After a workout, a solid portion of protein is essential for building muscle mass and burning fat. Protein-packed chicken doesn’t help you tone up. Vegetables are also a powerful food. Some high-protein vegetables can have up to 8 grams per cup of protein.
This may seem small compared to a chicken breast (34% grams per 4 ounces) and burger (26% grams per quarter pounder), however vegetables are high fiber foods that contain vitamins and antioxidants.
These are not only cheaper than beef and fish, but also healthier. According to a British Journal of Nutrition study, people who eat more vegetable protein are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The study also found that replacing 5 grams of animal protein per day with plant protein would decrease the risk of developing diabetes by 18 percent.
This is not all. Another Nutrients journal study showed that plant protein can help dieters feel fuller and less hungry than animal protein.
Are you looking to lose weight?
We have compiled a list of the most popular vegetables on your plate, and ranked them by their protein content.
This handy guide will help you find your best plant-based source for protein no matter if you are a vegetarian, omnivore, or just someone who likes to eat healthy.
Yes, we included botanically-classified fruits such as eggplant and pepper. However, they were added to the list because most people eat them like vegetables.
All information on protein content was gathered from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database as Standard Reference. 25 Most Popular Fruits–Ranked By Sugar Content!
Protein, per 1 cup: 0.82 grams
Although eating eggplant isn’t one of the best tips for weight loss, because it has very little protein, it can still be a great addition to any diet.
Anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants found in purple plants, provide neuroprotective benefits such as boosting short-term memory.
Protein per 1 Cup chopped (raw, or boiled) 1.19 Grams
It’s not the same as carrots in protein. That being said, munching on these veggies either raw or steamed will still serve up a healthy dose of inflammation-fighting vitamin A. Try one of our 41+ Best Recipes for Weight Loss.
Red Bell Pepper
Protein per 1 Cup chopped (raw) 1.48 grams
While bell pepper won’t increase your lean muscles mass directly, the vitamin-C rich vegetable will help to reduce stress hormones that cause you to gain belly fat. The Secret Effects Of Eating Bell Peppers, Says Science
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 2.47 grams
Protein per 1 Cup (raw): 0.68 g
Kale is a good source of protein. However, most people eat it raw. In this case, only half a gram of protein per cup. Chickpeas can help you build muscle. Try one of our 15+ Best Health Kale Recipes to Lose Weight.
Protein per 1 cup sliced (cooked), 2.05g
Although it may seem low, 2 grams of protein and 27 calories aren’t bad for zucchini. To make a side dish, saute it in olive oil. Or you can dice zucchini and add to these soups.
Protein, per 1 cup: 2.28 grams
This is one of our favorite cruciferous vegetables to roast. However, you can use it to make a low carb pizza crust instead of replacing your roast pork. These 13 Delicious Cauliflower Recipes Are the Best Ever!
Protein, per 1 cup (cubes): 3.00 grams
You’ll need to eat 240 calories to get the three grams of protein. A half an avocado will give you 2g protein, while a smaller serving size is better.
You can slice some of the healthy fat and serve it on a piece of sprouted bread, as a side dish, or in a smoothie. Here are 18 Amazing Things You Can Do With Avocados.
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 3.26 grams
Broccoli rabe can be a wonderful addition to your diet if you can stomach the bitter taste. The broccoli rabe is great for calcium, even if it’s not for its high protein content.
A cup of steaming high-protein vegetable contains 301 mgs of calcium. That’s 30% of your daily recommended intake.
Calcium is important for bone health, but it can also help maintain muscle function and endurance. If you’re over 60, these are the best foods for you to eat each day.
Protein, per 1 cup (sauteed): 3.70 grams
Protein per 1 Cup (raw): 0.84g
You can find them in many mixed greens. To reap their satiating benefits, you should get a package of beet greens.
A cup of sauteed beet greens will provide you with approximately four grams of protein and four grams of fiber. You can try one of our 13 Recipes for Beet Greens or Beet Root.
Protein, per 1 cup: 3.7 grams
This cruciferous vegetable is packed with protein. To preserve the most water-soluble nutrients, we like it steaming. Bake until tender, then add sesame seeds and low-sodium soy sauce.
Protein, per 1 cup (Portabella, grilled): 3.97 grams
Protein per 1 Cup (Shiitake, stir-fried). 3.35 Grams
Protein per 1 Cup (White, Boil): 3.39 Grams
Because of their umami flavor, mushrooms are a popular choice for vegetarians. These fungi not only provide a good amount of protein but also have one of the best non-animal sources of Vitamin D, which is a vitamin that boosts immunity as well as essential for bone health. Here are the 45 best recipes for an instant Vitamin D boost.
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 3.98 grams
These crucifers should not be reserved for Thanksgiving. Brussels sprouts can be added to your diet to increase your protein intake and lower bad cholesterol due to their high fiber level.
Protein per 1 Cup (baked with skin: 4.02g
Sweet potato? Sweet potato is more like sweet protein! This tuber can be added to your chicken breast meal as an accompaniment.
You’ll also get the health benefits of carotenoids, which are disease-fighting compounds that will give you glowing skin.
Protein, per 1 cup: 4.21 grams
The sweet vegetable is also high in fiber. It is a little more calorie-dense than other vegetable-based protein sources at 134 calories. You’ll still be getting lots of antioxidants that fight free-radicals.
Sweet yellow corn is rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and other phytochemicals that help to improve vision. These are just a few surprising side effects of eating corn, according to Science.
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 4.32 grams
These skinny spears can pack 32 calories of protein. We love the fact that these skinny spears are packed with protein. 25 Tips to Reduce Bloating in 24 Hours or Less
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 5.35 grams
Protein per 1 Cup (raw): 0.86g
We now know why Popeye had so many muscles! Although baby spinach is small in size, it packs a strong protein punch. For the best hunger-quenching benefits, we recommend that you eat it sauteed.
While one cup of cooked spinach contains over five grams of fiber (whereas one cup of raw spinach only has one). Science Says Here’s What Happens To Your Body When Spinach Is Consumed.
Protein, per 1 cup (cooked): 5.08 grams
Hubbard squash will make it easier to get in shape. This roasted squash is a good addition to any soup or dish that has a lot of vegetables. It also makes a delicious, filling side dish. Find the perfect squash at Your State’s Best Farmers Market.
Protein, per 1 cup: 5.15 grams
This southern staple is no longer reserved for barbecue. Collard greens provide 75 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate. The B vitamin is responsible for the production of serotonin.
This neurotransmitter keeps us happy and aids in focus, energy, alertness, and memory. also increases sexual stamina.
Protein per large potato skin (baked),: 7.86g
The humble potato is a hero! The tuber, still “clothed” within its skin, provides 8 grams of protein as well as plenty of slow-digesting carbohydrates to aid your muscles in rebuilding and recovery after intense training.
Our favorite way to serve baked potatoes is with cheddar cheese, a dollop Greek yogurt and some chopped scallions.
Protein per 1 Cup (frozen and then cooked): 8.24g
Peas technically belong to the legume family. However, most people enjoy them just like other high-protein vegetables. They can be steamed with carrots or thrown in a vegetable fried rice. We’re all for it.
These tiny green beans can not only tone your muscles, but also provide seven grams worth of satiating fiber for just 125 calories. You can reduce belly fat by adding non-starchy vegetables like peas.