One of the most common misconceptions when someone considers or chooses a vegetarian or vegan or whole foods plant based lifestyle is ‘where will you get your protein from?’. Let’s be clear ALL PLANTS MAKE PROTEIN. ALL PLANTS MAKE ALL 9 AMINO ACIDS. With this post, I want to help take the guess work out of that for you. Like anything new, you want to have an idea or plan – and instead of looking at things you can eliminate or ‘take out’, let’s look at things you can add to ensure the protein levels that your body requires, are met.
Believe it or not, vegetables can be part of a protein fueled dish on their own—and not just when they’re paired with a medium-rare steak or rotisserie chicken.
Whatever your reason, relying less on animal products can be a great first step in upping your intake of nutrient-rich whole foods and crowding out overly processed crap. Now, although we’re focusing on the fact that vegetables are a great source of protein, they are also a great source of a lot of things – including feeling great!
1. Organic Edamame (without any sauces are a better choice) Organic is important as well, because otherwise they can be a GMO villain, and we don’t want that. Aside from that? you can expect 18 grams in a one cup serving – perfect on their own, or add them to a salad, soup, hummus or stir fry!
2. Spinach – A delicious green and compliments a ton of dishes when it’s cooked, or toss of a spinach salad. Half a cup of cooked spinach will yield you 3 grams of protein – and in fact, when cooked, it actually increases it’s protein numbers. Remember to pair it with something high in vitamin C because iron (found lavishly in spinach) requires vitamin C to be absorbed into your body.
3. Avocado – Now, this delicious piece of heaven even goes well on toast! Half an avocado will give you 2.5 grams of protein, great on its own as a snack, or mix it up as some guacamole (you’d love Ki’s Kitchen’s recipe) or slice it on top of a salad, always a great choice.
4. Broccoli – Not only an awesome source of fibre, its protein content is surprising, too. And you can’t go wrong with a vegetable that’s been proven to deliver cancer-fighting compounds like sulforaphane. In half a cup of broccoli, you can expect approximately 2 grams of protein.
5. Brussel Sprouts – Pan fried or roasted these bad boys are delish! 2 grams of protein in a half a cup serving – In addition to protein, brussel sprouts pack hefty doses of potassium and vitamin K.
6. Legumes – From string beans to chickpeas, beans and lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They contain upwards of 18 grams of protein per cup when cooked. Legumes are also a great source of dietary fibre and contain a high amount of the micronutrients folate, thiamin, phosphorus, and iron.
7. Peas – They contain just under 9 grams of protein per cup. They’re also a good source of vitamin A, C, thiamin, phosphorous, and iron. And, the generous amounts of B vitamins and folate found in peas can help reduce your risk for heart disease.
8. Kale – Truly one of the best greens and vegetable choices out there, kale is the definition of a super food. Make it into a salad, add it to soup or blend a handful into a green smoothie. In one cup of kale, you can expect around 2.5 grams of protein.
9. Cauliflower – One of the most versatile veggies out there – at Ki’s Kitchen we often substitute it for rice, or make delicious buffalo cauliflower bites. In one cup of this gem, you can expect 3 grams of protein.
10. Mushrooms (oyster) – Not only delicious, but in one cup you can expect up to 5 grams of protein! In addition, mushrooms are rich in Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre.
Did you know that vegetables are a great source of protein?
What are some of your favourites?
Any preference in raw or cooked veggies?
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it! Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
I look forward to connecting with you next time!
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