5 High-Protein Veggies for Every Meal

Today is National Eat Your Vegetable Day. Vegetables should be the cornerstone of every meal you eat. Filling half of your plate with veggies is one of the key ways you can get your daily intake, stay full and keep your weight at bay. But which veggies are a lot fiber which helps keep you fuller longer, curbing your appetite? Let's explore.

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1. Beets or Beet Greens: Beets are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and protein.  Beet roots are a great source of nitrates, therefore a great food for keeping blood pressure regulated. The fiber in these red veggies are another plus, keeping you fuller longer. It is easy to forget about beet’s leafy tops, but before you toss them in the garbage, you may want to know that these greens are high in Vitamin K.  Vitamin K has been shown to reduce our risk of type II diabetes.  One more reason to eat beets this season.

2. Spinach: Spinach has about 9 grams of protein per bunch. Like other greens on this list, spinach is high in essential vitamins C, A, and K as well as the mineral manganese. It so easy to incorporate spinach into your diet, whether in a salad or an omelet, there’s no excuse for not getting all your vitamins.  Spinach is also high in antioxidants, like carotenoids, that help keep your eyes healthy and have been linked to prevention of macular degeneration.  Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly.  

3. Brussel Sprouts: Cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts may not have been your childhood nemesis, but these members of the cabbage family like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts can help you fight off cancer. An antioxidant called sulforaphane is released when chewing these veggies, and has been documented as having a protective effect on the cells of the body. Brussel sprouts have about 3 grams of protein per cup.

4. Kale: A powerful, leafy green antioxidant that helps fight infection and is an excellent detoxifier for your liver. Kale is rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Per cup, kale has about 2 grams of protein and helps to keep you fuller longer. Get your vitamin C from citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli. Then for your plant-based iron, try leeks, beet greens, kale, spinach, mustard greens, Swiss chard and fortified cereals. 

5. Broccoli: If chopped, you'll get about 2 grams of protein per cup of broccoli. Even further, in February of this year, Oregon State University issued the results of a study focused on African American men that indicates the sulforaphane found in broccoli can destroy prostate cancer tumors while preserving healthy cells. They're also full of fiber, which work to keep you fuller longer and curb your appetite to fight afternoon cravings.