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Pick a Peck of Protein
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If you've been diagnosed with heart disease or are simply trying to follow a more heart-healthy diet, you may be trying to cut down on some protein sources like red meat. The Institutes of Medicine recommend that women get about 46 grams of protein each day, and, while you can definitely include low-fat proteins like soy and fish into your diet, it turns out that there are several kinds of vegetables besides traditional legumes that also pack a protein punch. What is great about protein-rich vegetables is that they also provide a wide array of vitamins and fiber to your diet, so you get a real double-whammy with every mouthful. Check out some of these powerhouse vegetables and get your veggie on!

Peas: Containing as much protein in 3/4 of a cup as a spoonful of peanutbutter -- but without the fat -- peas are one of the best green sources of protein available in your grocery store or farmer's market. Recipe: Chilled Pea Soup with Mint.

With 3 grams of protein in just half a cup, it's easy to pack in the protein in just a simple spinach salad, not to mention the fact that it is an incredible source of vitamins A and C as well as iron. Recipe: Chayote Salad

Brussels Sprouts: Don't be afraid of these protein-rich wonders, which tend to get a bad rap because of overcooking. Cooked properly, Brussels sprouts are delicious and have the added benefit of being full of potassium. Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Pine Nuts

Artichokes: A typical medium-sized artichoke has about 3.5 grams of protein but less than a gram of fat, so tossing some artichoke hearts into your salad at lunch can be a great way to sneak in some more protein each day. Recipe: Spinach Stuffed Artichokes

Asparagus: Rich in antioxidants , one serving of asparagus -- about 7 or 8 spears -- can provide 3 grams of protein. Try to get it fresh in season when it's most flavorful. Recipe: Sauteéd Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette

We really can't say enough about broccoli, which boasts an incredible amount of vitamin C and is also chock full of vitamins A and B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, and, of course, protein. Recipe: Mediterranean Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes

image courtesy of Mae's Food Blog
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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a founding partner of The Heart Truth Red Dress campaign. The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.