There are plenty of foods high in protein in the meat and dairy families, but there is perhaps more confusion over what vegetables you can eat that are high in protein. Luckily there are some great high protein vegetable options on offer.
High Protein Vegetables
Part of the legume family, lentils are very high in protein containing an impressive 18g of protein per 200g serving. They are also low in calories, with just 212 calories per 200g serving, making them a great addition to your diet if you are trying to restrict your calories intake.
As well as protein, lentils are also packed with dietary fibre and provide a great source of micronutrients. They are also highly versatile and can be a great addition to salads and soups to pack in some protein.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is available in two forms. Kale, which has smooth leaves and curly kale, which has crinkly leaves (as pictured below). Curley kale is probably the one you are more familiar with, as it is regularly sold in supermarkets. Kale contains packed in 8.6g of protein per 200g serving and only 98 calories.
Boiling kale for around 2 minutes is the most effective method of cooking this vegetable or alternatively it can be eaten raw.
Broccoli is the go-to vegetable for most fitness enthusiasts and for good reason. A 200g serving of broccoli provides almost 6g of protein, as well as a host of other benefits for your body. It is packed with fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. If you do not already, then you should certainly be adding broccoli to your meals for a nutritious boost.
There had to be a reason why Popeye always turned to spinach in his times of need. 200g of spinach contains around 6g of protein, and this vegetable is also loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Spinach is low in calories, making it a perfect addition to salads, smoothies and other meals.
Mushrooms are becoming known as a superfood amongst nutritionists than to the host of benefits they possess. A typical 200g serving of white mushrooms will provide over 6g of protein. Mushrooms a great source of Vitamin D, which makes them a great addition to our diet during the winter months when we do not get as much sun. In addition, this vegetable is high in dietary fibre, low in calories and is gluten-free. Some of the healthiest muschroom varities are shitake, reishi, turkey tail and himematsutake.
Mushrooms are a fantastic addition to a number of meals including spaghetti carbonara, omelettes or simply with egg on toast. Eating this vegetable will also benefit your immune system, helping you to fight off illness.
Make sure that you buy your mushrooms from a supermarket and do not start going around searching fields, as there are thousands of mushroom species that are poisonous and therefore harmful to the human body.
Protein Rich Vegetables
There are plenty of other vegetables that are rich in protein, but the 5 above are certainly a good start if you are looking to increase your protein consumption from non-meat sources. The best thing is the 5 vegetables listed above are all very affordable and readily available.
When looking to increase your protein consumption it is important to have an understanding of how much protein your need to eat and then you can make an informed decision on whether or not you need to include more protein rich foods in your diet.