Top 12 High Protein Vegetables You Should Add To Your Diet

7 min read
Feb 10, 2024
Top 12 High Protein Vegetables You Should Add To Your Diet

12 high protein vegetables you should consider adding to your diet

Building and maintaining strong muscles, bones, and skin require protein. While animal products are usually thought of as high protein diet s, there are a number of plants that are also excellent providers of protein.

You can satisfy your protein requirements and provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and health-promoting plant components it needs by include plant-based protein in your diet .

Here are 12 high protein vegetables that you should include in your diet .

1. Lentils


As vegetables and proteins, lentils, peas, and beans provide the best of both worlds. They include fiber, folate, potassium, and other vital nutrients found in vegetables together with nutrients comparable to those found in meats, chicken, and fish.(1)

Cooked lentils offer 18 grams (g) of protein and 15.6 g of fiber, or almost 56% of the Daily Value (DV), per cup.(2)

While whole grains like rice are high in methionine and low in lysine, lentils are high in lysine and low in methionine. When the two are combined, the body will receive all nine of the required amino acids.(2)

Lentils are also a great addition to salads, casseroles, stews, and soups.

2. Split Peas

Split Peas
Split Peas

A cooked cup of split peas provides 16 g of protein, which is almost three times the amount of protein found in two boiled eggs. Additionally, each cup has good levels of potassium, iron, and folate, as well as 57% of the Daily Value for fiber.(3)

For our health, fiber is crucial. Increasing your consumption of fiber each day can assist (4):

  • Maintain to have frequent bowel movements.
  • Extended periods of satiety and hunger.
  • Lower cholesterol levels.
  • Keep your blood sugar within a normal range.
  • Encourage a balanced gastrointestinal tract.

Soups and casseroles are common dishes that contain split peas. For an added protein boost, they can also be cooked on their own and added to salads or grain bowls.

3. Spinach


One of the veggies with the highest nutritional content on the globe is spinach. Cooked spinach provides 49 calories and 6 g of protein per cup.(5)

In addition, spinach is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that fight disease. Following cooking, a cup offers the following nutrients (5):

  • Fiber: 17% of the DV
  • Calcium: 16% of the DV
  • Iron: 32% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 40% of the DV
  • Potassium: 25% of the DV
  • Zinc: 10% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 46% of the DV
  • Folate: 77% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 850% of the DV

The vitamin K content of spinach is very high, and vitamin K is necessary for healthy bones and blood coagulation.(6)

Sauté garlic, spinach, and olive oil to make a wholesome side dish. For a satisfying, high protein supper, you may also sprinkle almonds, blueberries, strawberries, and beans over fresh spinach leaves.

4. Edamame


Although it is frequently disregarded, edamame is really good for our health. Prepared edamame contains 18 g of protein, 29% of the daily value for fiber, and more than 100% of the DV for folate in only one cup.(7)

Folate is a B vitamin that aids in the production of new, healthy red blood cells in the body. It is particularly crucial during and during pregnancy because it protects shield developing fetuses from serious birth abnormalities known as neural tube defects.(8)

In addition, edamame is an excellent source of zinc, potassium, iron, and phosphorus.

Edamame can be used to salads, noodle bowls, stir-fries, and other dishes or eaten on its own as a high protein snack.

5. Chickpeas


Chickpeas are a cheap, high-nutrient bean. Cooked chickpeas contain 45% of the Daily Value (DV) fiber and 14.5 g of protein per cup. They also include a lot of minerals, vitamins, and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.(9)

Dietary polyphenols have been demonstrated to reduce chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and cholesterol.(10)

According to one study, those who eat hummus or its primary ingredient, chickpeas, have greater dietary intakes of iron, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins A, C, and E, folate, magnesium, and potassium than those who don't.(11)

According to research, hummus and chickpeas may also help with blood sugar control, heart health, and weight management.(11)

Chickpeas can be roasted in the oven, mashed to make a creamy hummus, or combined with salt and olive oil.

