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Yes, Plants Have Protein

Research has shown that all plants con­tain pro­tein and at least 14% of the total calo­ries of every plant are pro­tein. Broc­coli con­tains more pro­tein per calo­rie than steak and, per calo­rie, spinach is about equal to chick­en and fish. Of course, you’ll need to eat a lot more broc­coli and spinach to get the same amount of calo­ries that you do from the meat.

So how much is a lot more?” You’d have to con­sume about 2½ lbs of spinach to get the same amount of pro­tein you get from a ¼ lb chick­en breast.

I’m a cheat­ing veg­an or a picky pesc­etar­i­an depend­ing on the day of the week. I don’t eat meat oth­er than seafood and I’m very selec­tive about what seafood I do eat — most­ly tuna and oys­ters. I don’t con­sume dairy oth­er than the occa­sion­al ice cream and cake (and cake).1 Even so, 2½ lbs of spinach sounds daunt­ing. Luck­i­ly there are oth­er options:

Beans (27% pro­tein), lentils (36%), chick­peas (33%), peas (30%), and kale (22%) pro­vide the great­est oppor­tu­ni­ty to acquire micronu­tri­ents pack­aged with pro­tein. Prac­ti­cal solu­tions to add more of these include adding beans/​legumes to sal­ads, stews and soups.

01/24/2011 2:50 am

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