Vegetarische Proteinquellen - alles was du darüber wissen musst!

Vegetarian protein sources - everything you need to know about them!

In a world where health, the environment and ethical considerations play an increasingly important role, more and more people are choosing to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. However, if you get your protein supply exclusively from plant sources, it can be challenging to ensure you are getting enough protein. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with a complete overview of vegetarian protein sources to ensure you get all the essential amino acids and nutrients you need.

Why is protein important?

Protein is an essential nutrient that is essential for numerous functions in the body. It serves as a building block for tissue, muscles, enzymes and hormones. The recommended daily intake of protein varies depending on age, gender, activity level and health status, but is generally around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

For vegetarians and vegans, it is crucial to ensure they are getting enough protein, as many plant-based foods contain less protein per serving compared to animal products. Fortunately, there are a variety of vegetarian protein sources that can meet these needs.

Classic protein sources for vegetarians

1. Legumes:

Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, beans and peas are excellent sources of protein. They are also rich in fiber and other important nutrients. Lentils, for example, contain about 9 grams of protein per 100 grams.

2. Tofu and Tempeh:

Tofu and tempeh are soy products that are rich in protein and versatile in the kitchen. 100 grams of tofu can contain up to 15 grams of protein.

3. Nuts and Seeds:

Almonds, peanuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds are examples of nutritious nuts and seeds that are rich in protein. A handful of almonds can provide around 6 grams of protein. Simply eat a handful of nuts 1-2 times a day in between, this will also easily increase your protein intake.

4. Dairy products:

For lacto-vegetarians, dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk are excellent sources of protein. They are also rich in calcium and vitamin D. One cup of low-fat yogurt contains about 10 grams of protein.

5. Eggs:

Ovo-vegetarians can include eggs in their diet. One egg contains about 6 grams of protein and is rich in essential amino acids.

6. Cereals and pseudocereals:

Quinoa, oatmeal, bulgur and brown rice are high-protein grains. Quinoa is particularly notable because it offers a complete protein profile.

More exotic vegetarian protein sources

1. Seitan:

Seitan, also known as wheat gluten, is a popular meat substitute among vegetarians and vegans. It is high in protein and has a meat-like texture.

2. Spirulina:

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that can be used as a dietary supplement or ingredient in smoothies. It contains about 60-70% protein and is rich in essential amino acids.

3. Millet:

Millet is a gluten-free grain that is a good source of protein. It is also rich in fiber and various minerals.

4. Pumpkin Seeds:

Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein and also contain valuable nutrients such as magnesium and zinc.

5. Edamame:

Edamame are young soybeans and an excellent source of protein. They are also rich in iron and fiber.

6. Red Lentils:

Red lentils are an excellent source of protein and cook quickly. They work well in soups and stews.

The importance of combining protein sources

For vegetarians and vegans, it is important to consume a variety of protein sources to ensure all essential amino acids are covered. Animal products provide all the necessary amino acids in sufficient quantities, while plant-based protein sources often have a limited selection. By combining different plant-based protein sources in one meal, you can get a complete amino acid profile.

Example of combining protein sources:

  • Rice with Beans: The combination of rice and beans creates a complete amino acid profile and is a staple food in many cultures.
  • Hummus with whole grain bread: Hummus, a chickpea paste, combined with whole grain bread makes an excellent source of protein.
  • Tofu and Quinoa: The combination of tofu and quinoa provides an abundance of protein and essential nutrients.

    Dietary supplements for vegetarians and vegans

    Despite the variety of vegetarian protein sources, it can be difficult for some people, especially vegans, to get all the necessary nutrients. In such cases, supplements can be helpful to ensure that the body receives all essential vitamins and minerals. Here are some important supplements for vegetarians and vegans:

    1. Vitamin B12:

    Vitamin B12 is contained in animal products and may be missing from a vegan diet. It is important for the formation of red blood cells and the nervous system.

    2. Iron:

    Iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) is less well absorbed by the body than iron from animal sources (heme iron). Vegans should be careful to eat iron-rich foods and may consider taking an iron supplement.

    3. Calcium:

    Calcium is important for bone health. Since dairy products are missing from a vegan diet, attention should be paid to calcium-rich plant foods such as green leafy vegetables and fortified plant-based milk alternatives.

    4. Omega-3 fatty acids:

    Omega-3 fatty acids are important for heart health and the brain. They can be obtained from algae oil preparations.

    5. Vitamin D:

    Vitamin D, which is needed for the absorption of calcium, can be in short supply on a vegan diet. Sunlight and fortified foods can help meet needs.

    Planning a balanced vegetarian diet

    Careful diet planning is required to ensure you get enough protein and all necessary nutrients. Here are some tips for planning a balanced vegetarian diet:

    1. Diversity in Diet:

    Use a wide range of vegetarian protein sources to ensure you get all the nutrients you need. Combine legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, tofu and vegetables in your meals.

    2. Whole Foods:

    Process food as little as possible. Whole foods such as whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients.

    3. Make sure you eat enough calories:

    Vegetarians and vegans should ensure they are consuming enough calories, as plant-based foods are generally lower in calories than animal products.

    4. Dietary Supplements:

    If you have difficulty getting all the necessary nutrients from your diet, consult a nutritionist and consider supplements.

    Recipe ideas for vegetarian protein sources

    Here are some tasty recipe ideas that contain vegetarian protein sources:

    1. Lentil Curry:

    A savory Indian lentil curry with plenty of spices and coconut milk is rich in protein and full of flavor.

    2. Tofu Scrambled Eggs:

    Tofu scramble is an excellent alternative to eggs. Use crumbled tofu to make a protein-packed breakfast.

    3. Bean Salad:

    A colorful bean salad with chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans is rich in protein and fiber.

    4. Quinoa Salad:

    Quinoa salad with vegetables and an olive oil and lemon juice dressing is a high-protein, gluten-free option.

    5. Hummus Plate:

    A hummus plate with fresh vegetables, olives and whole grain bread is rich in proteins and healthy fats.


    Vegetarians and vegans can easily meet their protein needs by including a wide range of plant-based protein sources in their diet. With careful planning and a balanced diet, you can ensure you get all the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy and vital. Remember to appreciate diversity and be inspired by the culinary world of vegetarian cuisine. Your body and your environment will thank you.

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