Vegetables And Fruits With High Protein


Vegetables and fruits with high proteins have beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, organic compounds and other nutrients that are important for our health. These foods are rich in flavonoids, Vitamin C, beta carotenes, alpha tocopherols, folic acid and other healthy ingredients.

Vegetables and fruits with high protein content can be really helpful to vegetarians, vegans and raw foodists. These are the foods they go after because they provide complete proteins. This article reviews some of the top healthy vegetarian sources of complete protein.

We often think about protein in animal sources within our diet, for example meat, fish and poultry. But is it possible to get enough protein through vegetables and fruits that are rich in protein? Let’s find out…

19 High-Protein Plant-Based Foods And How To Eat More Of Them

It’s important to include healthy sources of protein in your diet each day. Protein helps your body with a number of important functions and helps you maintain muscle mass.

When you think of protein, steak or chicken might come to mind. But if you’re not a big meat eater, you have other options to make sure you get the recommended amount of protein that your body needs.

Worry not, because there are plenty of protein-rich plant-based alternatives available year-round. Try out these options for plenty of variety. You can enjoy each of them alone as a side dish, or in different recipes for a filling main course.

Keep in mind that the protein content may change depending on how you prepare each plant-based option. The values below match the cooking method indicated for each food.

1. Edamame

Total protein: 18.46 grams per cup (prepared from frozen)

If you normally only eat edamame at your local sushi restaurant, it’s time to start enjoying it at home. It’s packed with healthy plant protein, vitamins, and minerals.

2. Lentils

Total protein: 17.86 grams per cup (boiled)

Lentils, which resemble tiny beans, are actually a pulse found in the legume family. But you won’t find a better option when it comes to an inexpensive, readily available vegetarian-friendly protein.

Bonus: Dry lentils cook up in only 15 minutes!

3. Pinto Beans

Total protein: 15.41 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Pinto beans are popular in Mexican cooking. They work well in burritos, as a salad topper, in soups and chilis, or just as a side. Try cooking dried pinto beans instead of using the canned type for even more health benefits.

4. Chickpeas

Total protein: 14.53 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a main ingredient in hummus. They have a subtle, nutty flavor that works well in a variety of dishes.

Enjoy snacking on roasted chickpeas or using them as a staple in curries, soups, or vegetable bowls.

5. Mung Beans

Total protein: 14.18 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

Mung beans are part of the legume family and offer plenty of protein per serving. They’re also a good source of iron and fiber.

6. Fava Beans

Total protein: 12.92 grams per cup (boiled from dried)

In their pods, fava beans look like edamame or green beans. Try adding these nutritious legumes to stews and salads or making them into a tasty dip.

7. Lima Beans

Total protein: 11.58 grams per cup (boiled)

This little legume packs a nutritious punch with plenty of potassium, fiber, and iron. While some people don’t like the taste, recipes like the ones below can help with that.

8. Green Peas

Total protein: 8.58 grams per cup (boiled)

If you think green peas are mushy and unappetizing, you’re not alone. But they’re versatile and can be a delicious addition to many recipes.

9. Quinoa

Total protein: 8.14 grams per cup (cooked)

This popular health food is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. Quinoa cooks in just 15 minutes and is a great addition to salads, veggie burgers, pilaf, casseroles, and much more.

10. Wild Rice

Total protein: 6.54 grams per cup (cooked)

Wild rice isn’t actually related to rice, but you can use it in many of the same dishes. Try this nutrient-rich grain in casseroles, soups, pilaf, stuffing, or on its own.

11. Pistachios

Total protein: 5.97 grams per ounce (dry roasted)

Shelling pistachios may be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. Pistachios are not only delicious by the handful, but are versatile enough to enjoy in baked goods, on top of salads, and as a coating for fish.

12. Almonds

Total protein: 5.94 grams per ounce (dry roasted)

Almonds are delicious and nutritious. They’re a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, and antioxidants. Get the most nutrients by eating almonds with the skin intact.

13. Brussels Sprouts

Total protein: 5.64 grams per cup (boiled from frozen)

If you hated Brussels sprouts as a kid, it might be time to try them again. They’re delicious roasted, steamed, or even shredded in a salad.

14. Chia Seeds

Total protein: 4.69 grams per ounce (dried)

These tiny black seeds have earned their superfood status. Even a small amount has a ton of protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. Chia seed pudding is a popular choice, but don’t be afraid to try out these seeds in other dishes.

15. Yellow Sweet Corn

Total protein: 4.68 grams per 1 large ear (raw)

Sweet corn is as nutritious as it is tasty. Look for fresh corn in the summertime, or use the frozen version for recipes year-round.

