Protein Supplements for Vegetarians

A common concern with people new to a vegetarian diet is how to get sufficient protein without eating meat. However, vegetarians rarely suffer from a protein deficiency. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, you can achieve a healthy amount of protein from eating a vegetarian diet full of a variety of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.The recommended daily allowance of protein is .36 g of protein per pound of your weight.

Hemp Seed

Hemp seed is available at some health food stores' smoothie bars. It provides a approximately 11 g of protein per 3 tbsp. Hemp seed also provides omega-3 oils. These oils are important for vegetarians because people who don't eat meat often don't eat fish, which contain the oil. You also can obtain iron and zinc dietary allowance from hemp seed.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is different from the yeast in bread or beer. The Vegetarian Resource Group recommends nutritional yeast as a protein supplement, particularly for cancer patients. It has a salty, buttery flavor. Try sprinkling it on your popcorn or topping savory meals with it. Each tablespoon provides 8 g of complete protein, according to Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian, author and speaker.

Pea Supplements

Health food stores sell powdered supplements made from peas, and they often have 20 g or more of protein per scoop. Peas also are a good source of zinc. You can add the powder to veggie smoothies or to water or milk for a pea soup stock.


Spirulina is an algae, and it smells like seaweed. Besides protein, it provides vegetarians with vitamins, iron, beta carotene, vitamin B-12 and gamma-linolenic acid. It contains 65 percent protein, which is three to four times more than meat. Only 1 tbsp. provides the same amount of protein as an egg. This protein supplement is available in capsule form or as a protein powder.

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