Here are the top 10 vegetables high in protein – eat these if you want to get a lot of muscles, abs, biceps, lose weight, have good skin, hair, nails and well, maintain life.
Did you hear there’s not enough protein out there? The protein is nooooot enough…(007? The world is not enough? No? Fine, I’m the loser because I remember songs from 56 years ago.)
In fact, I’ve heard you’re more likely to dig out a diamond in the local park than to find protein in those old fashioned foods some people still eat these days.
Well, new research has shown, there is, actually, enough protein in our food, and we don’t need to get paranoid about it. I did this research using this database and here we’ll see the results.
I focused specifically on high-protein vegetables and surprise: some of them actually have more protein than meat. Which ones? I didn’t know, but I learned something new and you will too when you scroll down!
But first, let’s ask a question nobody seems to ask these days, because we feel protein is super scarce.
Why TF Do We Even Need Protein?
You might have heard you need to eat a ton of protein to gain muscles, to lose weight and to be super fit. That’s probably true, but there’s more to protein than making you look like Arnold (from Hey, Arnold, obviously!).
Proteins are pretty much like transformers because they can do so many things inside the body. Here are some functions of protein in the body we don’t seem to acknowledge anymore:
- As enzymes: Proteins are needed as an “assistant” to make different reactions and processes happen in the body. Without those enzymes, we won’t be able to digest food, produce energy or use the muscles we’ve built.
- As hormones: Proteins and peptides can act as hormones. Which means, they help different cells in the body communicate. Some examples are insulin, human growth hormone, and antidiuretic hormone.
- As part of the immune system: Proteins are also antibodies. The molecules your immune system can build, for example, when you’ve gone through infection or vaccination. These antibodies circulate through the body protect us from getting sick again.
- Tissue Building. And of course, we need protein for growth and for the ongoing maintenance of our tissues – skin, hair, nails, muscles – everything needs to be built and rebuilt consistently. We need protein for that.
How Much Do We Need?
I’ve heard many stories. From we don’t need much protein to we need 1g of protein per pound. Here’s what we absolutely need according to NIH:
- infants: 1.5 g/kg/day
- toddler (1-3y) 1.1 g/kg/day
- Ages between 4 and 13: 0.95 g/kg/day
- Teenagers between 14-18: 0.85 g/kg/day
- Adults: 0.8 g /kg/day for adults
- Pregnant (using pre-pregnancy weight) or Lactating woman: 1.1 g/kg/day
Based on these numbers, a woman who is 55 kg or 121 pounds would need around 44g protein per day, not 121g of protein.
As always these numbers are very individual and also depend on your lifestyle (someone with a more active lifestyle would need more protein than someone who sits for a living, even at the same height and weight!).
Top 10 Vegetables High In Protein
- Broccoli. 1 cup of chopped broccoli contains 2.57 g protein, 2.4 g fiber and 31 kcal.
- Green Peas. 1/2 cup of green peas has 3.93 g protein, 4.1 g fiber and 59 kcal
- Mushrooms (more protein than meat!). 1 cup whole white mushrooms contain 2.97 g protein, 1.0 g fiber and 21 kcal. That’s 14.24g of protein per 100kcal, which beats ground beef!
- Asparagus (more protein than meat!). 1 cup asparagus contains 2.95 g protein, 2.8 g fiber and 27 kcal. That’s 10.91g protein per 100kcal, which again beats ground beef.
- Artichokes. 1 artichoke contains 4.19 g protein, 6.9 g fiber and 60 kcal
- Brussels Sprouts. 1 cup Brussels Sprouts contain 2.97 g protein, 3.3 g fiber and 38 kcal
- Cauliflower. 1 cup chopped cauliflower contains 2.05 g protein, 2.1 g fiber and 27 kcal
- Edamame (more protein than meat!). 1 cup frozen edamame contains 13.24g protein, 129 kcal, and 5.7 g fiber. Aaaand, with 10.32g protein / 100kcal edamame is doing much better than ground beef.
- Spinach (more protein than meat!). 100g of spinach have 2.86g protein, 20 kcal, and 2.2g fiber. That’s 12.30g protein per 100kcal, beats ground beef and makes it cry.
- Arugula (more protein than meat!. 100g of arugula have 2.58g protein, 25 kcal, and 1.6 g fiber. Seriously, this green has 10.32g protein per 100kcal and ground beef is really sad by now.
Okay, you saw the high-protein vegetable list. Now let me clarify two things:
- One. So, I decided to do something fun. I decided to compare the protein per 100 kcal of the X vegetable, to the 9.71g of protein found in 100 kcal ground beef. Fun right? Yes, it was. And it was totally not a waste of my time. I also do realize that nobody eats 5 cups of mushrooms for lunch every day…but a little bit here, a little bit over there – it will add up. Use these veggies, it’s in your best interest.
- Two. I also included the amount of fiber, because fiber in combination with protein is essential to keep you full and satiated (super important if your goal is to lose weight!)
Well, I hope you found this list helpful, in case you want to up your protein intake and don’t like powders or bars – eating these vegetables can be an easy way to do it.
If you did find this helpful, you can pin the graphic to Pinterest, print it out and put it under your pillow, put it on your desktop and blow kisses to it when you’re bored. I won’t judge you, where do you think I came up with these options in the first place.
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- 15 High-Protein Low-Carb Vegan Foods To Eat
- 24 High-Fiber Low-Carb Foods To Eat
- 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Eat Every Day