Protein is an essential nutrient that’s used by every cell in your body. It helps build and repair tissues and assists with the production of hormones and enzymes.
Protein can be found in both animal and plant sources, but it’s important to note that not all proteins are created equal. Animal proteins have all nine essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, and are considered “complete” proteins. Plant-based proteins, on the other hand, are often lacking one or more of these essential amino acids.
But the good news is that you don’t ONLY need to eat meat to get enough protein in your diet. In fact, many other foods contain all the essential amino acids you need to thrive. In this article, we are going to be talking about 20 foods high in protein that you can easily add to your diet.
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Foods High in Protein
Protein is found in all foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Some vegetables also contain small amounts of protein such as broccoli and cauliflower. Let’s talk about 20 high-protein foods that you can easily add to your diet.
1. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese has a very soft and creamy texture and it comes in various flavors.
Protein Content:In just half of a cup of Cottage cheese, you’ll get 14 grams of protein!
Cottage cheese is also known as farmer’s cheese or pot cheese because it was originally made by farmers who needed to preserve excess milk from their cows. They would curdle the milk by adding lemon juice or vinegar to it, which resulted in a great source of protein for them.
Almonds, like many other nuts and seeds, are packed with protein.
Protein Content:A one-ounce serving of Almonds contains 6–8 grams of protein. And about one-third of a cup of almond milk contains 1 gram of protein.
Almonds are a great snack option for people who are trying to eat less meat or animal products for health or ethical reasons. They’re also packed with healthy fats and fiber that can help you feel full longer and curb cravings for unhealthy snacks.
Broccoli is a vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family. It is one of the most commonly consumed vegetables in the world, with high nutritional value.
Protein Content:Broccoli contains only about 20 calories per cup, yet it provides nearly 5 grams of protein.
This makes it an excellent food choice for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
4. Chicken breast
Chicken breast is one of the best sources of protein.
Protein Content:Chicken breast contains about 32 grams of protein per 100 grams.
This makes chicken a great choice for weight loss diets and for those who want to build muscle mass. The high protein content comes from amino acids like arginine, cysteine, and glycine among others.
These amino acids help build muscle tissue by producing glutamine which is important for energy production during exercise as well as the repair of damaged tissues after exercise.
Chicken breast recipes are easy to make, and they’re also delicious. You can serve them as part of a meal or use them as an entree for the whole family. If you want to get creative, there’s no end to the possibilities!
Milk has a lot of protein and it can help you build muscle.
Protein Content:A glass of milk has about 8 grams of protein, which is about as much as an egg or a chicken breast.
It also has calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients that help your body remain stronger and healthier.
If you’re looking to rebuild muscle mass, you need to eat enough protein every day. The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that adults get 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day, so if you weigh 160 pounds or 72 kilograms, you should aim for at least 56 grams of protein every day.
Salmon is one of the best sources of protein. It contains nearly half the amount of protein as chicken and nearly 70% more than beef.
Protein Content:Salmon has about 20 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, or about 40 percent of the daily value.
The protein in salmon comes from its complete amino acid profile, making it a high-quality protein source.
Protein Content:One cup of diced potatoes contains 4 grams of protein.
The potato skin is not included in this measurement. If you eat the skin of your potato, the protein content will increase substantially.
You can eat potatoes in many different ways such as boiled, baked, mashed, or fried. They taste great with butter or sour cream. You can also make soup with them or use them as hash browns to make a breakfast sandwich!
Protein Content:One cup of cooked lentils contains about 18 grams of protein, which is about 40% of the daily recommended intake for adults.
Lentils are one of the few plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. Lentils are also rich in fiber, which can help you feel fuller for longer and promote healthy digestion.
9. Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in fat. It is made from milk that has been strained, which means that most of the liquid is removed, leaving behind a thick and creamy texture. The straining process also makes Greek yogurt much thicker than regular yogurt.
Greek yogurts have twice as much protein and less sugar than normal yogurts. They also contain less lactose, which means that they are easier to digest for people who have problems with lactose intolerance or milk allergies.
Protein Content:A 6-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt provides about 20 grams of protein.
Tuna is one of the most popular fish in the world. It has been around for millions of years.
Protein Content:Tuna contains between 15% and 30% protein by weight, making it an excellent source of this essential nutrient. A 3-ounce serving of cooked tuna contains 13 grams of protein, which is more than half of what many people need each day.
In addition to being high in protein, tuna also contains essential amino acids that help build muscle tissue, support cell growth, and promote healthy skin.
While some people may think that eating tuna will make them gain weight, this isn’t true at all since it also has very little fat and no carbohydrates.
