“Protein, protein, protein!” You can’t escape the fact that protein has crossed into mainstream consciousness and is no longer a bodybuilding favourite. More people are getting clued up to the facts that protein is more satiating than fat and carbs and that just getting enough of it won’t make you instantly become huge.
So, what are some good sources of protein? There’s meat, eggs, cheese, protein powders and vegetables. Wait.. did I just say “vegetables”? Let’s just get this out there: Although vegetables won’t exactly pack as much protein as a scoop of whey it’s important to get protein from wherever you can.
If you get too reliant on getting all of your protein from eating chicken and brown rice for every lunch and dinner then things are going to get old fast.
What exactly makes veggies so good for me?
Vegetables provide a terrific amount of fibre and water whilst also having the benefit of being super low-calorie.
Are you on a cut or trying to lose weight?
I dare you to try and eat 100 calories worth of celery (clue: that would be an enormous pile) and not feel full afterwards. “But I don’t like vegetables…” I hear you moan. What you probably mean is “I don’t like vegetables that have been boiled to death and don’t taste of anything.” Well, I agree with you.
Veggies don’t have to taste like the sad side dish on your granny’s dinner table: Throw them all in a big oven tray, cover them with paprika, salt and pepper with some garlic and generously sized chunks of onion and roast them all until they’ve crisped up. That’ll sort you out.
But back on to protein… Here are a few of my favourite veggies that will give you a good amount of the muscle-building macronutrient we all know and love:
You will have most likely seen or heard tell of the world’s oldest super-food in health food shops or right here on Myprotein. First things first: 100g of this magical microalgae equates to an outstanding 57g of protein. Who needs chicken, eh?
The same amount will also give you 158% of your required iron intake for the day. Pow! There are a whole host of health benefits that have been attributed to spirulina and its position at the top of this list should hopefully give you a nudge in the right direction.
57g Protein per 100g
3g Protein per 100g
One of the vegetables that you could probably consume in 100g! If you’re already a regular spinach-lover, you’ll know that an entire bag of the green-goodness shrinks down to a palm-full when cooked – packing a great amount of minerals and vitamins, including magnesium and Vitamin A.
Spinach is again higher in fibre and water content – potentially helpful to benefit the digestive system!
36g Protein per 100g
The soybean is incredibly useful for those who don’t eat meat or dairy and is also the only complete plant protein – except for quinoa! soybeans are a terrific source of protein and 100g will provide you with a whopping 36g of protein. Throw them in a soup or a curry and you’re all set!
Raw soy beans: Edamame
13g Protein per 100g
Edamame no longer holds the “rejected sushi starter” status that it used to as it is popping up all over the place as a satiating and very healthy snack. 100g of these beans will provide you will a smashing 11g of protein and, due to it being incredibly easy to prepare, the little champs can be an excellent portable snack. They will also leave you feeling completely guilt free. Domo arigato!
3g Protein per 100g
Long regarded as the best friend of bodybuilders and for good reason, too! 100g of broccoli will give you 3g of protein as well as a lot of vitamin C and has also been linked to reducing
excess estrogen levels as well.
Again, they are very low calorie and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Steamed or boiled might seem a bit old-fashioned so roast them up with plenty of garlic and seasoning and keep the crunch!
6g Protein per 100g
Good old peas. Reliable, always there for you and work in a variety of dishes. You can make them fancy with mint or just have them with gravy on the side of your roast dinner.
The point is that peas are always welcome at any dinner table and with an impressive 6g of protein per 100g of product, it is definitely something that we shouldn’t take for granted!
Take Home Message
It’s important to remember that protein is everywhere and not just in steaks and whey protein.
We all know that it’s important to get enough vegetables in our daily diet but knowing that we could gain an extra ten or so grams of protein a day (as well as tons of essential micronutrients) from our veggie portions is even more of an incentive!