Protein is an important nutrient required for the building, maintenance, and repair of tissues in the body. It was once thought that various plant foods had to be eaten together to get their full protein value; this practice was known as “protein combining” or “protein complementing.” We now know that intentional combining is not necessary. As long as the diet contains a variety of grains, legumes, and vegetables, protein needs are easily met. Especially protein-rich vegan foods include soy-based products like tofu, tempeh (a fermented soybean product), seitan (a meat substitute made from a wheat protein called gluten), black beans, lentils, chickpeas, grains such as quinoa and bulgur, and whole-wheat bread. Learn more about getting protein on a vegan diet.