Protein – The Essential Building Block of Lean Muscle
There’s little denying the importance of protein on a weight loss or lean muscle building diet. Regardless of your fitness goal, protein can have a big impact on your results.
That said, you don’t need to go all-meat to boost your protein intake, and in fact, there’s a lot of research out there suggesting that too much animal-based protein can have some negative side effects on your health.
The trick? Mix it up a bit, and make sure you’re getting a variety of protein sources. This will ensure more diverse nutritional support for energy and muscle building. Plus, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you need some other options.
The protein in the following 6 veggies may not contain the same number of essential amino acids as animal-based protein, but they still go a long way to support lean muscle and a fast metabolism. Plus they come with a ton of other vitamins and minerals to support a healthy fit body. At the very least, consider including more of these in your everyday diet.
6 Protein-Packed Veggies for a Healthy Lifestyle
Spinach always tops my list of veggies for a number of reasons. But in addition to the obvious (high fiber content, good source of calcium, antioxidants), spinach is also really high in protein. In just half a cup of spinach, you get three grams of protein, which is pretty good when you consider how easily this stuff can be blended into a smoothie. I like to go with the organic fresh stuff myself.
With an even bigger protein kick than spinach, peas are another great veggie source of protein. Half a cup of peas contain three and half grams of protein. I like to buy the frozen ones to avoid the preservatives in canned peas. Throw them into a stir fry or enjoy them as a side dish.
Potatoes have gotten a bad rap for their carb and starch content, but they’re still a good one to throw into the mix, especially if you want to cut down on your processed carb intake (like wheat). Baked or broiled potatoes are the best way to go so that you avoid the added fat that comes with frying. One medium-sized potato contains around three grams of protein, and it comes with a serious dose of vitamin C.
Another great stir fry addition, broccoli is one I like to keep on hand at all times. A single serving contains over two grams of fiber and two grams of protein. Enjoy broccoli steamed, baked, or in a salad raw. It also comes with a good serving of antioxidants.
They may not be at the top of your list, but you might want to give this healthy veggies a second chance. Half a cup contains 2 grams of protein and a ton of energy-boosting vitamins and minerals, including potassium and vitamin K. I like to roast them myself.
Chick peas and lentils are some of the best vegetarian sources of protein you can include in your diet. These little guys are also extremely versatile. You can heat them up, include them in a stir fry or even pasta, or mix them into a cold summer salad. For a great idea to get you started, check out my Super Healthy Chickpea Salad Recipe.
Looking for more great summer veggie recipes? You’ve got to try my Top 5 Veggie Burger Recipes here – definitely delicious!
Have any questions or feedback about these 6 Veggies with a Ton of Protein? Please leave a comment below…