Best Sources of Complete Protein for Vegans


A main concern about a vegan diet is that many plant sources of protein are incomplete. As you know, the human body can’t create nine amino acids (building blocks of protein). As such, you have to get these essential amino acids in your diet. The only way to them is to consume foods with complete protein, such as animal products. The good news is that vegans can also get these essential amino acids from plant sources. So, here are the best sources of complete protein for vegans. 

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a common ingredient added in many vegan recipes, like scrambled tofu and mashed potato. The reason is not only because of its cheesy flavor. It also contains the nine essential amino acids needed by your body. 

Fortified nutritional yeast also contains other nutrients, including vitamin B, manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc. However, keep in mind that not all products are fortified. As such, you have to check the product’s label.

Soybean Products

Soybean products are among the best sources of complete protein for vegans. After all, soybeans are the most popular source of plant proteins. Plus, they are available in a variety of products, including edamame, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk.

As you know, edamame is immature soybeans rich in fiber and vitamin K. They have a slightly grassy flavor that you can eat as a snack. Also, you can add this soybean product to various vegan dishes, including salads and soups.

Tofu and tempeh, on the other hand, are often used as meat alternatives because of their flavor and texture. Aside from protein, both products also contain iron and calcium. Because tempeh is fermented, it is also a good source of probiotics (good bacteria), which promote a healthy gut.


Mycoprotein is made from a certain type of fungus. Because it has all the essential amino acids, it is often used to make meat substitutes, such as veggie burgers and fillets.

Despite being a good source of complete protein, there are concerns regarding its safety. The reason is that some consumers experience food allergies. However, studies have shown that these allergic reactions are rare. Aside from that, many products made of mycoprotein have white eggs. For this reason, you must check product labels to ensure they are vegan-friendly.

Final Thoughts

All in all, these are some of the best sources of complete protein for vegans. Although your options are limited, there are ways to get all the essential amino acids needed by your body. One way is to pair certain foods. For instance, the combination of rice and beans results in a complete protein. As such, vegans don’t have to worry about protein deficiency as long as they are eating a variety of plant-based proteins in their diet.

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