is to dice it, put it into a pan, and sprinkle some oil to cook it in a medium flame. It takes only 5 to 6 minutes to cook and serve hot on a plate. You can add some spices; otherwise, it is the simplest and healthiest way to consume seitan.


2. Pea flour

Pea flour or peasemeal is made from whole green peas by roasting and grounding it three times using water-power stone mills. A 100 grams of pea flour will provide you with 23.5 grams of protein. But it is also rich in calories, as 100 grams of it will have around 356 grams of calories.

Pea flours are low in fat and have other nutritional values like fiber and antioxidants. You can replace it with any other flour in making dough for pancakes or waffles. And you can also use it as a thickener in sauces and soups.

One hundred grams of green peas also provide you with 5 grams of protein, and they are also a good source of Vitamin C, E, zinc, and antioxidants. They are good to eat as it is, or you can make curry or use it as a stuffing in Indian bread.


3. Peanut butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter is a rich source of protein, but it is also high in calories. It is a paste made out of dry roasted grounded nuts. You can also make it at home with no added sugar and emulsifiers.

A 100 grams of peanut butter will provide you with 25 grams of protein and 588 grams of calories. Eat it with bread loaf as a sandwich, fruits, or Indian bread. You can also use it in shakes and cakes.


4. Seeds

Some plant and flower seeds are full of nutrition, and they provide 30 grams of protein in 100 grams of seeds consumption. The most nutritious ones are flax, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, basil, pomegranate, apricot, sesame, grape, and caraway seeds.

Pumpkin and chia seeds have the highest amount of protein. A 100 grams of pumpkin seeds will provide you with 19 grams of protein, 17 grams of protein in 100 grams from chia seeds, and 9.46 grams from hemp seeds.

Seeds could be eaten raw or soaked in juice. You can add it to oatmeal, smoothies, baked food or use it to garnish cereals, yoghurt, vegetables, and other dishes.


5. Beans


The nutritious beans rich in protein are chickpea, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, pinto, and navy beans. You can make curry with these beans or consume them as sprouts mix.

Hummus is one of the protein-rich foods made of boiled chickpeas. To make it, you need to grind boiled chickpea with some oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Consuming 100 grams of hummus will enrich you with 8 grams of protein.


6. Nuts


A 100 grams of nuts has 20 grams of protein. The protein-richest nuts are almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine, and brazil nuts. You can add them to your daily diet and either eat a mix of nuts directly or soaked in water overnight, or use them as garnish or mix in rice or curries.

A handful of whole nuts can prevent you from heart problems and let you stay healthy. The best time to consume them is in the morning, empty stomach, or with breakfast.


7. Rolled oats

Rolled oats

Oats are one of the healthiest grains having fibers, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Oat has protein to help with muscle gain, and it also contributes to weight loss, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces the risk of heart diseases.

Rolled oats are dehusked, steamed, and then rolled into oats flakes to form rolled oats. They are lightly processed but healthy. A 100 grams of rolled oats have 13.15 grams of protein. You can eat them as toppings or soak them overnight in water or milk to consume in the morning.


8. Whole wheat

One hundred grams of whole wheat has 13 grams of protein. You can cook pasta, macaroni, Indian bread, quinoa salad, or mixed dishes out of whole wheat.

You can add it to your daily diet as, with muscle building, it also reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Try to replace refined grains with whole wheat grains to stay healthy.


9. Tempeh 

Tempeh is naturally fermented soya beans, and it has 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of it. It also has Vitamin B12 and all nine amino acids to keep your bones and muscles healthy.

Tempeh is a soy product, and other soy products like soybeans and soy milk also have high protein. Soy milk gives you 3.3 grams and soybean 12.35 grams on consuming 100 grams of it.

You can marinate tempeh or season it with flavors, or bake, crumble, steam, sautee, and add to any of your favorite dishes. Remember not to consume it if you are allergic to soy.


10. Teff


Teff is a plant, and its grains are edible and rich in protein. It comes in white, red and brown colors. The flour of teff grains brings a feeling of fullness and reduces cravings. It is also high in fiber and promotes weight loss.

You can eat it as baked bread, pasta, or grains only. If you eat 100 grams of teff grains, it will provide you with 12.2 grams of protein.

Other than these top ten vegetarian food items to build muscles, you can eat various other milk products like cottage cheese, milk, yoghurt, and vegetables like spinach, artichoke, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and also fruits like guava, and more. They all are nutritious and especially highly rich in protein.


You May Also Like To Read:

Best Soy Protein Powder In India

Best Plant Protein Powder In India

Best Protein Bars In India



This article has put away all your misconceptions regarding vegetarian foods. Not only non-vegetarian food items and protein powder can provide you with protein to build up muscles, but there are also many plant products, fruits, and vegetables rich in protein.

The top ten vegetarian food items that may help you build muscles are seitan, pea flour, peanut butter, seeds, beans, nuts, rolled oats, tempeh, and teff.

We hope you found this article helpful, and now vegetarian people have found a way to build muscles with their favorite food items. Do not forget to share your experience of reading this article in the comment section below.

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