The Top 30 Vegan Valine Food Sources

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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.

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.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Valine (g)
Oats 1 cup 607 1.462
Soybeans 1 cup 254 0.988
Buckwheat groats 1 cup 567 0.984
Pumpkin seeds 1 cup 285 0.954
Navy beans 1 cup 255 0.917
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 0.89
Lentils 1 cup 230 0.887
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 0.804
Black beans 1 cup 227 0.798
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414 0.79
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344 0.768
Mung bean 1 cup 212 0.735
Lima beans 1 cup 209 0.723
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413 0.713
Cashew 0.5 cup 393 0.712
Chickpeas 1 cup 269 0.61
Fava bean 1 cup 187 0.575
Spinach 1 bunch 78 0.547
Rye grain 1 cup 571 0.536
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 0.533
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 0.528
Brazil nut 0.5 cup 438 0.505
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424 0.473
Pine nuts 0.5 cup 454 0.464
Almonds 1/2 cup 313 0.462
Walnut 0.5 cup 383 0.441
Quinoa 1 cup 222 0.342
Peas 1 cup 117 0.341
White potato 1 large 255 0.31
Cowpeas 1 cup 160 0.304

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.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Valine (g) Valine (g) per 100 calories
Seaweed (dried) 1 tbsp 20 0.246 1.23
Watercress 10 sprigs 3 0.034 1.133333333
Spinach 1 bunch 78 0.547 0.7012820513
Water spinach 1 cup 11 0.076 0.6909090909
Rapini 5 stalks 21 0.145 0.6904761905
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 0.528 0.5802197802
Asparagus 4 spears 13 0.075 0.5769230769
Bamboo shoot 1 shoot 17 0.089 0.5235294118
Bok choy 1 cup 9 0.046 0.5111111111
Cauliflower 1 cup 27 0.134 0.4962962963
Kale 2 cup 15 0.067 0.4466666667
Soybeans 1 cup 254 0.988 0.388976378
Lentils 1 cup 230 0.887 0.3856521739
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 0.074 0.37
Broccoli 1 cup 31 0.114 0.3677419355
Navy beans 1 cup 255 0.917 0.3596078431
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 0.804 0.3573333333
Black beans 1 cup 227 0.798 0.3515418502
Mung bean 1 cup 212 0.735 0.3466981132
Lima beans 1 cup 209 0.723 0.3459330144
Pumpkin seeds 1 cup 285 0.954 0.3347368421
Squash 1 large 52 0.171 0.3288461538
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 0.183 0.3267857143
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 0.533 0.3210843373
Zucchini 1 large 55 0.174 0.3163636364
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 0.056 0.3111111111
Fava bean 1 cup 187 0.575 0.307486631
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 0.89 0.3027210884
Green bean 10 beans 17 0.05 0.2941176471
Peas 1 cup 117 0.341 0.2914529915

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.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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