15 High-Protein Vegetables and How to Incorporate Them Into Your Diet
Protein is a key component of a healthy diet, and while you can certainly get protein from meats, cheeses, and other food items, some of the best protein sources are vegetables. In addition to being easier on your wallet, these veggies (many of which can actually be grown at home, if you're feeling ambitious) tend to be loaded with other nutrients, which some of those other foods may lack.
The Dietary Reference Intake for protein amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man, and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman. If you suspect you're not getting quite enough protein each day, adding veggies to your diet is a nutritious and easy way to boost your protein intake.
"Protein is a crucial part of a healthy, balanced diet. It's needed to keep cells in the body healthy—it builds and repairs them, as well as tissues, muscles, skin, hair, and bones. Protein is also needed to make enzymes and hormones, maintain proper fluid balance, and the body's acid-base balance—which is critical to the body's survival," say sisters Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT—aka The Nutrition Twins. "Foods with protein help you to feel satisfied and to prevent overeating. If you don't get enough protein, you'll have trouble maintaining lean muscle mass and you may find yourself hungry often."
High Protein Vegetables
Given the importance of protein, we consulted the U.S. Department OF Agriculture (USDA), and decided to profile some of the most protein-dense vegetables around. Additionally, alongside each veggie you'll find a recipe that uses it, making it even easier for you to get your fill of this critical nutrient. Keep reading to find out which veggies you should stock up on!