7 Best High-Protein Vegetables for Weight Loss

· January 2, 2017
We know we should lower our meat intake. But how will you get your protein? No worries: here are the best high-protein vegetables for a healthy diet!

Losing weight is a challenge many people face. Even though the number on a scale doesn’t define you, it can be a good indicator of your health. Eating a balanced diet is the first step towards a healthier you, an in this quest, lowering your meat intake is key. But how will you get your protein? Worry no more: here are te best high-protein vegetables that will keep you nourished and help you lose weight.

Getting rid of extra weight is a process that requires consistency and patience. Anything claiming to be the “fix all” is probably a scam or dangerous to your health.

Before you start, it’s better if you make a visit to the doctor to assess your physical condition. Then, they should help you establish a daily routine oriented at weight loss.

It’s good to keep your own health in mind and start by having a balanced diet. This should include a healthy mix of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables that will keep you full for longer.

The importance of protein in a balanced diet

Protein intake is key when it comes to a healthy weight loss plan. When trying to lose weight, it’s common to eat a diet with a caloric deficit. This means that you will be burning more calories than what you are eating.

For most people, a diet with a caloric deficit implies both increased exercise and diminished caloric intake. If you are eating foods with little nutrients, this means you will get hungrier faster.

Enter the protein: proteins are complex molecules that your body takes longer to metabolize. When your body is busy metabolizing food, it isn’t hungry. Thus, if you eat more protein, your body will be fuller for longer, and you won’t feel hungry before your next appointed meal.

On the other hand, protein also stabilizes your blood sugar. When you have no spikes in your sugar levels, you are less likely to get those terrible cravings so common when just starting your fitness journey.

Finally, when you subject your body to a caloric deficit, you need to properly nourish it. If you eat low-quality food (ie. simple carbohydrates, sweets, alcohol…) your exercise plan will start tapping on your body’s reserves, both fat AND muscle. To keep the muscle while getting rid of the fat, you need to follow a strength training plan and increase your protein intake.

When you increase your muscle mass, your body is able to burn more fat for a longer time. On the other hand, your body spends more energy when digesting protein-rich foods, so your metabolism will get faster. This means that having more protein has a snowball effect of positive results for your weight loss!

Protein: Animal vs Vegetal

Although protein has many positive effects, animal products have a higher calorie count, so you should only ingest them in moderation. On the other hand, you really can’t eat too many veggies: the key is having a variety.

As no one vegetable or fruit has every nutrient, your diet should include a healthy rage of both fruits and veggies in all the colors of the rainbow. Here are some of our favorite high-protein veggies that will keep you full until your next meal:

The best high-protein vegetables

1. Spinach

spinach is a great high-protein vegetable

Spinach is one of the leafy green high-protein vegetables we can eat which has the most nutrients.

  • It is one of the most high-protein vegetables and contains multiple essential amino acids.
  • Furthermore, it contains considerable amounts of folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • In addition to its high protein content, spinach contains compounds with great anti-oxidant potential, which can also reduce inflammation.

We suggest the following: a salad of spinach, strawberries, and nuts.

Read more: Try These Delicious Spinach Wraps

2. Watercress

Watercress is a cruciferous plant (like broccoli or Brussels sprouts) which has a high protein content.

  • It also has a good amount of minerals (calcium, manganese, and potassium), and vitamins A, B, and C.
  • However, it is important to know that if you boil watercress in water it will lose all its antioxidant potential. Therefore, try to eat it raw in a salad.

3. Alfalfa sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are a great source of vegetable protein

Have you tried alfalfa sprouts before? They add a unique touch to dishes and añthough they barely contain any calories, they do boast a lot of nutrients. Alfalfa is rich in isoflavonoids, which help stabilize your hormonal levels and keep a healthy gut.

On the other hand, alfalfa is also rich in vitamins B, C and K, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

Something that will be interesting to everyone, is that alfalfa sprouts are very good for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), for relieving the menopause symptoms, and for preventing osteoporosis.

4. Chinese cabbage

You’ll love Chinese cabbage. And not only can it help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it also offers a tasty and original touch to all dishes.

  • It contains a great amount of protein, as well as calcium, potassium, manganese, iron and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Furthermore, thanks to its anti-oxidant properties, it can fight different types of cancer.

 

5. Asparagus

asparagus are a great source of protein

Asparagus is well known for containing a lot of nutrients and being one of the best high-protein vegetables widely available. For example, with 134g of asparagus, you get an average of 2.9 g of protein.

  • It’s also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, K, as well as copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.
  • Something else which stands out is its content of fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which work as a prebiotic to stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in our intestines.

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

Want to know more?: 6 Reasons to Eat Asparagus and How to Cook It

6. Broccoli

This high-protein vegetable is already a staple in most homes. Nevertheless, it never hurts to eat it with your health in mind! You can enjoy broccoli raw or cooked, in a sauce or solo.

It has barely any calories, makes you feel fuller, and provides you with high amounts of plant compounds and flavonoids, such as kaempferol.

On the other hand, steamed broccoli is great for liver health: its compounds might help fight liver cancer and non-alcoholic fatty-liver syndrome.

7. Brussels sprouts

brussel sprouts are some of the best high-protein vegetables available

Brussels sprouts are great for losing weight. They are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins. On the other hand, these high-protein vegetables take care of your intestines. As a cruciferous vegetable, Brussel sprouts have been found to help to eliminate harmful bacteria and promote a healthier gut.

For cooking, you have a variety of options: you can cook them in the oven or grill them. They are an ideal side to any dish.

You should try to add these veggies to have a healthy and balanced diet. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to eat healthier, these high-protein vegetables are a great addition to any meal plan. Add a bit of exercise and you’ll have a healthy lifestyle in a pinch!

You can start today: losing weight in a healthy way is possible!

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