Protein is a macro nutrient composed of amino acids that supports muscle growth and helps keep our bodies active, strong, and healthy. While most protein is stored in the body as muscle tissue, excess protein is turned into energy by the body. High protein foods not only provide you with the necessary nutrients, they tend to be tasty as well!
- Found in dairy, meat, eggs, fish, beans and nut
- Available in various synthetic forms
- Helps build skin, hair, nails and cartilage
- Speeds up recovery after injury
- Better brain function
If your goal is to bulk up, then partnering with protein makes sense. While shakes, bars and powder are good on-the-go, The Harvard School of Public Health recommends getting protein from a variety of natural food sources.
Does creating your grocery store list leave you stumped? Spend more time racking weights, not your brain and pursue protein with ease by referencing this high protein foods list
Quick Note: Chicken, Pork and Beef are obvious choices that we have left out. Rest assured that you will get a lot of protein from either of those 3!
10 Foods Naturally High in Protein
0% Plain Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt’s popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years, and you may be wondering what exactly sets this dreamy dairy product apart from its sugary, artificially colored counterparts. Rich, thick and creamy, Greek yogurt has two times the amount of protein than regular yogurt and can assist in weight loss by helping you feel fuller longer.
While all yogurt is derived by straining fermented milk, Greek yogurt is strained three times — leaving behind a tangy, creamy product. As an added bonus, cut calories and boost the protein content of your favorite sweets by substituting Greek yogurt for cream cheese, oil, butter, sour cream or even mayonnaise!
There’s no need to kiss grains goodbye when you adopt a high-protein diet! Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) packs in more protein than any other grain and doesn’t contain any cholesterol or fat!
This “supergrain” isn’t new to food game and has been cultivated in the Andes for over 5,000 years.
But as more and more people hear about this whole grain pasta substitute, quinoa’s popularity has risen and become more readily available. Look for it in your local grocery store today!
Pre-cooked Chicken Sausage
That spicy sausage flavor you crave no longer goes hand-in-hand with the fat you hate. There’s a new kid in town — Chicken Sausage. Seasoned with delicious blends of herbs, dried apples, beets, sea salt and garlic, each link contains about 17 grams of protein and only one third of the unhealthy saturated fats of regular pork sausage.
Savor the flavor and use these pre-cooked links in your everyday meals.
Slice it up and add it to a stir-fry! Or, remove for a lean ground meat perfect for creating sauces or meatloaf.
Native Americans’ used beef jerky as their main means of survival during the winter months. But yesterday’s necessity is today’s convenience as jerky is sold at nearly every gas station and grocery store. But this readily available snack’s high-protein content is something to chew on.
On average, one ounce of beef jerky delivers 11 grams of protein with little calories and no fat! Cured with salt and heat, beef jerky comes in flavors as varied as your imagination.
See Also: Top 10 Casein Protein Powders for 2015
Rich in in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, tuna steaks’ rich meaty flavor and has caught the eye of many health experts who tout tuna as one of the healthiest foods hook, line and sinker. But before you reach for your can opener, know that unlike its popular canned counterpart, tuna steaks don’t unsaturated fat.
Tuna steak is also a much more versatile option than Chicken of the Sea — but whether you bake your steak or season and sear it on the grill, your body’s energy levels will thank you for choosing this protein rich fish.
There’s no need to spend time and money cracking the code to a perfect diet — the issue is easy to unscramble! Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of high quality protein out there. Scientists often use eggs as the standard for measuring the protein quality of other foods. Just one egg contains 13 percent of the recommended Daily Value of protein.
If your goal is to achieve steady and sustained energy, then don’t be fooled into ordering “egg whites only.” More than 3 grams of protein are stored in an egg’s yolk!
Edamame (eh-dah-MAH-meh). It’s just a fancy way to say, “boiled green soybeans.” But what’s in a name, anyways? It’s what’s in the edamame that counts and these fuzzy whole-pod soybeans contain pealike seeds that are rich in protein. In fact, just half a cup of these green soybeans will add more than 11 grams of protein to your diet!
According to the Centers for Disease Control, edamame is the only plant-based source of complete protein which makes this Japanese treat is a great option for vegetarians looking to add protein to their diet. Boil the beans in lightly salted water and then squeeze them from the pods and pop them into your mouth. Edamame… difficult to pronounce, but oh so fun to eat.
Tofu, or bean curd, is derived from dried soybeans that have been formed into spongy white blocks. This staple in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines can be eaten many different ways, as its neutral flavor is quite absorbent. But while tofu is soft on flavor, it is anything but soft on protein — a 100 calorie serving contains a whopping 11 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids!
The cost efficiency of tofu is another added plus! Soybeans are inexpensive, but rich in protein. That’s why tofu is popularly known as the “poor man’s protein.”
Cinderella may have been a fan, but there’s nothing sissy about pumpkin seeds. Just one ounce of these small green seeds contains 9 grams of protein — that’s two grams more than the same amount of ground beef! Pumpkin seeds have a sweet, nutty flavor and their high protein content and level of nutrients makes them a wonderful addition to any salad or snack.
Sprinkle them on salads; add them to a raw granola mix or to soup for an extra crunch. Bippity, boppity boo!
Whether you eat it at Thanksgiving or get it sliced at the deli, Turkey is a simple and fast source of high quality protein contains less saturated fat than red meat, making turkey the leanest protein around! While most cuts of turkey breast pack in the protein, skinned turkey breast provide the most protein per serving, at 34 grams in 4 ounces.
If you grow tiresome of turkey today, then try tomorrow ground turkey! Ground turkey is a perfect substitute for fatty ground beef — just be sure to read the label and buy the lean.
You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Besides getting plenty of sleep, there is no better way than consuming sufficient amounts of protein to ensure the body is primed and ready to make the most of each and every workout.
The amount of protein your body needs differs from person to person. But generally, at least 10–35% of your daily calories should come from protein. The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for different men and women aged 19 – 70+ is 56 and 46, respectively.
Don’t whip out your calculator yet though — focus on getting your protein from a variety of different sources of protein rather than consuming large amounts of protein. Eating a healthy assortment of meat, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds healthy protein-rich foods is the best way to bulk up. Don’t add pricey protein shakes or powders to your daily routine — since some of these are loaded with sugar or other additives. For example, try an egg with breakfast, some turkey or beans on your salad for lunch, and tofu with a side dish of quinoa for dinner.