16. Potatoes

Total protein: 4.55 grams per 1 medium potato (baked, with skin)

The trusty spud gets a bad rap. It’s actually packed with protein and vitamins C and B-6. Try russet or red potatoes for an even greater protein boost. Extra points if you eat the skin!

17. Asparagus

Total protein: 4.32 grams per cup (boiled)

Nothing says springtime like fresh asparagus. Try these yummy spears roasted, grilled, or steamed. You can even wrap them in bacon for a protein-filled treat.

18. Broccoli

Total protein: 4.28 grams per 1 stalk (boiled, medium)

There’s a reason your parents always told you to eat your little green trees. In addition to protein, broccoli offers filling fiber, vitamins K and C, and more. Don’t forget to eat the stalk!

19. Avocado

Total protein: 4.02 grams per 1 avocado (medium)

You can do a lot more with an avocado than just make guacamole. Try it in a pudding or smoothie for a creamy, thick, and protein-filled twist.

Fruits and Vegetables Richest in Protein

Kidney beans in a bowl

Plant-based sources of protein can be just as beneficial as animal sources of protein.

Cooked vegetables and dried fruits tend to be the highest sources of protein from fruits and veggies. To get a lot of protein from these foods, you may need to consume larger quantities or have multiple servings throughout the day. Combine high-protein vegetables and fruits with other protein sources to maximize this nutrient.

Protein is a vital nutrient with many important roles in the body. It is especially popular among fitness enthusiasts since protein helps build muscle mass. A diet that is moderate to high in protein is also linked to weight loss.

Because protein is so important, it is no surprise that most Americans get more than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, most Americans consume approximately twice the amount of protein they actually need.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adult women consume 46 grams of protein per day and men consume between 52 and 56 grams of protein per day depending on age. You can also calculate your protein requirements based on your body weight.

In the case of protein, more is not always better. It is possible to consume too much protein, which can have some negative side effects. Animal sources of protein also tend to be high in cholesterol and saturated fat. The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that teen boys and adult men decrease their intake of protein from meat, poultry and eggs. These groups can replace some animal products with veggies high in protein to still meet their nutritional goals.

Veggies High In Protein

Consuming veggies high in protein not only has the benefit of increasing your protein intake, but it also increases your consumption of other nutrients. Vegetables tend to be high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also naturally low in calories and fat, making them diet-friendly foods.

According to the USDA, the top cooked veggies high in protein include:

  • Green peas: 8.6 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Spinach: 5.3 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Asparagus: 4.3 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Brussels sprouts: 4 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Broccoli: 3.7 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Artichokes: 3.5 grams of protein per 1 medium artichoke
  • Sweet corn: 3 grams of protein per 1 small ear
  • Oyster mushrooms: 2.8 grams of protein per 1 cup

Fruit Sources Of Protein

All foods can be broken down into the three macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. However, they tend to be higher in carbs than the other two. According to Harvard Health Publishing, both vegetables and fruits contain some protein, but the amount is usually smaller than other plant-based sources of protein.

Consuming the recommended amount of fruit per day may help you get closer to your daily protein goal.

According to the USDA, fruit sources of protein include:

  • Jackfruit: 2.8 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Avocado: 3 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Dried apricots: 4.4 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Passion fruit: 5.2 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Dried plums: 3.8 grams of protein per 1 cup
  • Raisins: 4.5 grams of protein per 1 cup

Eat More Plant Proteins

Adding high-protein vegetables and fruits into your diet is delicious, nutritious and easy. Cooking your vegetables allows you to eat more of them, which results in a higher amount of protein per serving. The best veggies high in protein are green peas and spinach, while fruit sources of protein mainly come from various tropical and dried fruits.

Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, incorporating more plant-based sources of protein has the added benefit of being cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. High-protein vegetables and fruits are also good sources of many nutrients, especially fiber.

22 High-Protein Vegetables To Add To Your Diet, According To Dietitians

These tasty veggies are full of protein, as well as other essential vitamins and

If you’ve even considered going vegan or vegetarian, you’ve no doubt heard the same question over and over: “How will you get enough protein?” Yes, animal products are often rich in protein—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t high-protein vegetables that can’t hold their own (or be just as delicious).

Protein is a crucial building block of everyone’s diet, especially for athletes and those trying to lose weight. It’s essential for building and maintaining muscle mass, keeping you feeling full between meals, and ensuring that every cell in your body is operating properly. Although we most often associate the nutrient with foods like meat and dairy, vegetables are also a great source of plant-based protein, as long as you eat with purpose.

