Blog | Monday, July 1, 2013

Learn 12 secrets of proteins in vegetables

Think fruits and vegetables, and protein may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants perhaps ... but protein?

In actuality, there are many vegetables, beans, and lentils that are high in this important nutrient. Here are some of them (approximate one cup values shown):
--soybeans: 300 calories and an incredible 30 grams protein
--lentils: 230 calories, 18 grams of protein
--chickpeas: 270 calories, 15 grams protein
--kidney beans: 55 calories, 8 grams protein
--peas: 125 calories, 8 grams protein
--sundried tomatoes: 140 calories, 8 grams protein
--spinach (cooked): 40 calories, 5 grams protein
--artichokes: 90 calories, 4 grams protein
--sweet corn: 135 calories, 4 grams protein
--potatoes (one medium): 160 calories, 4 grams protein
--broccoli: 30 calories, 3 grams protein
--mushrooms: 45 calories, 3 grams protein

Other dairy sources include milk, cheese and eggs. A cup of milk will contain 120 calories (2% milk) and 8 grams of protein. One slice of cheddar cheese contains about 115 calories and 7 grams protein (but be careful of the saturated fat). One medium sized egg contains about 65 calories and 6 grams protein.

Daily protein requirements vary by person according to age, body weight and your individual health circumstances e.g. whether you are dieting. There are many online calculators that can help you calculate your own ideal intake.

What makes the above sources of protein even more desirable is that they are very healthy for other reasons as well. For instance, lentils, peas and spinach are also jam packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants. Soybeans are unique too, in that they contain complete protein (i.e. all amino acids). So now there's yet another reason to eat these great foods!

Suneel Dhand, MD, ACP Member, is a practicing physician in Massachusetts. He has published numerous articles in clinical medicine, covering a wide range of specialty areas including; pulmonology, cardiology, endocrinology, hematology, and infectious disease. He has also authored chapters in the prestigious "5-Minute Clinical Consult" medical textbook. His other clinical interests include quality improvement, hospital safety, hospital utilization, and the use of technology in health care. This post originally appeared at his blog.