Lose Weight Healthily With These Seven High-Protein Vegetables

Including vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and spinach in your diet can help you to lose weight healthily.
Lose Weight Healthily With These Seven High-Protein Vegetables
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 11 August, 2022

Losing weight healthily is a priority when you want to get rid of those extra pounds on your hips, tummy, or body in general. It’s not easy, and there’s no miracle cure. Furthermore, you shouldn’t try and lose weight too quickly as you’ll be putting your health at risk if you do.

Before you start, you should visit your doctor so they can assess your physical condition. They should be able to help you establish some daily routines to help you meet your goals. For example, a daily walk, aerobic exercise, and a good diet. They’re the essentials for safe weight loss.

Next, we’ll talk to you about the last point: your diet. There are seven amazing vegetables that can help you get rid of extra pounds in a healthy way. They’re rich in protein, tasty, and contain various types of vitamins and minerals.

If you want to lose weight healthily, eat more protein

Before listing the seven vegetables, we want to explain the importance of protein when you start any plan to lose weight healthily.

When you eat foods rich in protein, you feel fuller for longer, as stated in an article published in the journal, Advances in Nutrition. This doesn’t happen when you consume simple carbohydrates or sweet foods. On the contrary, you usually feel hungrier.

You should also consider that if you neglect protein intake when dieting, there’s a risk that you’ll lose muscle mass. Remember that proteins promote muscle building and help preserve body composition.

However, you shouldn’t eat too much. Ideally, you should combine animal proteins, such as turkey, fish, and eggs with other vegetable sources like pulses, tofu, oats, and quinoa.

You might like to read this article, too: Types of Proteins and Their Functions

The seven vegetables with the most protein

Now that you know that protein is a really important nutrient in weight-loss diets, we’ll tell you about the amount generally found in vegetables.

As a rule, vegetables aren’t foods that provide high amounts of protein. For this reason, they’re not usually considered a sufficient source of protein and wouldn’t cover your recommended daily needs.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might like to choose vegetables that provide the highest amount of protein and fiber possible but with fewer carbohydrates and calories.

Below, we mention some of them. Later, we will tell you how to complete your diet to obtain all the necessary protein.

1. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that’s one of the highest in protein, and it contains multiple essential amino acids.

It also contains considerable amounts of folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. The latter is beneficial for optimizing iron absorption, according to a study published in 2019.

In addition to its high protein content, spinach contains compounds with great antioxidant potential.

We suggest you try a spinach salad, strawberries, nuts, or a spinach omelet.

2. Watercress

Watercress is a cruciferous plant (like broccoli or Brussels sprouts) and is helpful for weight loss. You can include it in light and tasty salads.

It contains a good amount of Vitamin A, B, and C as well as minerals (calcium, manganese, and potassium).

However,  if you boil watercress in water, it loses all its antioxidant potential. Therefore, try to eat it raw in salads.

3. Alfalfa sprouts

Have you tried alfalfa sprouts before? They add a unique touch to your food and, although they barely contain any calories, they boast a lot of nutrients. In fact, alfalfa is rich in vitamins B, C, and K and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

Alfalfa sprouts are really good for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), relieving menopause symptoms, and helping to prevent osteoporosis. Give them a try.

4. Chinese cabbage

You’ll love Chinese cabbage. It’s one of the vegetables that contain the most protein, as well as calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. Furthermore, thanks to its antioxidant properties, it helps prevent cell damage. Look out for Chinese cabbage in your local market.

You can also use other varieties of cabbages or kale. Cook it with other vegetables or eat raw in a salad, cut thinly.

5. Asparagus

Asparagus is known for containing plenty of nutrients. For example, 134 grams of asparagus provides, on average, 2.9 grams of protein.

It also contains vitamins A, B, and K, as well as copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

In addition, it contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which work as a prebiotic to stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in your intestinal microbiota.

You can prepare your asparagus in the oven, under the grill, or boil or steam it. However you choose to cook it, it’s delicious and healthy.

6. Broccoli

Broccoli is a high-protein vegetable that you can enjoy raw or cooked. It has hardly any calories, makes you feel fuller, and provides you with high amounts of plant compounds and flavonoids, such as kaempferol and quercetin.

It can also help improve some health conditions, such as reducing high cholesterol levels and protecting LDL from oxidation. As a matter of fact, broccoli helps protect the whole cardiovascular system.

7. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts after a high-protein vegetable.

Brussels sprouts are great for losing weight. They’re also a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. They also contain different kinds of antioxidants and help protect your visual health.

You can cook them in the oven, grill them, or boil them with other vegetables for a milder flavor. They’re an ideal accompaniment to any dish.

How to eat vegetables to help you lose weight healthily

These vegetables, and, in fact, all vegetables in general, usually contain between one and three grams of protein per 100 grams. This is far less than the 12 grams that an egg contains or the 20 grams of pulses and chicken.

Therefore, you’d have to eat a great deal of them to acquire a significant amount of protein.

For this reason, if you’re following a weight loss diet (or any healthy eating plan), you must accompany vegetables with other foods. Here are some tips:

  • Vegetables are excellent foods that you should eat on a daily basis as they have recognized health benefits. However, you shouldn’t base your weight-loss diet on them alone, as this would result in you losing energy as well as lacking essential nutrients.
  • They should be accompanied by interesting sources of protein of either animal or vegetable origin.
  • Vegetables can be used in dishes like scrambled eggs, omelets, or tofu burgers. They’re also ideal for making salads with vegetables or chicken and are an ideal accompaniment to fish and meat.
  • You should cook them lightly and not add too much seasoning.
  • Introduce vegetables and protein sources to all your main meals.

Combine vegetables with protein to lose weight healthily

As you’ve seen, it’s possible to lose weight healthily. Our suggestions will come in handy, but keep in mind that you should also get advice from a nutritionist.

Don’t forget to have a varied and balanced diet, and combine it with regular physical exercise. Only then will you get the results you want.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cuenca Sánchez M., Navas Carrillo D., Orenes Piñero E., Controversies surrounding high protein diet intake: satiating effect and kidney and bone health. Adv Nutr, 2015. 6 (3): 260-6.
  • Hiel S, Bindels L, et al. Effects of a diet based in inulin-rich vegetables on gut health and nutritional behavior in heathy humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Junio 2019. 109 (6): 1683-1695.
  • Johra F. T, Bepari K. A, et al. A mechanistic review of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin in eye health and disease. Antioxidants. Octubre 2020. 9 (11): 1046.
  • Russo R. O, Sánchez M. S. Los flavonoides en la terapia cardiovascular. Revista Costarricense de Cardiología. 2006. 8 (1).
  • Simonson W., Bcgp Fascp P., Should vitamin C routinely be given with oral iron supplements? Geriatr Nutr, 2019. 40 (3): 327-328.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.