Top 11 High Protein Vegetarian Foods for Muscle Building

building muscle on a high-protein vegetarian diet

Being a vegetarian can pose a challenge in acquiring daily protein requirement in the body. As proteins play a crucial role in muscle building as well as performing several other body functions.

However, it’s a common myth that, we need to eat different types of foods that means veg and non-veg to generate essential proteins.

Many beliefs that vegetarian foods and muscle building can’t go hand in hand just because some of the non-vegetarian foods are richest source of protein such as pork, lean beef, turkey and fish.

But, it’s not true at all.

And it doesn’t mean vegetarian doesn’t have any chance of achieving chiseled and muscular body.

Yes, they do! (Get Facts on the Best Muscle Building Supplement)

So, if you are vegetarian then you can simply include several protein rich foods in your diet to glean every day protein requirement.

Therefore, the muscle building diet should be organized in such a manner that it always calorie surplus even though calories get burned through intense training and exercise.

increase your biceps (muscles) with muscle building diet

Moreover, vegetarians can obtain the required nutrients from nuts, whole grains, seeds, vegetables and fruits.

In a meanwhile, we will show you the complete list of high protein vegetarian foods that is truly essential for muscle building.

But before that, let me tell you about the most important nutrients that is required to achieve desired fitness goal.

Developing muscular and chiseled body needs a planned life, consistency and commitment. Thus, it should be combination of tough training and perfect diet plan.

The 3 most significant nutrients that can be derived from the high protein vegetarian foods are set forth below.


Top 3 Nutrients for muscle building

  • Proteins

It plays most important role in toning and building muscles. Therefore, the foods which you are taking should be rich in protein. Protein is made up of chain of amino acids (building blocks of tissues and muscles). That’s why repair and growth of muscle tissue is not possible without protein.

  • Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates is an important source of energy in the body. That is the reason all the muscle building foods are rich in carbohydrates. It slowly digest to serve slow continual supply of energy for longer time.

  • Healthy Fats

Other than normal fats, healthy fats shows beneficial effects on everyone health. Fats (lipid) are major source of energy with approx. double calories per gram as compared to carbohydrates and proteins.

Here are 11 best high protein veggie-friendly foods for muscle building that can improve your workouts.

high protein vegetarian diet for bodybuilding

Top 11 high protein Vegetarian foods

  1. QuinoaBasic Quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten free vegetarian food as well as excellent source of protein. You can include it to soups and salads or cook a curry. Additionally, as per your choice you can eat quinoa in breakfast with milk or banana, or add in lunch light dressing in salad leaves.

Along with protein, it also contain high proportion of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats. In fact due to high content of fiber, you will feel fuller.



  1. Lentilsvariety of Lentils

If you are looking for high protein vegetarian foods then lentils is the best choice for you. You can prepare it in several ways such as soups or curry to enjoy your healthy meal.

One cup of lentils contain same quantity that is found in 3 eggs. The best part is that it contain less that 1g of fat in a cup of lentils.

Though high fiber composition makes it highly satiating, various studies has proven lentils effective to speed up the fat loss process.


  1. Green peasFresh Green Peas

Green peas is a yummy addition in the list of high protein vegetarian foods. You can either cook it alone as a soup or add with quinoa recipe. Therefore, there are numerous ways to relish the goodness of green peas in your muscle building goal.

Each cup of green peas contain 8g of protein. Besides protein, it is rich in leucine (part of amino acid) that play a vital role weight and metabolism management. And a single cup of it contain vitamin C which will help to safeguard your immunity.



  1. Soy MilkEnjoy smooth soymilk with ease and less effort

Soy milk, high protein food that every vegetarian should add in their diet. However various studies has proven that it help to cure from cancer. Soy milk not only source of protein but it also consist sugar, dietary fiber and healthy fats as well.

There are many more benefits of using soy milk in fitness goal. Some of these are mentioned below.

  • Provides relief from osteoporosis
  • Improves heart health
  • Is a great antioxidant
  • Relieves postmenstrual issues
  • Prevent from liver damage through oxidative stress
  • Lowers controls and cholesterols obesity


  1. TofuVegan Tofu Cacciatore Recipe -Pressed Tofu

Tofu is a healthy alternative to cheese for all vegan folks. It is mainly abstracted from soybean curd and is completely gluten free. Each cup of tofu contain about 10g of protein. Therefore, you can take it with salads or roast and stew for creamy chewy texture.

