The following high-protein vegetables will do their best to get you on track to reach your protein requirement for the day. Compared to animal sources, vegetables have a bit of trouble keeping up in the protein department, but there are some that contain respectable amounts of protein. Be sure to calculate your specific protein needs so you know just how much of your daily value you’re getting from each one.
In order to come close to your daily recommended value of protein you’ll need to eat an assortment of vegetables to get the job done. If you’re vegetarian or vegan you may also want to consider other non-meat sources of protein in addition to vegetables.
1. Peas: 5g (10% DV)
Peas bring with them a good amount of protein, giving you 10% of what you need each day. They are also very tasty when you add a bit of ghee to a side of them, and they add a nice flavor and texture to many recipes.
Peas are also a good source of potassium and magnesium, two important minerals the body needs to properly carry out basic functions. Be sure to include peas as part of a larger approach at a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The Vitamin C content of peas is pretty impressive, and rivals oranges in a side by side comparison. It’s surprising that a vegetable has both a Vitamin C and protein content, as we typically see this in fruits and meats respectively.
How to eat more of it: Peas are a quintessential side dish, and they can complement any main dish. They’re also a popular addition to casseroles and vegetable soups.
2. Kale: 4.3g (8% DV)
Kale has been making the news quite regularly in regards to its many healthy qualities, and protein is definitely among them. It’s not everyday that you find a vegetable that provides almost a tenth of what you need each day in a single serving.
Kale also gets credit for being high in fiber, as well as providing more Vitamin C than an orange. It’s also wildly high in the antioxidant Vitamin A, and the combination of Vitamins A and C is a force to be reckoned with within the body. Kale is also high in minerals, which often gets overlooked with all of its protein, fiber, and phytonutrients.
Kale comes in many forms, with curly kale being the most popular, baby kale working great in salads, and even a type called dinosaur kale with its own unique taste and look.
How to eat more of it: Kale can be used wherever you’d normally use spinach, and also has qualities spinach doesn’t have, like the ability to be made into a tasty chip via a kale chip recipe.
3. Brussels Sprouts: 3.4g (6% DV)
Brussels sprouts get a high grade for their protein content, and join kale as the other cruciferous vegetable to land a spot on our Top 5.
Cruciferous vegetables are consistently being lauded for their anti-cancer and heart disease prevention properties. It’s not often that they’re mentioned for their high protein content, but they make up a big part of our list of 15 foods high in protein.
Brussels sprouts are off the charts when it comes to their Vitamin C content, so you’re not just getting a good source of protein, you’re also helping your immune system function at its best.
How to eat more of it: If you’re not a fan of Brussels sprouts, perhaps you just haven’t had them the right way yet. Try roasting them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar until they are tender. You may find that you actually like them. They’re simply too nutritious not to give them a second chance.
4. Artichokes: 3.3g (6% DV)
Artichokes usually get credited for their high fiber content, so they’re a bit of a sleeping giant when it comes to how much protein they contain.
Ranking in the top five vegetables with protein is pretty impressive, and artichokes even manage to edge out spinach, a well-known protein provider.
It’s fun to discover fresh artichokes if all you’ve ever known is the pickled artichoke hearts you can find in jars in stores. Try getting a fresh artichoke and learn how to prepare it via free YouTube videos. You’ll be glad you did because this is one vegetable that often gets overlooked, but contains too many healthy qualities to ignore.
How to eat more of it: Artichokes can be used in a variety of ways, from contributing to a dip, to topping a salad, or served up alongside a main dish. You can roast big batches of artichokes and then store them for the week ahead so they’ll always be ready.
5. Spinach: 2.9g (5% DV)
Perhaps this is why Popeye ate so much spinach and got stronger as a result. Spinach is an excellent source of protein for a vegetable, which can help you build lean muscle when mixed with resistance training.
When you eat spinach, you don’t need to focus on any one feature it has, you can simply be content knowing that you’re eating one of the most nutrient-dense veggies on the planet. It’s packed with minerals and phytonutrients that will help your body in many ways.
It’s also a good source of fiber, so not only will it protect you with its antioxidants, but it will help keep your digestive system humming along. That’s something that can’t be said for animal-based protein sources.
How to eat more of it: Spinach is pretty much the default ingredient of a green smoothie, and not only will you be adding the green color with it, you’ll be adding plenty of drinkable protein at the same time.
6. Broccoli: 2.8g (5% DV)
Broccoli is a wonderfood that can seemingly do no wrong. Not only is it promoted on most diet plans as a way to help you lose weight, but it’s also listed on most healthy foods lists for all of the good it does the body.
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