“Of course it’s possible to get all of the protein you need from a plant-based or vegan diet,” says Diana Sugiuchi, R.D.N., founder of Nourish Family Nutrition. “But it takes some planning to make sure you’re getting essential amino acids and vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins and iron.”

To make the most of a plant-based diet, you should eat “a variety of grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables every day,” explains Jerlyn Jones, R.D.N., L.D., an Atlanta-based dietitian. “Choose whole, unrefined foods, such as soybeans in the form of tofu, to boost protein intake.”

Both Jones and Sugiuchi note that there’s no exact definition for a high-protein vegetable, but certain varieties stand out from the crowd. Per current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, adults should consume at least 50 grams of protein in a 2,000-calorie diet daily, with about 15 to 20 grams per meal. (Some research even suggests bumping that to 30 grams per meal, particularly breakfast, for better hunger management throughout the day.)

And if you need any more proof that vegetables can provide all the protein you need to thrive, just ask athletes like Venus Williams and Kyrie Irving, who went vegan and are still at the top of their game. Don’t be afraid to start eating more plant-based protein—your body will probably thank you, too.

Here are some of the top high-protein vegetables to add to your diet, according to the FDA, whether or not you plan on going plant-based.

edamame high protein vegetables

1. Edamame

Protein: 9 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Talk about the healthiest appetizer ever—just a cup’s worth of edamame (a.k.a. cooked soybeans) packs a stunning amount of protein. Jones calls it “simply delicious to eat as a snack or thrown into soups or vegetable stir-fry.” There are endless options, too, like pureeing the beans into a dip, for example.

lentils high protein vegetables

2. Lentils

Protein: 8 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Low-cal, high-fiber lentils are a bonafide superfood. They don’t require soaking, Jones says, so lentil soup or curry is easy to whip up. Plus, she notes, they’re rich in folate, potassium, and copper, making them even healthier than the grains they can replace. And don’t be afraid to get creative—how about lentil hummus?

black beans high protein vegetables

3. Black Beans

Protein: 8 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

On top of providing plenty of protein, black beans are also packed with heart-healthy fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and a range of phytonutrients. You can absolutely make a meal out of them alone (black bean burgers, anyone?), but they’re also easy to slip into almost any dish, Jones explains, including soups and stir-fries.

chickpeas highest protein veggies

4. Chickpeas

Protein: 7 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

The combo of protein and fiber in chickpeas makes for one healthy bean. Of course, most of us know and love chickpeas from hummus, but they’re able to transform into almost anything, from rich falafel to crunchy, baked snacks. They’re especially good whole inside soups, salads, and even crepes.

high protein vegetables

5. Mung Beans

Protein: 7 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Rich in antioxidants, mung beans are tiny powerhouses of nutrition that are just begging to be included in your next curry, soup, or salad. For an extra satisfying meal, add them to a veggie bowl filled with other plant-based proteins, including Brussels sprouts and walnuts—you can thank us later.

refried beans high protein veggies

6. Refried Beans

Protein: 6.5 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Sugiuchi fills tacos and enchiladas with refried black and pinto beans, on top of eating them alone. “If you’re transitioning your family to more plant-based sources of protein, you can also mix them with ground beef or chicken to cut down on the amount of meat so you’re not making such a big change,” she says.

best high protein vegetables

7. Fava Beans

Protein: 6.5 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Also known as broad beans, fava beans should be a bigger staple of our diets, since they work in soups, bean salads, and even dips like hummus, providing plenty of protein along the way. And like other legumes, these ones are also rich in filling fiber, ensuring you’ll feel satisfied after eating.

lima beans best high protein veggies to eat

8. Lima Beans

Protein: 5 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

In addition to filling protein, lima beans contain the amino acid leucine, which may play a big role in healthy muscle synthesis among older people. They’re especially good on their own—and you’ll probably love them more as an adult than you did as a kid. Plus, they’re super-easy to add to soups—just throw ‘em in!

green peas best high protein vegetables

9. Green Peas

Protein: 4 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

“Frequently overlooked as being pedestrian, [green peas] are always available in the frozen veggie section,” Sugiuchi explains. She likes them for their versatility, whether served as a side, mixed into grains like rice, pureed with broccoli, or blended into a soup. Green peas are also high in vitamins A, K, and C.

bean sprouts protein veggiesLEREN LU//GETTY IMAGES

10. Soybean Sprouts

Protein: 4 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Whether on top of Korean bibimbap or in stir fry, soybean sprouts add crunch and a hefty dose of protein to plant-based plates. The veggies also offer fiber, ensuring you won’t feel hungry between meals or after dinner. And if you’re tired of beans, sprouts let you switch things up without sacrificing protein.

