Pop quiz: Protein is A) an essential macronutrient that your body needs to build and repair muscle, and produce hormones and enzymes that keep you functioning; B) found in peas, corn and asparagus; or C) both A and B.
If you knew the answer is C, congrats, because it turns out protein isn’t something you can only get from eating meat, seafood, legumes, tofu, yogurt, cheese, nuts and eggs. While those are the best food sources, protein is also found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables.
According to the National Academy of Medicine, adults should aim for a daily minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 7 grams for every 20 pounds. A half-cup serving of any given vegetable will generally provide less than ten grams of protein, so sure, you’d have to eat pounds of broccoli to meet your daily requirement without another protein source. The real benefits to eating a vegetable-rich diet are the other vitamins and nutrients the food group offers, plus filling fiber and energy-sustaining carbs. And if you combine your daily dose of vegetables with another protein-rich food, then you’re really cooking with gas.
Here, 20 high-protein vegetables* to add to your diet (plus recipe ideas to inspire you).