5 Leafy Vegetables Highest in Protein

leafy vegetablesYou know fine well that you should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and you may even know which ones are the best for certain health reasons. For anyone who is looking to increase their protein intake, whether it’s because they don’t eat meat, they’re reducing their meat intake, or just looking to build muscle – then you need to know which vegetables offer you the most. Protein is a must-have for your body and it’s just another necessity if you want to live a healthy life.

Before we dive into the list, let’s first discuss how much protein you should be getting as a minimum. It’s fairly simple, men should be getting at least 56 grams of protein each day, while women should be aiming for 46 grams of protein. Though, according to Harvard, it does depend on your weight so it will likely be very different for each person. There’s a helpful formula to tell you what your optimum protein intake is.

  1. Spinach

    The beauty of spinach is in its versatility. You can eat it raw and in a salad or give it a bit of a steam to sit on the side, you can even toss it in your smoothies and omelets. Just one cup of spinach will give you a whopping 5 grams of protein and it also contains carotenoids, which are known for their ability to fight cancer. Toss in some herbs and garlic to jazz it up as the perfect side dish to your main meal, or toss it in your salad along with some romaine lettuce.

  2. Green Peas

    Okay, so you’re not going to eat the leafy part of the garden pea, but peas themselves are massively rich in protein. Just a cup is enough to provide 8 grams of protein! The best part is there are so many different ways you can use them. You can eat them raw, which is great because you can toss them in your salad or just eat a handful! Alternatively, you can boil them and use them as a side dish or cook them in your meals. They make an excellent addition to soups and are complementary to vegetables like broccoli and corn.

  3. Collard Greens

    One cup of cooked collard greens is worth 5 grams of protein and just like it’s cousin spinach, it’s great both steamed or boiled. You can toss it in your stir-fry, it’s great in stuffings, warm salads, and it’s delicious as a side dish when you throw in some herbs and spices. It’s just one of those vegetables that is at home on any plate of food.

  4. Brussels Sprouts

    This is one of those love them or hate them vegetables, but there’s a good reason for you to love them – they are packed with protein, around 4 grams in a cup. Here’s the thing about Brussels, we often view them as a side dish to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, but they are so much more than that. You can pickle them, you can roast them with a drizzle of olive oil, you can give them a quick fry in the pan (with bacon if you’re feeling frisky), steam them or just boil them. They’re great whole, sliced, diced, mashed, and even barbecued. You can eat them raw if you really want to or sautee them before mashing them with cauliflower to ditch the starchy potato dish you’re so accustomed to.

  5. Broccoli

    You will get 3 grams of protein from a cup of raw broccoli. Of course, a cooked cup offers more, so it’s up to you which way you eat it. The beauty of broccoli is that it’s one of the most delicious raw vegetables out there, especially when there’s a tasty hummus dip at hand (chickpeas are another great source of protein, by the way, so try making your own hummus – it’s so easy and healthy). You’ll also get a handy helping of fiber in your broccoli, along with much-needed vitamins and minerals. You can use it on its own, in soups, omelets, stir-fries, in casseroles, and… well, in just about anything.


There are plenty of other vegetables you should be including in your diet to get an extra hit of protein, so don’t forget about soybean sprouts, lima beans, artichokes, corn, asparagus, mushrooms, and kale. It’s time we stop thinking of vegetables as boring or just an aside… they can serve as the cornerstone of any mind and still send your taste buds into an explosion of delight. Whether you are looking to boost your vegetable and protein intake between meals or you’re looking to beef up your meals as well. It’s never been easier to get what your body needs to thrive. Make sure you are following Online Savings Hack to keep up with all the latest news in health, wellness, and more.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.