Moreover, it is cholesterol free and enrich in iron and calcium.

Benefits of Tofu:

  • It decrease cholesterol levels
  • Improves kidney health
  • Relieves symptoms of menopause
  • Prevents from liver damage


  1. OatsOats - Protein & Oats Bar

Eating oats in a breakfast is the healthier option for all vegetarians. For tastier substitute, you can add oats to your smoothies then mix up with fruits and soy milk. Or just cook it using spices and vegetables for fulfilling meal.

Oats contains 3 times more protein, less starch and more fiber than brown rice. Therefore, oats is also high source of calcium, magnesium and vitamins B. Due to being rich in fiber, it aids in digestion and promotes heart health.


  1. BroccoliBroccoli

Broccoli is tasty and healthy vegetables that should be added in your diet. Other than protein, it also contain fiber, calcium, vitamin B and vitamin C. Every cup of broccoli contains about 4g of protein in it. That’s why it offer many benefits some of these include promotes heart health, improves teeth and bone health, enhances your liver, detoxifies your body and improve your digestive health.


  1. Seeds

1. Hemp Seeds:

This seeds is enriched in protein as 3 tablespoons contain 13g protein. Despite of the fact, it is healthy addition in your daily diet that leads to many more benefits.

Some of the benefits are listed below.vegetable seeds

  • Provide high fiber content
  • Helps relieve joint pain and arthritis
  • Helps in digestion
  • Natural appetite suppressant
  • Naturally lowers blood pressure
  • Great for hair, skin and nails.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

The pumpkins seeds are generally neglected but the fact is that it is enrich in protein and iron as well. Therefore you can add it to breakfast recipes, smoothies or just salted pumpkins seeds in your evening snacks. Therefore, ¼ cup pumpkin seeds contain 8g of protein in it.

Here’s the list of benefits of pumpkin seeds:

  • Good for liver and heart health
  • Excellent for prostate health
  • Beneficial for postmenstrual women
  • Contain heart-healthy magnesium
  • Have an anti-diabetic effects
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits

3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds doesn’t contain protein, however it contain other nine essential amino acids. Therefore, you can add them to your smoothies, fruit bowls or breakfast bowls to boost up your health. Thus, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contain 5g of protein.

So, now let’s have a look on the benefits of chia seeds.

  • Aids in digestion
  • Increase endurance and energy
  • Stabilize blood glucose levels
  • Rich source of healthy fats and fiber
  • Natural appetite suppressant


  1. SoybeansOrganic Soybeans bags

If you stay away from soy products or soybean, then it’s time to add this essential ingredients to your diet. One and half cup of soybeans contain 21g of protein. Moreover, you can eat it in steamed and dry roasted form.

Additionally, you can munch soybeans for guilt-free snacking, sandwiches or just add to stir-fried greens to supply daily dose of nutrients and proteins to your body.



  1. Spinachgreen leaves veg - spinach

From childhood, we were taught that eat lots of spinach because it is good for health. In fact, no doubt it is completely true as each cup of spinach contain 5g of protein. Although you can raise the nutrition level by steaming it rather than eating it raw.

You might can add spinach to salads, stir-fried veggies and lentils to relish a healthy meal diet.



  1. NutsRaw Mixed Nuts

Compress more calcium in your diet without including any dairy products only by eating nuts like almonds, peanuts and pistachios. On serving, it has found that 1oz of nuts contain about 160 high-quality calories. As they are blended of fiber, protein and fat.

Besides being the perfect snack to have in office, it has potent food that will trim you down and fill you up simultaneously. Therefore, nuts and seed butters are highly rich in fat rather than protein but this are healthy fats that will make you lean.


All the aforementioned vegetarian foods are packed with essential nutrition and high protein. Thus, including these foods in your healthy diet is a best way to fulfil your daily protein requirement in the body for muscle building.

So, be sure that you are adding all these high protein vegetarian foods to your diet plan in order to achieve fitness and muscle building goals.

More Tips : Top 11 Core Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat | Tips + Diet Plan

Crylon Fowler
Crylon Folwer is a certified Clinical Dietician who is working at The Spine Clinic, Seattle. Her work is to guide people to live a healthy and fit life. She attended her studies at University of Washington. She helps and inspires thousands of people to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. Get Me on Social Channels: About Me | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | Quora


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