7 High-Protein Vegetables You Should Be Eating

When most people think of plant-based protein, they picture vegan protein powders, nuts, beans, and quinoa. But did you know that there are other protein-rich vegetables that you may not have considered?

Whether you’re vegan and trying to get enough protein, or you’re really demanding protein to maximize your fitness gains, adding protein-rich vegetables to your meals can be really helpful in reaching your goals.

Here’s a list of seven protein-rich vegetables that might surprise you.

1. Lentils

Protein: 18 g per cup, cooked

Lentils are among the richest sources of plant protein in their whole form and are an excellent source of iron. Eat them with sautéed onions, tomatoes, or other sources of vitamin C to help your body. absorb its iron content.

Cooking tip: Use lentils to replace half the meat in this easy turkey chili as a simple swap.

2. Edamame

Edamame soy beans |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 18 g per cup shelled, cooked

A popular starter dish in Japanese cuisine, edamame is actually just soy beans, which have more protein than almost any whole vegetable. It is also an excellent source of fiber; This will help you feel full and control your blood sugar levels.

Cooking tip: Enjoy steamed edamame as a snack with a little sea salt, or add edamame beans to a teriyaki chicken stir-fry for some extra protein.

3. Green peas

Green peas |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 9 g per cup, cooked

Peas are not only a classic side dish, but they are also a good source of protein, a good source of magnesium and B vitamins, and rich in vitamin A. They also provide some calcium and beta-carotene, a type of antioxidant.

Cooking tip: Toss steamed peas with your favorite whole-wheat or bean-based pasta with fresh pesto sauce.

4. Cooked spinach

Cooked Spinach |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 5 g per cup, cooked

Popeye made spinach a famous health food for good reason. Cooked spinach is a good source of protein and also contains iron, calcium, vitamin A and folic acid.

Cooking tip: Add some spinach to your next green smoothie, game day snack, or batch of muffins (trust us, you’ll love them).

5. Yellow sweet corn

Corn |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 5 g per cup, cooked

There’s really nothing like sweet corn in the summer. In addition to some protein, corn provides starch and fiber, making it a great idea for the carb option on your plate. Corn also provides some potassium, phosphorus, niacin and magnesium.

Cooking tip: When you can get your hands on fresh sweet corn, boil the stalks for 10 minutes, chop up the kernels, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If the corn is not in season, you can still prepare them with frozen sweet corn.

6. Reddish potato

Potatoes |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 5 g per medium baked potato

Common potatoes have taken a hit in recent years, but did you know that they contain fiber like sweet potatoes, along with other nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and iron? They are an excellent option as a carbohydrate source for your meal.

Cooking tip: Enjoy your mashed potatoes protein style with this recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Greek Yogurt and Chives.

7. Artichoke

artichoke |  High protein vegetables

Protein: 4 g per medium artichoke, raw

Artichokes are quite large and, despite the small amount of delicious pulp you get from the leaves, they have more protein than most other vegetables. They also contain potassium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Try it on: Steam a whole artichoke for 20 to 25 minutes and enjoy dipping the leaves in this healthier hollandaise sauce.

The importance of obtaining different types of plant protein

For those who do not eat foods derived from animals, it is essential to consume a variety of types of proteins from various sources. Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids, nine of which are not synthesized by the body and, therefore, must come from food. Animal protein (eggs, fish, poultry, dairy, meat) contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

However, plant proteins are often incomplete. Therefore, those following a strict vegan diet should consider the quality of the protein they consume and combine foods accordingly.

Vegetarian diets can be much more flexible than vegan diets regarding protein sources. For example, eggs and dairy products are protein foods of high biological value (meaning they are easily absorbed and used by the body) and are lacto-ovo vegetarian. Regularly including eggs or dairy in addition to protein-rich plant foods, such as beans and lentils, can help ensure you get enough essential amino acids.

A vegetarian breakfast scramble could contain a whopping 26 grams of protein, as well as all the essential amino acids your body needs. All you would need are the following ingredients:

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