It is of utmost essentiality to include rich sources of protein in your daily diet given its numerous benefits. Protein improves the body’s function in a plethora of ways. It helps in building and repairing tissues, maintaining muscle mass, and boosting the efficiency of your cartilage, skin, and blood.
More so, protein is one of the essential parts of the entire cell in your body and even your nails and hair are also made of protein. Protein is also referred to as a “macronutrient” given the fact that the body needs a large amount of it to work efficiently.
On the other hand, food classes such as vitamins and minerals are referred to as “micronutrients” because the body only needs small quantities of them. Unlike fats and carbohydrates, the body isn’t designed to store up protein. Thus, it has no storage to take from when it needs a protein supply.
This is why it is extremely necessary to include food sources rich in protein to your diet daily. Our health should be our priority in everything we do.
However, there are other sources of protein aside from meat, fishes, and the likes, and here, we have compiled a list of vegetables that are high in protein.
When rich sources of protein are mentioned, lentils must be among the first five given how rich it is. These tiny legumes contain more protein than all other veggies, and it also contains dietary fiber, folate, thiamin, iron, and phosphorus.
Lentils can be used for soups, stews, casseroles, and salads. You get 16 grams of protein per cup, and this is a good consumption amount for each day. There are numerous ways you could enjoy eating it. You could try them with bell peppers, potato stew, shredded Brussels sprouts, and so on.
Edamame (immature soybeans) is also one of the rich sources of protein. They are usually served hot at Japanese restaurants as a side dish. These nutritious and easy-to-prepare beans are packed with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.
It will be interesting to note that half a cup of edamame contains up to 9 grams of protein. This is up to 20% off your entire protein consumption in a day. Moreover, dry and roasted edamame contains more protein than cooked ones.
You can also enjoy edamame with foods such as pasta with prosciutto, carrots, and you can also make ginger-glazed edamame or a spicy edamame dip. If you are looking to up your protein diet, you could try adding edamame to your diet system.
Asparagus are delicious sprouts, and they are part of the veggies that first make it to the farmer’s market every spring. It is a rich source of protein, and it also contains nutrients such as vitamin K and riboflavin.
10 spears of asparagus contain over 4 grams of protein, and it can be eaten immediately it’s freshly gotten from the farm. Also, it is best eaten when it is fresh. Whenever you go to a farmer’s market to purchase them, ensure you go for the ones standing erect with no stalk limpness or decrease around the tips.
This veggie can be simply served roasted, or grilled. Interestingly, there are also other delicious flavors such as Asian-inspired roasted asparagus, stir-fried asparagus with bell peppers and cashew nuts, mozzarella chicken asparagus rolls, and so many others.
You can enjoy this veggie with many delicious foods and spices.
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant that is very common to central and western Asia. It belongs to the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae and subfamily Chenopodioidae. Moreover, it is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy vegetables a person can eat.
A cup (25g) of raw spinach contain 0.7g of protein, 100g of spinach contain up to 2.9g of protein, and 23 calories. The protein contained in it accounts for 50 percent of its calories.
The protein content of Spinach contains all essential amino acids. Just by taking one cup of Spinach daily, you’ll get over a 100 percent of Vitamin k, which is actually over a substantial percent of a person’s daily needs.
Spinach vegetable is also a rich source of folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. It is also a healthy source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and a decent source of potassium.
In a recent study, 10 athletes who supplemented with Spinach for fourteen days showed reduced muscle damage and oxidative stress after running a half marathon, compared to those who took a placebo.
So, if you are looking to increase your protein levels, Spinach would make a great choice.
The Chinese cabbage is sub specie of the turnip and belongs to the same genus as some Western staples including broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. This vegetable is also referred to as the napa cabbage and bok choy. It is also has a high protein content.
A cup (70g) of this nutritious vegetable contains 1.1 g of protein; 100g of this cabbage contains 1.5g of protein as well as 13 calories. Note that the protein accounts for 46 percent of its calories.
This vegetable is also a rich source of Vitamin K, C, and A. Just like spinach, it is a good source of potassium, calcium, and folate.
Several researchers have confirmed that the bok choy is rich in compounds with antioxidant activity. The outer leaves of this veggie contain the most antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
It can be used in some recipes including kimchi, stir-fries, spring rolls, and soups.
Collards are loose-leafed vegetables of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common veggies including broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage.
A cup (36 g) of chopped collard greens contains 1.1g of protein; 100g of this veggie contains 3g of protein as well as 32 calories. Protein accounts for up to 38 percent of its calories.
This nutrient-based vegetable is a rich source of Vitamin K. In a single cup you can get up to 131 percent of Vitamin K, which is over a substantial amount of a person’s daily needs. It is also high in folate, Vitamin C, potassium, and a decent source of calcium.
Moreover, collard greens are also a good source of antioxidants and phenolic compounds.
Recent research showed that the high levels of anti-oxidants in collard greens can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer when consumed. One study also showed that women who eat cruciferous vegetables such as collard greens are not likely to develop breast cancer.
So, if you are looking to increasing your Vitamins and antioxidant levels, Collard greens might be just what you need.
These healthy vegetables belong to the Brassica family. Although they are very similar to Kale, they have a distinct mustard flavor.
A cup (56g) of chopped mustard greens contains 1.6g of protein while 100g of mustard greens contain up to 2.9g of protein and 27 calories. The protein content of this vegetable accounts for 42 percent of its calories.
With just a cup of this vegetable, you’ll be getting 144 g of Vitamin K, which is over 100 percent of your daily needs. This veggie is also a rich source of Vitamin B, C, E potassium, and calcium.
Just like many other vegetables, mustard greens contain phenolic compounds that give them their antioxidant properties. However, steaming mustard seeds could increase their ability to bind with bile. This may help them be a great choice if you are looking to reducing your cholesterol levels.
Mustard greens can be steamed, boiled, sauté, or simply taken raw.
Alfalfa sprouts are healthy vegetables that are low in calories and high in nutrients.
A cup (33g) of these sprouts contains 1.3g of protein while 100g of these veggies contain 4g of protein alongside 23 calories. Their protein content accounts for up to 69 percent of their calories.
This vegetable is a rich source of phosphorus, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin C and copper. However, Alfalfa sprouts have been shown to reduce cholesterol due to their high saponin content.
It is also very beneficial for people with high blood lipid levels. These veggies have also been known for reducing the symptoms of menopause and preventing osteoporosis.
Beets are also an excellent source of protein. They are highly nutritious earthy roots that are quite healthy for the body. A cup of sliced beets contains 2.2 grams. Though that isn’t a considerable amount of protein, with the combination of other several types of veggies, you could still meet a healthy daily protein requirement.
Also, beets contain a small amount of fat and also folate, manganese, fiber, and potassium. You could also try adding them to your protein sources in your dieting system.
Potatoes don’t just contain carbohydrates. They are also a rich source of protein and these help in reaching a balance (between carbs and proteins). They also contain heart-healthy potassium and vitamin C.
A medium-sized tuber of potato contains over 3 grams of protein. So, if you eat lots of stuffed potato, you’ll surely get enough amounts of protein.
As mentioned earlier, proteins are quite essential to the body. They help in building the body and also combating bacterial and viral infections. They also aid in boosting the immune system.
So, make it a necessity to include rich sources of protein to your daily diet!