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List of Protein-Rich Leafy Vegetables

by
author image Lau Hanly
Lau Hanly runs Fierce For Life, a nutrition and fitness company that helps young women start with healthy eating and smart training without overwhelming them. She has a certificate of nutrition, and provide individual coaching, standard fitness and nutrition programs, and group training.
List of Protein-Rich Leafy Vegetables
A bowl of fresh baby spinach. Photo Credit nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images

Women should eat around 46 grams of protein per day, and men should eat around 56 grams, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Including leafy green vegetables in your diet can increase your protein intake somewhat, particularly if you are vegetarian or struggle to eat meat or fish regularly. Legumes, nuts and seeds have higher amounts of protein, so they should also be included in the diet.

Bring on the Broccoli

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of raw broccoli will give you nearly 3 grams of protein. Boiling your broccoli means that you get a greater volume of broccoli into each cup, increasing your total protein intake per cup to just under 4 grams. Broccoli also contains fiber and will provide you with a large serving of essential vitamins and minerals. Broccoli can be used in stir-fries, blended for soup or combined with cheese and eggs into tasty and filling veggie patties.

Stock Up on Spinach

Spinach is a versatile vegetable. When cooked, a cup yields more than 5 grams of protein. It can be steamed and eaten on its own, seasoned with garlic and herbs to be used as a side, added to omelettes or used as a stuffing. Spinach has also been found to have a beneficial micronutrient profile and high levels of protective carotenoids that may help prevent the development of some cancers.

Bag Some Brussels Sprouts

A cup of brussels sprouts will give you about 4 grams of protein in one go. Brussels sprouts can also be boiled, steamed or roasted with a little bit of olive oil. They can be used as a side dish and can also be barbecued, sauteed, mashed up with cauliflower as a potato replacement or even eaten raw.

Collect Some Collards

Collard greens contain useful amounts of protein when cooked. A cup of boiled collard greens will add over 5 grams of protein to your daily intake. Like spinach, collards can be boiled or steamed. They can be added to stir-fries, seasoned with herbs and spices and used as a side or stuffing, or added to warm salads.

Grab Some Green Peas

Although the plant leaves are not eaten, green peas are another protein-rich vegetable. A single cup will yield just under 8 grams of protein. Peas can be eaten raw by the handful or added to salads. You can boil them and use them as a side to other dishes. Like boiling your broccoli, boiling peas means that you get a greater volume per cup, and this increases your protein intake 8.58 grams per cup. Alternatively, blend them into soups after boiling, either as the main ingredient or as a complement to other vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli.

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