Vegetables With the Most Protein Aren’t Always the Ones You’d Expect

Vegetable proteins are becoming increasingly popular, so we created the one tool you need to get your daily protein requirements from veggies. Enjoy more meatless proteins with our infographic guide below!

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • November 12, 2019

When you think of protein, what comes to mind? Chicken? Beef? Probably pork? But what about vegetables? Yes, we said vegetables. Contrary to popular belief, there are many protein-rich vegetables that can be just as filling and satisfying as animal proteins!

Join us for a little vegetable patch tour where we’ll walk you through over 30 high-protein veggies in our free infographic, the daily recommendations for protein intake by body weight (not the amount you’d think!), and the big ‘why’ behind vegetarian meals.

What veggies have protein and how do I enjoy them?

While tofu, beans, and eggs can all infuse a vegetarian diet with protein, there are many more options than just those. To help you get acquainted with the vast variety of protein-packed vegetables, our handy guide covers common veggies, pods, fruits, and mushrooms, and the amount of protein found in each serving.

Not familiar with turnip greens or hubbard squash? Never fear – we include tasty ways to enjoy each item on our list! It’s easy to consult our chart whenever you feel like a meal needs a protein boost. Download yours for free here:


Guide to Protein-Packed Veggies

You can still enjoy meatless meals while meeting your daily protein requirement intake with the help of our Guide to Protein-Packed Veggies!

If you’re starting to get excited about adding more veggies to your meals but are afraid you won’t get around to it, we’re here to help! Our meal plan service has a vegetarian version for every single delicious recipe we send to your inbox. With this plan, you can easily go full herbivore or just add a couple meatless meals to your week.

Now that you see the amount of protein you can get from veggies and how to easily enjoy them, it’s time to learn how much protein you actually need.

How much protein should I eat a day?

Our bodies don’t actually need as much protein as we think. In fact, Americans eat over 2x the amount of protein that is recommended by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. That’s why we added a Protein Requirement Chart to our infographic guide. 

Since America’s suggested amount of protein intake is 0.36 grams for every pound of body weight, our chart gives estimates on how much protein kids and adults should be getting each day. If you want to calculate based on your age and activity level as well, you can use this easy calculator.

However, knowing your body needs half the protein you probably eat on a daily basis may not make you want to forego meat altogether. Let’s see a few reasons why implementing more meatless meals each week can be a positive and fulfilling lifestyle change.

Why choose plant-based proteins?

While meat, poultry, and seafood are delicious, the animal protein industries produce billions of metric tons of greenhouse gasses, increase antibiotic resistance, and use billions of gallons of water daily (1 lb of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water!). In fact, the Time article How a Vegetarian Diet Could Help Save the Planet says the widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet alone would save at least 7.3 million lives and, most likely, the planet.

If the benefits to the environment and human (and animal!) life weren’t enough, eating vegetarian can also save you a lot of money. Those who don’t eat meat spend at least $750 less than meat-eaters do every single year.

If these are all sounding like pretty convincing reasons to enjoy a couple meatless days a week, we are excited to equip you with the tools to make sure you’re hitting the right protein levels for your body each day!

In addition to the infographic we gave you in this article, check out our Guide to Enjoying Vegetables and a host of resources on how to eat less meat here.

In the end, getting the daily protein, nutrients, and dietary fiber your body needs can all be accomplished by one stop in the vegetable aisles of your local grocery store. Just keep our infographic handy and you’ll always be ready for a well-balanced, protein-filled meal!

If you’re excited to incorporate more vegetarian protein sources into your daily diet and have a loved one who might want to do the same, help empower them with the same veggie knowledge by sending this article along. Also, if you have a favorite protein-packed produce that isn’t on our list, share it with our community in the comments below!

As always, we’re here to help you live your best life in the kitchen and provide delicious memories for you and your family. If you sign up for our newsletter below, we’ll send you great cooking tips and resources that will help you raise your kitchen IQ and cook with confidence.

Guide to Protein-Packed Veggies | Cook Smarts InfographicGuide to Protein-Packed Veggies | Cook Smarts InfographicGuide to Protein-Packed Veggies | Cook Smarts Infographic

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