Top Vegetables High in Protein: Ultimate Guide

various veggies

Eating a plant-based diet can sometimes raise concerns about getting enough protein. But fear not, because the vegetable kingdom is home to a host of protein-packed options that can easily be incorporated into your daily meals. Not only do these vegetables provide the necessary building blocks for a healthy diet. They also bring a variety of flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits to the table.

Protein Powerhouses: A Comparison of the Top 30 Vegetables High in Protein

Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t have to mean missing out on protein. In fact, there are plenty of vegetables that pack a serious protein punch. From leafy greens to root vegetables, these plant-based sources of protein are not only healthy but also delicious and versatile in the kitchen. To help you navigate the world of veggie protein, we’ve compiled a chart comparing the protein content of the top 30 vegetables highest in protein. So whether you’re looking to add some variety to your diet. Or if you want to simply boost your protein intake, this chart has got you covered.

Vegetable (per 100g)Protein (g)
Brussels Sprouts2.56
Bamboo Shoots2.3
Beet Greens2.2
Bell Pepper1.9
Bok Choy1.9
Butternut Squash1.8
Collard Greens1.6
Green Beans1.5
Swiss Chard1.5
It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive and there are many other vegetables that contain protein, but these are some of the highest in protein content per 100g.

The Heavy Hitters: Top Vegetables High in Protein

When it comes to vegetables high in protein, some stand out above the rest. These include:

Peas: These little green orbs pack a whopping 8 grams of protein per cup. They can be enjoyed steamed, in a salad, or even blended into a pea pesto. Peas are not considered as a vegetable, rather it is classified as a legume. However, peas are a great source of plant-based protein and are often used as a protein source in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Broccoli: This cruciferous veggie packs a protein punch with 2.6 grams per cup. It’s also a great source of vitamin K and vitamin C. Try roasting it for a crispy and savory side dish.

Brussels sprouts: Like broccoli, these mini cabbages are a great source of protein with 2.4 grams per cup. They also contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K. Try them shaved thin in a salad or caramelized with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Spinach: This leafy green is not only a great source of protein (2.9 grams per cup) but also an excellent source of iron and vitamin K. It can be enjoyed sautéed, in a smoothie, or even raw in a salad.

Sweet potatoes: These root vegetables have 2 grams of protein per cup, and they’re also packed with vitamin A and potassium. Try them baked, mashed, or even spiralized into “noodles” for a unique twist on pasta.

The All-Stars: More Vegetables High in Protein

These vegetables may not be as high in protein as the heavy hitters, but they still pack a punch and can be easily incorporated into your meals:

Asparagus: With 2.4 grams of protein per cup, this spring vegetable is also a great source of vitamins A, C, and K.

Artichokes: These thistle-like veggies contain 4.2 grams of protein per cup and are also high in fiber and antioxidants.

Avocados: These creamy fruits may be known for their healthy fats, but they also contain 2 grams of protein per cup.

Okra: With 2.5 grams of protein per cup, okra is also a good source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

Meeting Your Protein Needs with Vegetables: How Much to Eat

When it comes to meeting your protein needs with vegetables, it’s important to keep in mind that the protein content can vary depending on the specific vegetable and serving size. However, generally speaking, most adults should aim to consume around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

To give you an idea of how much of these high-protein vegetables you would need to consume to reach that target, here are a few examples:

  • 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein, which is about 36% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult.
  • 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 5 grams of protein, which is about 10% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult.
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli contains 4 grams of protein, which is about 8% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult.

Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates. Your specific protein needs may vary depending on factors such as your age, sex, weight, and level of physical activity. Additionally, it’s important to remember that it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any drastic changes to your diet.

The Takeaway

Incorporating more vegetables high in protein into your diet is a delicious and easy way to boost your nutrient intake. Whether you’re a meat-eater looking to add more plant-based meals to your diet. Or a vegan looking for new sources of protein, these vegetables offer a wealth of flavor and nutrition. With so many options to choose from, there’s no excuse not to add a little more green to your plate.

Sources For Vegetable Protein Content

The sources of the information for the chart on protein content in vegetables are from reputable nutrition databases such as the USDA Food Composition Databases and the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. These databases provide the nutritional information for a wide range of foods, including their protein content.

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