highest protein veggies to eat vegan vegetarian

11. Peanuts

Protein: 8 grams per 1 ounce

Yes, peanuts are legumes, meaning they’re technically a vegetable. A 1-ounce serving packs in nearly 8 grams of protein, making it (and peanut butter) an ideal snack before or after the gym. The legumes are also easy to integrate into unexpected recipes, from protein-packed pancakes to tacos.

highest protein vegetables red potatoes

12. Red Potatoes

Protein: 7 grams per 1 large potato, cooked

Red potatoes (and white ones, too) are packed with protein, but what makes them special, Jones notes, is their high levels of dietary fiber and vitamin B6, which promotes the metabolism of protein. Baked, mashed, or roasted with other veggies, red potatoes are that rare combination of crowd-pleasing and healthy.

wild rice high in protein vegetables

13. Wild Rice

Protein: 3.25 grams per 1/2 cup, cooked

Rice isn’t a vegetable, but wild rice is, since it actually comes from certain species of grass. The nutrient-dense veggie cooks much the same way actual rice would, so you can use it in wild rice-specific recipes and any others that include the grain, meaning it’s beyond easy to bump the protein in any rice-based dish.

spinach high protein vegetables to eat

14. Spinach

Protein: 6 grams per 1 cup, cooked

“Besides being really good for you,” Jones raves, “spinach offers extraordinary nutritional value, and the health benefits of spinach are numerous.” The leafy green is loaded with goodies like calcium, folic acid, iron, fiber, and vitamins K and C. Even better, it’s easy to throw into pastassaladssmoothies, and bowls.

veggies with the most protein brussels sprouts

15. Brussels Sprouts

Protein: 5.5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

These little green veggies have always gotten an unfairly bad rap, but they can be delicious, nutritional superstars, at least if you know how to cook them. (Might we suggest a mustard glaze or a shaved salad?) In addition to protein, Brussels sprouts pack hefty doses of potassium and vitamin K.

highest protein vegetables potatoes

16. Sweet Potatoes

Protein: 5 grams per 1 large potato, cooked

Not to be outdone by their slightly more protein-packed cousins, sweet potatoes are still great sources of the nutrient, and they work with nearly any meal, from breakfast smoothies to gut-friendly dinners. The veggies are also rich in beta-carotene, which promotes healthy vision, skin, and immune systems.

vegetables with the highest protein

17. Artichokes

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Artichokes shouldn’t just be relegated to dips. (Although, to be clear, they are very good in dips). The low-calorie, nutrient-dense veggies include huge amounts of folate and vitamins C and K, and they’re wonderful in sheet pan dinners, in roasted sides, and even on top of pizzas—they’ve been hiding in plain sight all this time.

snow peas high protein veggies

18. Snow Peas

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Snow peas pack plenty of protein, both raw and cooked, making them a perfect addition to meals that could use a fresh, plant-based snap, including pesto tortellini and ricotta toast. You’ll also get a hefty dose of fiber and vitamin C with each serving—pretty impressive for such a satisfying snack.

broccoli best veggies to eat with lots of protein

19. Broccoli

Protein: 5 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Broccoli’s not only an awesome source of fiber—it’s also a surprisingly great way to reach your daily protein goal. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a vegetable that’s linked with cancer-preventing properties, either. We love it in a stir fry, but you can always steam, bake, or puree the vegetable with just about anything.

asparagus vegetables with the most protein

20. Asparagus

Protein: 4.25 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Asparagus is stealthily protein-packed, meaning it’s a great secret weapon in any vegetarian’s fridge. Whether tossed with spaghetti and shrimp or pickled alongside garlic, it’s the cornerstone of countless plant-based meals. Plus, it’s rich in folate and vitamins K, A, and C.

best high protein veggies corn

21. Corn

Protein: 4 grams per 1 cup, cooked

Like potatoes, corn often gets put into the “plants with no redeeming qualities” category, but with loads of fiber, folate, vitamin C, and magnesium (not to mention protein), it’s worth adding to your next meal, both fresh and frozen. If you’re still eating meat, serve it with chicken; if not, try it in coconut soup.

highest protein vegetable sources

22. White Mushrooms

Protein: 4 grams per 1 cup, cooked

All mushrooms, from shiitake to oyster, have a good amount of protein in them. But white mushrooms have the most—and they happen to be some of the most ubiquitous. Throw them in basically any dinner (we suggest arugula pizzabacon pasta, and mole tacos) for a boost of umami and protein.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.