Home Nutrition Top 17 High-Protein Vegetables…

Top 17 High-Protein Vegetables…

Written by Jane Summerfield

Many people, when they tell their friends and family that they are going vegan, know the question that will come next…“But how will you get in enough protein?”

Because we all know that animal products have good amounts of protein in them.

But thing is, people have been taught from childhood that protein comes from meat.

In reality, there are thousands of people over the world who can testify that they are vegans.

They get in rich protein from delicious plant-protein foods.

Here are 50 famous celebs that have gone vegan and love it!

You might say that makes sense if they are celebrities and want to look lean and mean.

You might believe that a plant-based diet is not for bodybuilders – they need plenty of protein in their diet for their workouts, right?

But wrong – look at all these vegan bodybuilders who are swearing by going vegan.

They consume protein through plant-based veggies and other food.

It’s awesome!

Can you get the essential amino acids from vegetables?

If you care to look it up, you will discover many, many athletes who are empowered by plant-based foods as well. 

Protein is crucial for particularly athletes, bodybuilders, and those who want to lose weight

Protein helps to maintain muscle mass [1]. It keeps you full between meals. It ensures that all the cell growth in your body works properly.

As we said above, many of us associate protein with meat and dairy.

But vegetables are just as good a source of protein when you eat them with purpose.

“Of course, it’s possible to get all of the protein you need from a plant-based or a vegan diet.” That’s what Diana Sugiuchi says; founder of Nourish Family Nutrition.

But as she rightly says, it takes planning to make sure you are getting in all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, particularly the B-vitamins, and iron.

Getting the most out of a plant-based protein diet means eating a variety of legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, and veggies every day

You should always choose unrefined foods, whole foods, like soybeans that come in the form of tofu, if you want to boost your protein intake.

As recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), adults should consume at least 50 grams of protein a day.

That would be on a diet that has 2000 calories per day.

Why don’t you ask athletes like Kyrie Irving and Venus Williams, who are vegans?

They stay on top of their game eating plant protein.

We can guarantee you your body will thank you too if you decide to follow suit. 

Here are our top high-protein veggies to add to your diet

Top 17 Vegetables Highest in Protein

1) Edamame

Edamame

Protein: 9 grams per ½-cup, cooked

Edamame is cooked soybeans. Soybeans are a very quality high protein of the legume family. You can enjoy many ways of eating it with just about anything in the kitchen.

From powder made from the delicious roasted soybeans to mixing it with other foods, to soybean sprouts you can enjoy it all.

This veggie is absolutely a powerhouse of protein [2]. It is a must-have for the protein boost you need if you’re not eating meat.

You can get all that protein content which with a few other nutrients will give a complete protein content.

It is very delicious to eat as a snack, or you can toss it into a veggie stir fry or into soups.

There are endless choices too. You can also puree the beans and use them as a dip – just yummy springs to mind.

Benefits of eating edamame

  • Plenty of healthy stomach-filling fiber
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Reliable protein source for a side dish and main course meal that has almost two times more protein per gram of any other than the average cruciferous veggie.

2) Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Protein: 7 grams to 1 large potato, cooked

Red potatoes, as well as white potatoes, have plenty of protein in them as well. And it’s not only the protein.

Red and white potatoes have high levels of fiber in them, plus vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 promotes protein metabolism.

Whether you have baked potato, mashed, or roasted, you will definitely find the red potato more-ish.

Benefits red potatoes to health

  • Lowers stress levels
  • Provides energy
  • Fat-free
  • Keeps blood pressure healthy
  • Naturally gluten-free

3) Lentils

Lentils

Protein: 8 grams in ½-cup, cooked

Lentils are low in calories and high in fiber – a total superfood [3].

Lentils are rich in copper, potassium, and folate. How about making some delicious lentil hummus to enjoy?

Benefits of Lentils

  • Excellent for heart health
  • Help to control cholesterol levels and body weight
  • Energizing iron and vitamin B1

4) Peanuts

Peanuts

Protein: 8 grams per 1 ounce

Peanuts are legumes, so technically they are a vegetable. With just a 1-ounce serving of peanuts, you get almost 8 grams of protein [4].

Peanuts and peanut butter is the ideal snack for your pre-workout and post-workout.

Peanuts are so easy to integrate into protein recipes, such as in tacos and pancakes.

