Big chunks of meat don’t always need to be the only source of protein in your diet. Cutting back on meat occasionally and replacing meat with another source of protein can be a good change for the body. And by other sources of protein we don’t mean protein shakes and protein powder.
You’ve probably heard many times before that vegetables do not have much protein and it would be very hard to satisfy your daily protein needs. Yes, vegetables are not complete protein sources, but combining them with other veggies or combining them with eggs and dairy products can be a great way to boost your protein intake.
In this article, we present you with a list of 20 vegetables that will help you boost your protein intake and provide you with fibre at the same time.
1) Edamame (Organic)
Protein amount: 19 grams in one cup cooked serving
Edamame is one of the tastiest and healthiest appetizers. One cup of it or cooked soybeans has an enormous amount of protein. Always opt for an organic type, since the majority of soybeans in the US are actually genetically modified and grown with lots of pesticides. You can try frying it along with scallions, eggs, and asparagus.
2) Tempeh (Organic)
Protein amount: 17 grams in a three-ounce serving
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and mixing them in a dense cake that can later be fried in a pan like tofu or it can be sliced. It’s easily chewable, feels very nutty and has a lot higher amount of fibre and protein in comparison to tofu and since it is fermented, it can be more digestible for some people.
3) Tofu (Organic)
Protein amount: 9-16 grams in a three-ounce serving
Tofu is the standard vegetarian food known even to non-vegetarians and what vegetarians are most known for to eat. It’s made from curdled soy milk that can be fried in a pan, sauteed and stirred or sometimes scrambled. It might not be as full of protein as the tempeh is, but the taste can be more tolerable to some. Always go for the organic types to avoid GMO soy and nasty pesticides.
Lentils are low in calories, have lots of fibre and large amounts of protein which can be turned into a side dish filled with nutrients like a veggie burger or sometimes mixed into a sauce or dip. Lentils have also been proven to decrease cholesterol levels and decrease heart disease risk.
5) Black Beans
Protein amount: 8 grams in a half-cup cooked serving
These beans have a high content of fibre, folate, potassium, vitamin B6 and various types of phytonutrients. They can also be made into brownies.
6) Lima Beans
Protein amount: 8 grams in a half-cup cooked serving
Lima beans have been very common in our meals when we were kids. But that’s no reason to neglect them as an adult. Besides having high amounts of protein, lima beans are also rich in the amino acid leucine, which plays a major role in the protein synthesis in muscle tissue in adults.
Protein amount: 8 grams in a quarter cup serving/2 tablespoons of peanut butter
Peanuts are an excellent snack and peanut butter is the classic comfort food for kids, but you can also add it in lots of others foods like pizza. Peanuts and peanut butter can also help decrease your appetite and make you eat a lot less during the entire day, contributing to weight loss.
Wild rice is one of grains richest in protein and whenever you are at a doubt what grain to eat you should always opt for white rice. It has a chewy and nutty texture and can be very satiating. You could try making a casserole with it and add goat cheese and cranberries.
Protein amount: 7 grams in half cup serving
Chickpeas are an excellent source of both fiber and protein which makes it an ideal combination for a healthy and tasty dip. You can try spreading it on a slice of bread instead of mayonnaise or serve it with along with various vegetable slices.
Protein amount: 7 grams in a quarter cup serving
Besides being filled with protein almonds also have high amounts of vitamin E which offers great benefits to your hair and skin health. They can also satisfy around 60% of your daily needs for magnesium, which will help you with your sugar cravings, it can decrease PMS cramps, increase bone health and decrease soreness in your muscles as well as spasms.
Protein amount: 7 grams in two tablespoons per 2 tablespoons
Chia seeds pack an enormous amount of protein in such a small size, and they are also rich in linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Plus, omega-3 acids help you trigger the release of the hunger-regulating hormone leptin, in charge of signalling your body to start burning off fats instead of depositing them.
12) Steel-Cut Oats
Protein amount: 6 grams in a quarter cup serving
Steel cut oats are not only a rich source of protein they have a lot smaller glycemic index in comparison to rolled oats. That means that they don’t cause big blood sugar spikes, and chances are you’ll be much more satiated and will have fewer cravings after you’ve finished eating them. You can add all sorts of fruit like peach, blueberries, cranberries or various veggies.
Protein amount: 5 grams in a quarter cup serving
Besides having a moderate amount of protein, cashews provide around twenty percent of the daily recommended magnesium intake, as well as twelve percent of the daily recommended vitamin K intake which are two crucial nutrients when it comes to bone health and growth.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent choice when it comes to having a healthy protein snack and they are filled with lots of minerals and provide half of the daily recommended magnesium intake, as well as zinc which boosts the immune system, omega-3 fatty acids, and tryptophan which can improve sleep quality.
Protein amount: 5 grams in one medium-sized potato
Potatoes contain a decent amount of protein and are an excellent side dish. They are wrongly thought of as having a few nutrients, but a medium-sized potato has around 5 grams of protein and provides twenty percent of the daily recommended magnesium intake which offers numerous heart health benefits.
Protein amount: 4 grams in half-cup cooked serving
Four grams may not seem a big amount to you but considering it is a green vegetable, it sure is. And spinach salad is not the only thing you can make with it. Cooking it with cheese is one way you can increase its content of protein and make it a lot more delicious.
The same as potatoes, corn is often looked down upon as plant that hasn’t got great nutrition qualities, but if it’s served along with legumes and veggies rich in protein, it can make for a very nice and balanced plant-based meal. Always opt for organic, non-genetically modified fresh types, since most of the corn sold in markets has been modified genetically.
Protein amount: 2 grams in a half-piece of medium-sized avocado
Avocados are super tasty, creamy and incredibly satiating, all of it owing to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and a small amount of protein. You can add it to guacamole or add it into a mojito smoothie.
Protein amount: 2 grams in a half-cup serving
Broccoli offers an amazing amount of fibre and has an amazing amount of protein considering it’s a vegetable. Additionally, it’s been shown to have amazing anti-cancer compounds including sulforaphane. You can increase your intake by preparing a salad with broccoli and peanuts which combines two plants rich in protein in one easy-to-cook meal.
Tiny Brussels sprouts are needlessly scorned for having a not-so-great taste, especially once frozen, but when it comes to having lots of nutrients they pack a powerful punch. Beside protein, they also have large amounts of vitamin K and potassium.