The Top 30 Vegan Valine Food Sources


Valine is one of the most important amino acids to athletes.

It’s one of the 3 branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), important for building and repairing muscle cells, along with leucine and isoleucine.

Here’s a list of the top vegan sources of leucine, and here’s the list for isoleucine.

There’s no set recommended daily amount to aim for with valine, but common values in literature are between 12 and 24 mg per kg of bodyweight.

So for a 77 kg (170 lb) person, that’s 924 – 1848 mg per day.

Athletes should aim for the higher end of this range, or even more.

This takes a bit of extra work and planning on a vegan diet.

The Top Vegan Valine Food Sources Per Serving

I gathered the amount of valine in over 120 vegan foods per typical serving. The table below are the top 30 valine sources in order from best to worst.

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)Valine (g)
Oats1 cup6071.462
Soybeans1 cup2540.988
Buckwheat groats1 cup5670.984
Pumpkin seeds1 cup2850.954
Sunflower seeds0.5 cup4090.92
Navy beans1 cup2550.917
Adzuki beans1 cup2940.89
Lentils1 cup2300.887
Kidney beans1 cup2250.804
Black beans1 cup2270.798
Peanuts0.5 cup4140.79
Pistachio nuts0.5 cup3440.768
Mung bean1 cup2120.735
Lima beans1 cup2090.723
Sesame seeds0.5 cup4130.713
Cashew0.5 cup3930.712
Chickpeas1 cup2690.61
Fava bean1 cup1870.575
Spinach1 bunch780.547
Rye grain1 cup5710.536
Hemp seeds3 tbsp1660.533
Swiss chard10 leafs910.528
Brazil nut0.5 cup4380.505
Hazelnut0.5 cup4240.473
Pine nuts0.5 cup4540.464
Almonds1/2 cup3130.462
Walnut0.5 cup3830.441
Quinoa1 cup2220.342
Peas1 cup1170.341
White potato1 large2550.31
Cowpeas1 cup1600.304

Legumes are a great source of many amino acids, so it’s no surprise that several beans are near the top of the list, as well as lentils and peanuts.

Oats have quite a bit of BCAAs, the only potential downside is that they also have a lot of carbohydrates and calories in general.

The Top Vegan Valine Foods Per 100 Calories

If you’re watching your calories, the following table will be more useful.

It has the top 30 foods in terms of valine per 100 calories.

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)Valine (g)Valine (g) per 100 calories
Seaweed (dried)1 tbsp200.2461.23
Watercress10 sprigs30.0341.133333333
Spinach1 bunch780.5470.7012820513
Water spinach1 cup110.0760.6909090909
Rapini5 stalks210.1450.6904761905
Swiss chard10 leafs910.5280.5802197802
Asparagus4 spears130.0750.5769230769
Bamboo shoot1 shoot170.0890.5235294118
Bok choy1 cup90.0460.5111111111
Cauliflower1 cup270.1340.4962962963
Kale2 cup150.0670.4466666667
Soybeans1 cup2540.9880.388976378
Lentils1 cup2300.8870.3856521739
Lettuce (red leaf)0.5 head200.0740.37
Broccoli1 cup310.1140.3677419355
Navy beans1 cup2550.9170.3596078431
Kidney beans1 cup2250.8040.3573333333
Black beans1 cup2270.7980.3515418502
Mung bean1 cup2120.7350.3466981132
Lima beans1 cup2090.7230.3459330144
Pumpkin seeds1 cup2850.9540.3347368421
Squash1 large520.1710.3288461538
Brussels sprouts1 cup560.1830.3267857143
Hemp seeds3 tbsp1660.5330.3210843373
Zucchini1 large550.1740.3163636364
Turnip greens1 cup180.0560.3111111111
Fava bean1 cup1870.5750.307486631
Adzuki beans1 cup2940.890.3027210884
Green bean10 beans170.050.2941176471
Peas1 cup1170.3410.2914529915

The legumes drop to the middle of the list, while several vegetables rise to the top 10.

Leafy greens like spinach, bok choy, rapini, and watercress are all good sources of valine, with very few calories. The issue is that you have to eat several servings in order to meet your RDA with them alone.

Still, it’s a good idea to mix in those top vegetables with legumes to maximize your valine while minimizing your overall caloric intake.

Next, you might be interested in my list of the top vegan BCAA sources.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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