Quinoa is a gluten-free, high-protein grain that can be cooked in about 20 minutes.
Protein Content:One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein.
It’s one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
Quinoa is available in many varieties, from light to dark red, black, and even purple! You can choose your favorite color or experiment with different textures.
The most common type of quinoa is white or ivory quinoa, which cooks up fluffy and light. The red varieties are chewier and tend to hold their shape better after cooking, while black quinoa looks like black rice when cooked but retains its shape more than red quinoa does.
12. Lean beef
Lean beef is a great source of protein, and it’s a good source of iron. The amount of protein in lean ground beef depends on the cut of meat and how you prepare it.
Protein Content:A 3-ounce serving of lean ground beef has about 18 grams of protein.
The best way to prepare ground beef to maintain its nutritional value is to cook it until it’s no longer pink in the center. It’s best to also drain off any fat that forms while cooking. You can also choose cuts with less fat, such as round or sirloin tip meat, which have about 7 grams of fat per 3 ounces cooked.
Protein Content:The average egg contains less than 70 calories, yet provides 6 grams of high-quality protein.
Egg whites are essentially pure protein, so they make an excellent choice for those looking to build muscle while reducing fat.
Although eggs have received a bad reputation for their high cholesterol content, new research has shown that dietary cholesterol does not raise blood levels as previously thought. In fact, recent studies show that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol levels as much as saturated fat does.
14. Ezekiel bread
Ezekiel bread is high in protein, but not all of the protein comes from soy. The protein in Ezekiel bread is made from wheat and spelt flour, which is a type of wheat.
Protein Content:The total amount of protein in a slice of Ezekiel bread is about 6 grams per slice. For comparison, an average slice of toast has about 2 grams of protein.
Ezekiel bread can be used as part of a healthy diet or as an alternative to traditional bread. You can use it as an ingredient in many recipes or just eat it plain with some jam on top.
15. Turkey breast
Protein Content:One 3-ounce serving of roasted turkey meat provides about 24 grams of protein. That’s almost half the amount you need in a day.
The protein content in turkey breast makes it a good option for people who are trying to gain muscle mass or lose weight by increasing their caloric intake without consuming too many calories overall.
The protein in shellfish comes from what they eat. Shellfish like oysters and clams use their shell to filter the water around them for food. They eat plankton, which is what fish eat too.
Shellfish are high in protein and low in fat, which makes them a good source of this nutrient for those following a heart-healthy diet.
Protein Content:A 3-ounce serving of clams contains about 18 grams of protein. The same amount of shrimp also provides 18 grams of protein.
17. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain eight essential amino acids, making them a great protein source.
Protein Content:A 1-ounce serving of roasted pumpkin seeds contains 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber which is roughly a portion of your daily needs.
They are also rich in magnesium and zinc minerals that help improve brain function and support immune health!
Corn is high in protein, but it is not considered a complete protein because it lacks some essential amino acids. The amino acid composition of corn is similar to that of oats and wheat, making it a good source of protein for vegans who avoid dairy products and eggs.
Protein Content:1 cup (154g) of corn kernels contains 5g of protein.
The primary protein found in corn is zein, which makes up about 80 percent of its total protein content. Zein is similar in structure to gluten proteins found abundantly in wheat and rye grains. Corn-based diets have been shown to induce intestinal inflammation in mice with severe intestinal problems.
Tofu is made from soybeans, which are high in protein and low in fat.
Protein Content:A 3-ounce serving of tofu contains about 10 grams of protein and only 4 grams of fat.
The same portion also provides about 100 calories, which makes tofu a good choice for those who want to lose weight or maintain their weight.
The main concern with eating tofu is its lack of iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12. To get around this problem, eat tofu with foods high in these nutrients. For example, combine it with greens such as spinach or kale that contain iron and calcium. Add sunflower seeds or almonds to your tofu bowls for extra zinc and vitamin B12.
Cauliflower is a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate vegetable that is rich in vitamin C, folate, fiber, and antioxidants. It also contains a substantial amount of protein. In fact, the protein content of cauliflower is comparable to that of other vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
Protein Content:One cup of raw cauliflower contains 3 grams of protein.
It has no cholesterol and only 6 grams of fat.
All the foods on our list can be eaten regularly, as they will not spike blood sugar. Proteins are essential nutrients that help build and repair tissues, strengthen muscles and bones, and make enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Protein deficiency may lead to muscle loss, agitation, and a depressed immune system.
Putting all of the mentioned foods together for one meal would be quite the task, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t try! Some of these foods will pair better together than others. And most of them are actually quite good on their own as well, so don’t forget to try just eating straight from the source!