15 High Protein Vegetables You Need To Eat

Protein is an essential nutrient. The body needs it to build and repair tissues.

Although animal foods are usually highest in protein, some plants also contain high amounts.

Here are 15 healthful vegetables that contain a fair amount of protein.

1. Edamame

If you normally only eat edamame at your local sushi restaurant, it’s time to start enjoying it at home. It’s packed with healthy plant protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Total protein: 18.46 grams per cup (prepared from frozen)

[Read: Top Lean Protein Foods You Should Eat]

2. Green Peas

These tiny green beans will not only tone your muscles with over eight grams of protein, but they’ll also provide seven grams of satiating fiber per 1 cup—all for a mere 125 calories. Adding non-starchy veggies like peas to your diet can help you lose inches of belly fat.

3. Lentils

Low-cal, high-fiber lentils are a bona-fide superfood. They’re rich in folate, potassium, and copper, making them even healthier than the grains that they can replace.

Protein: 16 grams per cup, cooked

4. Black Beans

On top of providing plenty of protein, black beans are also packed with heart-healthy fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and a range of phytonutrients. You can absolutely make a meal out of them, but they’re also easy to slip into almost any dish, including soups and stir-fries.

Protein: 16 grams per cup, cooked

[Read: How To Stay Full For Weight Loss]

5. Russet Potato

All hail the humble potato! Still “clothed” in its skin, the tuber provides almost 8 grams of protein per large potato with skin (baked) and plenty of slow digesting carbs to help your muscles rebuild and recover after an intense workout. We like serving our baked potato with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, a dollop of Greek yogurt, some chopped scallions, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

6. Spinach

It is full of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C, which support a healthy immune system, protect vision, promote healthy blood flow and more.

Protein: 5.2 grams per cup, cooked

7. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are popular in Mexican cooking. They work well in burritos, as a salad topper, in soups and chilis, or just as a side. Try cooking dried pinto beans instead of using the canned type for even more health benefits.

Protein: 15.41 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

[Read: 20 “Zero Calories” Foods For Weight Loss]

8. Chickpeas

The combo of protein and fiber in chickpeas makes for one healthy bean. Of course, most of us know and love chickpeas from hummus, but they’re able to transform into almost anything, from rich falafel to crunchy, baked snacks. They’re especially good whole inside soups, salads, and even crepes.

Protein: 14 grams per cup, cooked

9. Mung Beans

Mung beans are part of the legume family and offer plenty of protein per serving. They’re also a good source of iron and fiber.

Protein: 14.18 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

10. Fava Beans

In their pods, fava beans look like edamame or green beans. Try adding these nutritious legumes to stews and salads or making them into a tasty dip.

Protein: 12.92 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

[Read: 11 Easy Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake]

11. Lima Beans

This little legume packs a nutritious punch with plenty of potassium, fiber, and iron.

Protein: 11.58 grams per cup (boiled)

12. Snow Peas

Snow peas pack plenty of protein, both raw and cooked. The crunchy snack is a perfect addition to meals that need a little more green in them, including this pesto tortellini and this ricotta toast. You’ll also get a hefty dose of fiber and vitamin C.

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

13. Quinoa

This popular health food is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Quinoa cooks in just 15 minutes and is a great addition to salads, veggie burgers, pilaf, casseroles, and much more.

Protein: 8.14 grams per cup (cooked)

[Read: 7 Speedy And Effective Workouts To Get In Shape For Busy People]

14. Broccoli

Broccoli’s not only an awesome source of fiber—it’s also a surprisingly great way to reach your daily protein goal. You can’t go wrong with a vegetable that’s linked with cancer-preventing properties, either. We love it in a stir fry, but you can always steam, bake, or puree the vegetable with just about anything.

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

15. Asparagus

Who knew that so much protein could be stuffed into a 32-calorie cup of these skinny spears? Besides the protein, we also love that asparagus is jam-packed with inulin (a type of prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut) and potassium, which can help you look slimmer by keeping bloating at bay.

Protein: 4.32 grams per 1 cup

[Read: 7 High-Protein Breakfasts to Power Your Morning]

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