Protein quality can be measured in a number of ways. Most often you will hear the concept of bioavailability, which describes what percentage of the protein that you consume is actually absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another indicator of protein quality considers how much of the protein is composed of essential amino acids (which are those your body cannot make itself) and how much of the protein is composed of non-essential amino acids (which are those your body can make itself).
Obviously, sources that are rich in essential amino acids are of higher quality in this sense. In general, animal protein sources are regarded as better because they include a higher percentage of essential amino acids and are better digested than plant-based proteins, which contain a lower percentage of essential amino acids and are digested less efficiently.
But like I said in an earlier post, this usually isn’t a problem for vegans because you still get enough protein for regular health if your diet includes sufficient calories for regular health, which it almost always does unless you are crash dieting.
Another exception would be a diet that is comprised of only fruits, which I assume you aren’t planning on doing. Also, people looking to build muscle need more protein than the average person, but I will talk about this in a later post.
So for the average person wanting to set up a healthy vegan diet, great protein sources include:
Peanuts (26g of protein per 100g)
Mung beans (24g of protein per 100g)
Kidney beans (24g of protein per 100g)
Black beans (21g of protein per 100g)
Chickpeas (19g of protein per 100g)
Pumpkin seeds (19g of protein per 100g)
Chia seeds (17g of protein per 100g)
Oats (17g of protein per 100g)
Lentils (9g of protein per 100g)
This is just a list of some of the highest plant-based protein foods and there are others of course. Other nuts like almonds and walnuts are also great and so are grains like rice and wheat.
All in all, it shouldn’t be a problem to get your daily protein requirement as a vegan as long as you follow a balanced diet that includes some of the foods mentioned before. Again, if you are looking to build muscle things will change, but more on that in a different post.