Which Seeds are High in Protein?

Seeds are an important source of nutrients, plant proteins, healthy fats and antioxidants for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Eating seeds can help you achieve your DV (daily value) of protein intake, 100g (3.5 ounces) of hemp seeds provides around 31g of plant protein, which is equivalent to around 63% of your daily value (DV) of protein.

Some seeds like chia seeds provide complete proteins, this means they contain all the 9 essential amino acids that your body requires. Seeds that are not complete proteins can be combined with other sources of plant proteins to make sure you get the 9 essential amino acids.

Seeds can be added to many of your daily meals to help you get a boost of nutrients, omega-3, fibre, plant protein and antioxidants, they can easily be added to cereals, smoothies and salads. .

Popular edible seeds include, hemps seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, see our list below of popular seeds rich in protein:

List of High Protein Seeds

1 – Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a great source of minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats and plant protein. Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, added to recipes or ground into hemp meal, adding hemp seeds to your daily meals helps to boost your daily intake of plant protein.

With a high protein content of around 31%, they are an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Hemp seeds are also a complete protein which means they have all the essential amino acids. Hemp is also a good source of the B vitamin thiamin and minerals magnesium and manganese.

  • Protein per 100g – around 31g
  • Fibre per 100g – 4g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 4.6g
  • Fat – per 100g – 48g

2 – Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a common ingredient in many recipes and are also roasted and served as a snack. They are a rich source of plant proteins for vegans, the seeds also contain high levels of niacin and the minerals, iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.

The seeds contain substantial quantities of healthy fats (including high levels of Omega-6), and are full of antioxidants that may help protect against disease and reduce inflammation.

A serving of 100g of pumpkin seeds contains around 570 calories and has a high protein density of around 30%.

  • Protein per 100g – around 30g
  • Fibre per 100g – 6.5g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 14.7g
  • Fat – per 100g – approximately 49g

3 – Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrients and are good food source for those who do not eat animal food products. A serving of sunflower seeds consists of 21% protein and 36% of dietary fibre. Fibre, protein and fat helps satiety (the feeling of being full).

The sunflower seed is packed full of healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and vitamin E, minerals include magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

  • Protein per 100g – 20.7g
  • Fibre per 100g – 6g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 20g
  • Fat – per 100g – approximately 51g

4 – Flax Seeds

Packed full of nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids, flax seeds provide plenty of nutritional health benefits.

100 grams of flax seeds contain around 534 calories, 18.2g of protein and 42g of fat with high concentrations of omega-3 (22.8g) and omega-6 (5.9g). They also contain high levels of the B vitamins (Thiamin and Riboflavin) and dietary minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium.

  • Protein per 100g – around 18g
  • Dietary Fibre per 100g – 27g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 28.8g
  • Fat – per 100g – approximately 42g

5 – Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are a nutritious source of plant protein, antioxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamins. 100g of this popular seed contains 573 calories and 49g of fat, with high levels of good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).

Many vegetarian and vegan recipes use the nourishing and protein rich sesame seed as an ingredient. It’s a good addition to salads and tofu dishes.

Whole sesame seeds are rich (20% or more of the Daily Value) in the B vitamins Thiamin and B6 and minerals such as calcium and iron.

  • Protein per 100g – around 17g
  • Dietary Fibre per 100g – 12g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 23.4g
  • Fat – per 100g – approximately 49g

6 – Chia Seeds

Unlike some other seeds, Chia seeds can be more easily absorbed by the body, providing you with a good source of nutrients and plant proteins. Chia seeds also contain essential amino acids, essential amino acids cannot be produced by the body and are obtained through your diet.

100 grams of Chia seeds contains 486 calories, 30g of fat, 16.5g of protein and a high level of dietary fibre at 34g. They are also a rich source of the B vitamins niacin and thiamin, and are rich in the minerals, zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium.

You can get protein from Chia seeds into your diet by sprinkling it on top of other foods, the seeds can also be mixed with cereals, smoothies and salads. They can be soaked in water and consumed directly.

  • Protein per 100g – around 16.5g
  • Dietary Fibre per 100g – 34g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 42.1g
  • Fat – per 100g – approximately 30g

7 – Quinoa seeds

Raw uncooked quinoa seeds are a great plant-based protein source for vegan and vegetarian diets and is high in protein compared to most other plant foods. 100g of raw quinoa contains 14g of high quality protein.

Quinoa seeds are the perfect ingredient for many healthy plant based recipes and dishes, you can make soups, add to salads or make more exotic dishes.

There are 9 essential amino acids that are important for humans to include in their daily diet, quinoa contains all these essential amino acids.

Apart from providing a good source of plant proteins, quinoa seeds have high levels of nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Nutritional value of 100g raw Quinoa seeds:

  • Protein per 100g – approx. 14g
  • Dietary Fibre per 100g – 7g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – around 64 g
  • Fat – per 100g – approx. 6g

8 – Wild Rice

Wild rice is not normally known as a seed (wild rice is actually a grass seed), wild rice is relatively high in protein, fibre, the amino acid lysine, and low in fat. It is also a good source of certain minerals (zinc, manganese, phosphorus) and B vitamins.

Wild rice is a popular food source and is widely available, it is used in many dishes and recipes, from vegan wild rice soups to dishes like vegetarian wild rice and mushroom pilaf.

  • Protein per 100g – 4g
  • Dietary Fibre per 100g – 8g
  • Carbohydrates per 100g – 21g
  • Fat – per 100g – 34g

Related Information

Plant based protein sources for vegans

Nuts high in protein

Seed Protein

Data Sources and References

U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data

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