Protein is one of the most important nutrients required to ensure the proper functioning of our body. It is responsible for several essential activities such as strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle mass. It does not matter whether your protein comes from vegetable protein-rich food or from fish and meats. Based on your diet preferences it is vital to have adequate quantity of this nutrient in your daily diet.
However, usually, when people think of a high protein diet, the first thought goes towards non-vegetarian sources such as chicken or steak. This has perpetrated one of the biggest misconceptions of all time, that vegetarians cannot get the recommended amount of protein intake.
To bust this myth here is a list of some vegetable-high protein foods that are the best vegetable sources of protein that you can incorporate into your diet as a way to promote healthy eating.
Edamame is one of the highest vegetable protein-rich foods and contains about 18.46 grams per 100-gram serving. It is also a good source of nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, Vitamin K, and Iron. It is also very filling and contains only 122 calories per cup, making it an excellent choice for those trying to lose weight
Consuming edamame can improve your lipid profile, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering LDL levels and eliminating triglycerides. It can also prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by reducing the oxidative stress exerted on the brain.
#2. Pinto Beans
Primarily used in Mexican cuisine, pinto beans are another vegetable protein-rich food that contains around 16 grams of protein per 100-gram serving, coming in under 245 calories per cup. It has no cholesterol and is an excellent source of nutrients like potassium, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus, making it a good vegetable source of protein.
Consuming pinto beans can be useful for those diagnosed with diabetes as it helps with regulating the body’s glucose levels. They are tightly packed and full of fibre, making them beneficial for weight loss and promoting healthy digestion. Pinto beans are also loaded with antioxidants which can be useful in preventing chronic illnesses.
Chickpeas are one of the excellent vegetable high protein foods, containing nearly 15 grams per 100 grams serving. They are also rich in nutrients like Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B-6, and iron, making them an excellent nutritional addition.
Chickpeas are a rich source of dietary fibre and can help improve the body’s digestion, aid mental health, and promote bone growth and development. One thing to keep in mind is to soak your chickpeas before consuming them. This ensures the removal of a compound called phytate, which hinders your body’s absorption of calcium.
#4. Mung Beans
Also known as moong, these beans contain nearly 14 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. They are a rich source of nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus, making them one of the best veggie foods high in protein. You can soak these beans and consume them whole or incorporate them into dishes like curries and rice as well.
These beans are packed with dietary fibre which is useful for regulating digestion. They also help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and prevent the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease.
#5. Green Peas
Green peas are one of the most versatile vegetable high protein food and contain about 9 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. They are rich in nutrients like iron, riboflavin, and the B class of vitamins. You can use green peas to add texture and flavour to carbs such as rice or simply roast them.
Green peas are loaded with antioxidants and folates that can help prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and improve the body’s digestion as well.
#6. Brussels Sprouts
While they may seem a tad bit unappetizing, brussels sprouts are very nutrient-dense and one of the best vegetable protein-rich foods containing nearly 6 grams of protein per serving. They are also rich in dietary fibre, potassium, and manganese, making them an excellent choice for those trying to lose weight. You can incorporate them into a salad or consume them wholly by steaming them.
Brussels sprouts are also beneficial in reducing the oxidative stress exerted on the body and preventing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Potatoes are one of the most easily available vegetables that are rich in protein. They are a delicious way to introduce some protein into your diet as they contain nearly 6 grams of protein per medium-sized potato. They are packed with essential nutrients such as Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C and are an excellent choice of carbs to keep you fueled through the day.
Potatoes are great for boosting your energy levels and keeping your blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check. They are also rich in dietary fiber, which helps in improving the body’s digestive function and promoting the growth of healthy intestinal micro bacteria.,
A single cup of fresh boiled asparagus can get you nearly 5 grams of protein. Additionally, it is also a great source of nutrients like fibre, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.
fibres are loaded with dietary fibre and are an excellent nutritional choice for those trying to lose weight. You can consume asparagus whole or incorporate them into baked salads and garlic based stir-fries.
Asparagus is a vegetable source of protein that is also useful for lowering the risk of developing heart disease by regulating the body’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
One of the least known veggie foods high in protein is broccoli. While it may be on the receiving end of a lot of hate and dislike for its taste, broccoli is packed with several nutrients like proteins, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. A single stalk of broccoli has nearly 4.5 grams of protein and has only 30 calories. It is also 90% water and extremely filling, which can help curb your appetite and make better nutritional choices.
Among the best vegetable high protein foods Avocados are a fairly good source. A medium-sized avocado contains nearly 5 grams of protein. It is also a rich source of nutrients like Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folates, Vitamin K, and Iron. Consuming avocado can help your brain limit the secretion of hunger hormones such as ghrelin and curb appetite. Avocados are also full of antioxidants and dietary fibre which help in carrying out smooth digestion, regulating cholesterol levels, and preventing the risk of developing heart diseases.
#11. Fava Beans
Fava Beans are one of the highest vegetables that are rich in protein, containing about 13 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. They are also a rich source of nutrients such as Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Iron, and magnesium. They provide a rich texture and earthy flavour, making them an ideal supplement to most dishes. Fava beans are also beneficial for boosting the immune system and promoting bone growth and development.
#12. Lima Beans
Other protein-rich foods in vegetables include lima beans. A single boiled cup of lima beans contains nearly 11.5 grams of protein. It is also rich in nutrients like fibre, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Fava beans are beneficial for reducing LDL cholesterol, decreasing oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals, and maintaining cognitive function. They are also packed with dietary fibre and help promote healthy gut health and ensure smooth digestive function.
While basing your diet and nutrition on whole foods will definitely get you the protein that you need, it can also be a difficult process to monitor your food intake and calculate how much protein you are getting on a daily basis through vegetables that are rich in protein. This is why you can supplement your diet with nutritional aids such as protein bars and whey powders, to cater to the missing nutrients and incomplete protein intake.