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15 Best Sources of High Protein foods

Proteins are the large biomolecules that are crucial for maintaining body tissues. Besides being involved in the development and repair of our hair, skin, and organs, this nutrient serves to protect our bodies from infections and illnesses. In fact, many health and fitness experts recommend adding this to our daily diet to reap the maximum benefits from it. A deficiency of this macronutrient results in impaired body functioning and muscle atrophy. So, it is imperative to consume an adequate amount of protein every day. This article will dive through the dietary recommendation of proteins and the rich foods in this macronutrient.

Dietary recommendation of proteins

  • The recommended daily intake of proteins for women is 43 grams, while that for men is 56 grams.
  • Pregnant and lactating women, however, require about 65 grams per day. Read
  • An average adult generally needs about 50 grams of protein every day, while athletes and individuals looking to build muscle mass require more.
  • Recently, the National Academy of Medicine released a recommendation that a minimum of 0.8 grams/ kg of the body weight or about 7 grams of protein is required for every 20 pounds of the body weight in adults.
  • The requirement of protein varies with age. For instance, for adults above 65 years of age, about 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight is required. This has been shown to lower age-related protein deficiencies. 1

List of foods that are rich in protein :

1. Lean chicken breast

This is one of the most popular protein-rich foods. It can’t stand alone as the main dish or can be consumed with salads, soups, tacos, and whatnot. 

This delicious meat can make a tasty meal for all those planning to gain more muscle mass.

The most considerable appeal of chicken breast is its high levels of protein content. Each 100 g of serving contains approximately 32.1 g of protein.

But be careful, as it is wise to eat the chicken breast without skin, especially if you want to cut back on calories.  2, 3

2. Tuna :

This fish is low in calories and fat and is an excellent source of proteins. Moreover, it also contains heart-healthy omega – 3 – fatty acids, making it a healthier choice than other seafood.

Tuna is famous seafood that can be eaten hot in baked dishes or cold in salads. Every 100 grams of serving contains about 29.9 grams of proteins. The calorie content of each can of tuna in water is just 94 %.

3. Eggs :

  • Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods available. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins, and brain-protecting nutrients.
  • The egg white is purely made of protein. It can be eaten either raw or cooked. But boiled eats are an all-time favorite as they are easy to cook and much healthier than omelets.
  • So start your morning by eating not one but two to three eggs to stay healthy and active throughout the day.

One whole egg contains about 6 grams of protein with only 78 calories. But this is not sufficient to meet our daily protein requirements.

4. Tofu:

Tofu is another excellent source of complete proteins. It has all the nine essential amino acids and makes you feel satiated for a long.

Soy-based tofu is a ubiquitous meat alternative, and 10 grams of protein is available in each 3 oz of tofu.

5. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is a thick yogurt that tastes delicious and has a creamy texture. The non – fat Greek yogurt has protein at 48 % of calories.

A 6-ounce container (170 grams) has 17 grams of proteins with just 100 calories. Just make sure to not get the one with added sugar if you are conscious about the calorie count.

6. Lentils :

  • Lentils add a nutritional punch to your diet with 9 grams of protein in a ½ cup cooked serving. Moreover, it also contains high amounts of potassium, fiber, and iron for about 115 calories.

Add lentils as a base to your brain bowl, toss it in your salad, or try with a more traditional soup regularly.

7. Lean beef

High protein, high bioavailable iron, vitamin B12, and numerous other nutrients are present in lean beef. This delicious meat contains 25 grams of proteins and 186 calories for every 85 grams of serving.

Lean cuts of beef

The USDA defines a lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving (about 100 grams) that contains less than 4

  • 10 grams total fat
  • 4.5 grams saturated fat
  • 95 milligrams cholesterol

Extra-lean cuts of beef

The USDA defines an extra-lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving (about 100 grams) that contains less than:

  • 5 grams total fat
  • 2 grams saturated fat
  • 95 milligrams cholesterol

8. Oats

Oats is one of the healthiest grains on the planet. It is loaded with dietary fiber, magnesium, manganese, and several other nutrients.

  • Oatmeal is a relatively low-calorie and a good source of protein.
  • Half a cup of raw oats contains 13 grams of protein with 303 calories, while half a cup of oatmeal contains 5 grams of protein for under 150 calories.

9. Cottage cheese :

Cottage cheese or paneer is an excellent protein source for vegans. Not only is it low in fat and calories, but it is also loaded with other nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin B2, among others.

  • The protein in this type of cheese is about 69 % of the calories. Each cup of 226 grams of paneer with 1 % fat contains approximately 26 grams of proteins with 163 calories.

10. Milk :

The protein content of soy milk is similar to that of the good old cow’s milk, so drinking it regularly will definitely keep you fit.

  • Milk has nearly a little of every nutrient your body needs. It is a good source of high-quality protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2.
  • 1 cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of protein, roughly 149 calories.
  • People who are intolerant to milk can suffer from gastrointestinal problems drinking it. But these people can still benefit from purely plant-based alternatives like soy milk.

11. Broccoli :

This incredibly healthy vegetable is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and potassium.

  • It is also high in protein compared to other vegetables and can be eaten both raw and cooked.
  • The protein content of broccoli is 33 % of the calories. Each cup of chopped broccoli has 3 grams of protein and only 31 calories.

12. Quinoa :

Quinoa is a seed/grain that is rare in that it is a complete protein. 

  • This superfood is high in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is also loaded with antioxidants and makes up for a hearty addition to your whole grain rotation.
  • Each cup of quinoa has about 8 grams of protein with 222 calories.

13. Whey protein supplements :

  • Whey is a type of high-quality protein derived from dairy foods and is shown to be effective at building muscle mass.
  • The amount of protein it contains varies with the brand used and ranges from 20 to 50 grams per cup with over 90 % calories.

14. Pumpkin seeds :

An ounce of these seeds contains 8 grams of protein, iron, and some magnesium for under 200 calories.

  • The ever-popular and versatile pumpkin seeds are another way of adding protein to your diet.
  • These seeds can also be munched upon during the day to keep your hunger pangs at bay.

15. Turkey breast :

  • Turkey breast is one of the best sources of low–calorie protein foods.
  • The protein content is 70 % of calories, and each 85 gram of serving contains approximately 24 grams of protein with 146 calories.
  • Try to include this poultry when you want to gain extra stamina during the workout or before doing strenuous physical exercises.


Protein is an essential nutrient that helps to not just repair tissues but also lose weight. Adding it to the diet is the best way to lead a healthier life. But, if you are intolerant to some of these protein-rich foods, then don’t worry, as they are plenty of alternatives available for you. So enjoy your meal by adding these foods but be careful about the side dishes you take, mainly for weight loss.

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