6. Black Beans

Black Beans
Black Beans

For good reason, black beans are a mainstay in many kitchens. 15.2 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber can be found in one cup of cooked black beans.

Nutrients including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium are also found in black beans.(12)

Additionally, black beans include more anthocyanins—plant pigments with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in the body—than other types of beans.

Additionally connected to better blood sugar regulation and heart health are the anthocyanins found in black beans.(13)

You may enjoy black beans in salads, casseroles, tacos, and chili thanks to their versatility.

7. Fava Beans

Fava Beans
Fava Beans

The green legumes known as broad beans, or faba beans, are encased in a dense, fuzzy pod. They are abundant in fiber, protein, and minerals.

With only 187 calories, a cup of cooked fava beans has 9 g of fiber and 13 g of protein. Additionally, it has 17% of the Daily Value for magnesium, a vitamin linked to mood and brain function, and 44% of the DV for folate.(14)

You can eat faba beans fresh or cooked. They can be eaten as a side dish on their own or combined with salads and soups.

8. Lima Beans

Lima Beans
Lima Beans

Butter beans, or lima beans, are a type of vegetable that belong to the legume family. 13.2 g of fiber and 14.7 g of protein may be found in one cup of cooked lima beans.(15)

With 49% and 42% of the DV for copper and manganese, respectively, lima beans are incredibly abundant in these nutrients.

For a healthy immune system and functioning brain, copper is essential.(16)

The body uses manganese to produce energy and shield cells from harm.(17)

You can get dried, frozen, or tinned lima beans. They are a wonderful addition to soups and salads because of their creamy texture and somewhat sweet flavor.

9. Broccoli


A medium-cooked stalk of broccoli contains 4 g of protein, making it richer in protein than many other vegetables. Additionally, each stalk has 130% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, a naturally occurring antioxidant that can improve the absorption of iron from plant sources.(18)

In addition, collagen, a protein essential for skin health and wound healing, is produced with the help of vitamin C, which is also necessary for a strong immune system.(19)

Glucosinolates, a phenolic molecule with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may help treat and prevent a number of chronic diseases.(20)

Broccoli is a very adaptable vegetable that tastes great roasted, sautéed, or added to casseroles to add extra nutrients.

10. Asparagus


Though it may give off an odd smell when urinating, asparagus is a great source of nutrients. Apart from its low calorie and fat content, a cup of asparagus has 3.6 g of fiber and 4.3 g of protein. Additionally, it's a good provider of K and C vitamins.(21)

Savor roasted, steamed, or sautéed asparagus. Steer clear of cooking asparagus as this can turn it soggy and flavorless.

11. Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts
Artichoke Hearts

Food artichoke hearts are a highly healthy yet often overlooked food. They are abundant in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

For only 90 calories, a cup of canned artichoke hearts has 10 g of protein and almost 20 g of fiber.(22)

Raw artichokes can be roasted, and frozen, jarred, and canned artichoke hearts are available. You can also eat artichoke hearts as an accompaniment to salads and spaghetti.

12. Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn

Despite its unfavorable reputation, corn is a nutrient-dense vegetable that can be included in a balanced diet. Five grams of protein are included in one cup of cooked sweet corn. At 3.6 g per cup, it's also a good source of fiber.(23)

You can steam, grill, roast, or boil sweet corn. For extra fiber, you may also add it to salads, salsa, and casseroles.

A Quick Review

Despite the fact that most people don't think of vegetables as major providers of protein, many of them do. You may achieve your daily protein requirements and build a well-balanced diet by pairing them with a range of meals.

Moreover, veggies are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting plant chemicals that can help with weight management.

Vegetables high in protein include edamame, chickpeas, corn, spinach, and artichoke hearts.

Aim to eat a range of foods throughout the day, including legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables, to ensure that your body gets all the amino acids it needs.