Looking for more protein in your diet? Meats, poultry, nuts, and eggs are a good source but surprisingly, so are many vegetables. Many of these protein-rich vegetables are also full of fiber and vitamins A, B, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium. With so many health benefits, try incorporating a few of these vegetables into your daily diet.
The body uses proteins as building blocks for bones, blood, muscles, skin, and more. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends adult women eat five to five and a half ounces of protein a day, while the average adult male should consume five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half ounces. Kids need a range of two to six-and-a half-ounces daily.
When it comes to portion sizes, about a quarter cup of peas, such as lentils or chickpeas counts for an ounce of protein. You’re probably already eating some of these vegetables like corn and chickpeas, even if you’re not aware of how much protein they have. Maybe it’s time to sample some new protein-packed vegetables like chard and lentils.
We measured each vegetable’s protein based on the USDA’s rating for a one-cup serving. Whether you eat the veggies on their own or experiment with new recipes (think smoothies, stews, casseroles and salads), your body will thank you for trying new produce that’s bursting with protein.
Pack your meals with some of these protein-rich vegetables for dishes that are both healthy and tasty. We’ve included a few recipes to get you inspired to try a few new protein ingredients as well. What’s your favorite way to eat protein-rich vegetables?
Whether you prefer kernels in a bowl or munching on corn on the cob, this yellow vegetable is yummy and good for you too. Eating just one cup of corn yields nearly 16 grams of protein!
Give your tuna casserole an added boost of protein with green peas. One cup provides seven-and-a-half of protein.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.