Protein is necessary for the body in order to provide energy, promote immunity, repair tissues, and enhance the function of hormones and enzymes.

Moreover, consuming protein-rich foods leads to an increased production of lean mass that is metabolically more active than the fat mass, as it helps burn fat and lose weight.

Even though animal foods contain great amounts of protein, you can also increase protein intake by eating plants. They contain low amounts of fat, but they are high in micronutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Here is a list of protein-rich vegetables that you should start eating now:

1. Peas

Peas contain 9 grams of protein in a cup. Moreover, they are rich in thiamine, folate, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C.

You can add peas to salads or pasta.

2. Collard Greens

Like kale, cauliflower, and broccoli, collard greens belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables.

This vegetable contains 36 grams of protein per serving and vitamin K. Moreover, it is also loaded with manganese, potassium, calcium, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants.

You can eat collard greens in combination with other vegetables, such as onions and mushrooms, or consume them sauteed or steamed.

3. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are loaded with protein, vitamins, and fiber. In fact, they contain 3 grams of protein per serving, which makes up 50 % of the calories. In addition, Brussels sprouts are rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K.

According to the researchers, this vegetable promotes the health and growth of intestinal bacteria as well as the production of fatty acids in the gut.

You can consume steamed, boiled, or roasted Brussels sprouts.

4. Soybeans

Cooked soybeans are a great source of protein, as they contain 28 grams per cup. They are also rich in fat, carbohydrates, and fatty acids.

5. Potatoes

A medium-sized potato contains 4 grams of protein. It is also rich in potassium.

6. Watercress

This vegetable is loaded with protein, potassium, calcium, phenolic compounds, manganese, and vitamins A, B, and C.

In fact, watercress has 0.8 grams of protein per serving.

You can add raw watercress to sandwiches, and salads or blend it in smoothies. However, avoid boiling it, as it will lower the antioxidant content.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli is a great source of protein, as it contains 26 grams of protein per serving, which comprises 20 % of its calories.

Moreover, broccoli is loaded with amino acids, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins C and K. In addition, it is rich in plant compounds and flavonoids, such as kaempferol, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Broccoli is also high in glucosinolates that reduce the risk of developing cancer.

You can add raw broccoli to sauces, soups, salads, smoothies, and side dishes, or use it sauteed, baked, steamed, or roasted.

8. Asparagus

Asparagus contains high amounts of nutrients, like folate, copper, magnesium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A and K, and protein. Namely, it contains 39 grams of protein per serving, which makes up 27 % of the calories.

Asparagus has mighty anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it is high in FOS (fructooligosaccharides), which have powerful prebiotic properties and stimulate the growth of intestinal bacteria.

You can add raw asparagus in salads or consume it boiled, cooked, fried, grilled, or steamed.

9. Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts contain high amounts of iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, folate, phosphorus, vitamins B, C, and K, and protein. Namely, it contains 1.3 grams of protein per serving, which makes up 42 % of the calories in alfalfa sprouts.

Thanks to the high content of saponin, alfalfa sprouts reduce inflammation and cholesterol levels, relieve menopause symptoms and prevent osteoporosis.

10. Mustard greens

As kale, mustard greens belong to the Blassica family. Like the other members of the family, mustard greens are loaded with potassium, protein, manganese, calcium, phenolic compounds, and vitamins B, C, and E. Namely, it contains 1.5 grams of protein per serving, which gives 25 % of its calories.

You can consume raw mustard greens in salads or use them sauteed, boiled, or steamed.

11. Bok Choy or Chinese cabbage

Bok Choy is a great source of protein, as it has 1 gram of protein per serving. It is also rich in iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.

It is considered that the regular consumption of Bok Choy reduces the risk of liver and prostate cancer.

12. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is low in calories, but it is rich in protein. Namely, it contains 2 grams of protein per serving, which makes up 19 % of its calories.

Also, cauliflower is loaded with iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and K.

Moreover, cauliflower contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate compound that has strong antioxidants, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can consume raw cauliflower, or use it steamed or cooked.

13. Spinach

Spinach is a great source of protein. Namely, it contains 1 gram of protein per serving, which makes up 30 % of its calories. In addition, spinach is loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, folate, amino acids, and vitamins A and C.

Due to its high content of nitrate, it increases nitric oxide, which enhances the function of the blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and promotes endothelial function.

Moreover, it is considered that the regular consumption of spinach reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 44%.

To sum up, despite their high content of protein, these vegetables are loaded with other nutrients that promote overall health. Include them in your diet and enjoy their benefits.