Benefits of eating peanuts

  • Peanuts contain healthy fat, fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and B vitamins.
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • They are not rich in vitamin k, so they will not have any adverse effects with anticoagulation therapy.

5) Black Beans

Black Beans

Protein: 8 grams per ½-cup, cooked

Not only do provide a good dose of protein, but black beans are also packed with potassium, fiber for a healthy heart, vitamin B6, folate, and phytonutrients.

You can absolutely make a meal out of them – have you ever tried a black-bean burger?

Black beans benefits

  • Promotes healthy bones
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Good for diabetes
  • Stave off heart disease
  • Helps to prevent cancer [5]
  • Good digestion and weight loss

6) Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Protein: seven grams per ½-cup, cooked

Chickpeas have a wonderful combination of fiber and protein in them.

We all probably have enjoyed chickpea hummus at some time.

But chickpeas are so versatile. 

You can use them in many things, in meat dishes, baked snacks, soups, salads, and rich falafel.

Chickpeas benefits

  • Help to control blood sugar, preventing it from going up too fast
  • Good for digestion
  • Helps to lower cholesterol
  • Lowers the risk of cancer
  • Promote stronger bones
  • Boost mental health

7) Wild Rice

Wild Rice

Protein: 3.25 grams per ½-cup, cooked

Rice isn’t actually a veggie. But wild rice is – it comes from a species of grass.

You cook it in much the same way as you do other rice.

It’s tasty and chewy and higher in protein than regular rice as well as having a goodly amount of antioxidants.

Benefits of wild rice

  • Keeps cholesterol low with all the natural fiber
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Boosts energy
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Helps build muscle, and more

8) Hubbard Squash

Hubbard Squash

Protein: 5.08 grams per 1 cup, cooked

See how this squash helps you squash your workout routines.

Just a cup of this very tasty veggie will give you just over 5 grams of protein. It’s filling too.

It provides carotenoid antioxidants and helps to promote skeletal health and eye health.  Check out these healthy recipes.

Benefits

  • Low fat and free of cholesterol
  • Excellent source of vitamins A and C
  • A good source of fiber

9) Spinach

Spinach

Protein, per 1 cup of raw spinach: 0.86 grams

One cup of cooked spinach has over five grams of fiber. Spinach has exceptional nutritional value.

The leafy leaves are loaded with folic acid, calcium, iron, fiber, and much more it’s ideal to add to salads and smoothies.

Spinach protein benefits

  • Beneficial for skin and hair health
  • Improves blood glucose control in people who have diabetes [6]
  • Lowers the risk of cancer
  • Improves bone health

10) Refried Beans

Refried Beans

Protein: 6.5 grams per half-cup serving, cooked

You will love filling enchiladas and tacos with refried pinto and black beans – that’s apart from eating them alone.

Refried beans benefits

  • Lowers the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • Healthy for glucose metabolism and diabetes
  • Prevents fatty liver: when you replace high-fat animal proteins with plant-based proteins, you are giving your liver better health
  • Controls the appetite and improves healthy eating.
  • Improves gut health

11) Green Peas

Green Peas

Protein: 4 grams per ½-cup, cooked

Peas belong to the same family as beans, peanuts, lentils, and chickpeas.

It is hard to believe that the tiny nutritious pea, when cooked, that an 80 g serving contains as much as 5.4 g of protein.

Other essential vitamins and minerals abound in peas as well, such as iron, potassium, and phosphorus. They have plenty of Vitamin E, vitamin C, and fiber in them to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Being one of the best plant protein foods, peas contain important nutrients that enrich the red blood cells and enhances the transport of oxygen around the body.

Ideal for athletes and weight watchers, peas have only around 118 calories per cup.

Try green peas pureed with steamed broccoli – as long as you can control yourself with how much you eat, it’s so delicious!

Benefits of green peas

  • Good sources of vitamins E and C, antioxidants, and zinc which strengthen the immune system
  • Helps to reduce inflammation
  • Lower the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis 

12) Soybean Sprouts

Soybean Sprouts

Protein: 4 grams per ½-cup, cooked

Whether you add your soybean sprouts to a delightful-looking salad or add them on top of your bibimbap, you will always get that crunch, full of fiber and deliciousness.

That’s not forgetting that soybean sprouts offer you a hefty dose of protein when it comes to plant-based meals.

