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5 Fruits and Veggies That Pack the Protein

  • Healthy Eating
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You don't need to just stick to meat and nuts to get your daily dose of protein. There is a variety of delicious foods that can deliver significant amounts of this muscle-building nutrient. Try these five protein-rich fruits and vegetables as nutritious alternatives to meat, milk and eggs. 

1. Avocado 
Like tomatoes, avocados are fruits that are commonly thought of as vegetables. But regardless of how you categorize it, an avocado carries more protein than a glass of milk, about 4 grams according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Although some avoid this fruit because it has a relatively high fat and calorie content, it's full of a variety of nutrients such as zinc, folic acid, potassium, fiber and healthy fats. Use it on top of your salad or in your blender for a creamy, green smoothie. 

2. Lentils 
Legumes are the most protein-rich group of vegetables available. On average, legumes can offer compare closer to animal products than many other vegetables in how much protein they offer. Among legumes, lentils are one of the highest in protein with about 47 grams of protein per cup, the USDA noted. 

3. Apricots 
Either raw or dried apricots can add protein to your meals as well as sweetness, though there's debate over whether fresh or dehydrated is better. Although a raw apricot has more protein, dried apricots have more protein per bite because they're more compact. Either way, you can't go wrong. It's a tasty, sweet way to add protein to your yogurt, oatmeal or other dishes. The USDA explained that 1 cup of sliced apricots has more than 2 grams of protein.

4. Spinach 
This tasty leafy green is well known for being nutritious, but did you know it has nearly 3 grams of protein per every 100 grams of spinach, according to the USDA? But eating a 100 grams of raw spinach can be hard. The best way to get the most protein from your spinach is to throw it in your blender and make a smoothie to pack in more greens than you'd probably care to eat raw. Spinach is also rich in vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, a variety of minerals, and has minimal calories and fat. 

5. Soybeans 
Soybeans pack a walloping 68 grams of protein per cup, according to the USDA. Eat them raw, steam them or roast them for a tasty, protein-filled meal that has more of the nutrient some types of meat. Soybeans are legumes, and also have significant daily amounts of iron, fiber and vitamin K.