Benefits

  • Can reduce stress and anxiety
  • Helps to build immunity
  • Improves heart health
  • Might help with weight loss
  • Might aid in skincare
  • Could improve digestion, and more

13) Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Protein: 5.5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Brussels sprouts are delicious and nutritious, period.

Not only do they provide plenty of protein, but when you eat them, you are giving your body a very good amount of vitamin K and potassium as well.

Benefits to health

Brussels sprouts protein offers the following benefits:

  • Prevents damage to your DNA that can lead to cancer [7]
  • Prevents new blood vessels from growing inside tumors
  • May protect against cancers of the lungs, stomach, kidney, breast, prostate, and bladder
  • Can stave off health issues like high cholesterol, high bp, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Healthy for the eyes

14) Artichokes

Artichokes

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Artichokes look so regal, don’t they?

They pop up often in green salads as well as occasionally on your pizza.

Well, they are darn healthy after all, comprising of plenty of vitamins C, vitamin A, calcium, and iron – delicious for using for dips as well.

And they have plenty of protein content too!

Nutritional benefits of artichokes

  • Shows positive effects on the liver
  • Can improve digestive health
  • Artichokes contain inulin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic.
  • Shows an improvement in gut bacteria
  • Relieves symptoms of indigestion, like heartburn, nausea, and bloating
  • Helps to ease IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Can help to lower blood sugar
  • Known to have anti-cancer effects

15) Broccoli

Broccoli

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Broccoli is such a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways and it’s tasty when cooked with olive oil, potato salad, or broccoli rabe.

No matter whether you add some to your green salad, cook it with white sauce or puree it with green peas, you will benefit from the fiber and protein benefits.

Broccoli is also linked to its cancer-preventing properties.

Benefits

  • Good for the health of the heart
  • Has cancer-protective compounds
  • Good for improving healthy vision
  • Supports hormonal balance [8]
  • Supports the immune system

16) Asparagus

Asparagus

Protein: 4.25 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Asparagus is a much-loved vegetable, used in heaps of healthy and delicious combinations for any hungry person.

It is greatly used as snack, with spaghetti, shrimp, and other ways.

Health benefits

  • Low in calories
  • Plenty of fiber, vitamins A, C, and K
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves digestion
  • Promotes healthy pregnancy outcomes
  • Lowers bp

17) Corn

corn

Protein: 4 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Sometimes corn is thought of as just that, a veggie, to enjoy with your meals.

After all, it does have delicious flavors when served at a barbeque.

And then there’s delicious cornbread. People don’t often realize that corn has excellent amounts of fiber in it, plus magnesium, folate, and vitamin.

Plus it has protein in it, called zeins [9].

Benefits corn

  • Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants which help protect the cells from damage
  • Wards off diseases like heart disease and cancer
  • Sweet yellow corn is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin making it good for eye health. It may be a good source of vitamin D when cooked without common salt.

It doesn’t just end there though – Carrots, most beans sorts including green beans, pinto beans, the delicious butter beans, also known as lima beans which contains lima beans protein can make up your high protein vegetables.

More varieties like; red bell pepper, kale, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, collard greens, avocado, beet greens, and Brussel sprouts are all veggies that have protein in them, that you can store in your refrigerator to conjure up amazing snacks and meals at any time.

Conclusion

So what are you going to eat after your workouts?

Or what will you ask for when you hit the restaurants after hours and are starving?

Well, now, you have a whole new world of high-protein veggies that will do the trick and be absolutely so scrumptious, you might wonder how you ever thought beef steaks, mutton, and pork were the only things you ate at dinner time.

After all, a solid meal of protein after a sweat-sesh is very important for building lean muscle mass.

The truth of the matter is that protein-packed chicken and other cuts are the only food that will get you toned.

Vegetables also pack their punch.

Actually, there are some veggies that are protein-high enough to have as much as 8 grams per cup.

It might pale in comparison to a chicken breast or a beef burger, but thing is – veggies are also high in fiber and contain vitamins and antioxidants.

And they might well be healthier.

Studies show that those who eat a higher amount of vegetable protein are less prone to developing type 2 diabetes [10].

This same study found that people who replaced around 5 grams of animal protein with plant protein every day would reduce their risk of diabetes by 18%!

And another study found that plant protein was able to help dieters feel less hungry and just as full as those who ate the same amount of animal protein [11]

References

 

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