22 Protein-Rich Food Sources You Did Not Know About

Updated on April 18, 2018
Olivia Philips profile image

Olivia is a nutritionist and diet, fitness, and weight-loss consultant based in Texas. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition.

Importance and Health Benefits of Protein for Everyone

There has long been a debate as to whether carbohydrates are more harmful than fats, or vice versa. But the one macronutrient that has never been a part of this discussion is protein! The word protein probably brings to your mind the image of a well-defined muscle. That perception is certainly justified, as proteins are absolutely essential for building muscle mass, even more so when you are working out regularly - as workouts cause muscles to stress and have micro-tears which can be healed and rebuilt by protein alone. Along with muscle building, proteins are also essential for weight loss (especially abdominal fat). Studies have shown that consuming proteins for breakfast, and after workouts, is very effective to stay healthy.


The Recommended Dietary Protein Intake Is as Follows:

  • For men: 55.5g to 56.5g daily

  • For women: 45.5g to 46.5g daily

  • For endurance athletes: 1.2g to 1.4g per kg body weight daily

  • For strength athletes: 1.2g to 1.7g per kg body weight daily

Healthy Beef
Healthy Beef

Here Are Some Great Protein-Rich Foods that You Can Include in Your Daily Diet:

  1. Eggs: One large egg contains approximately 13g of protein. Eggs are one of the most conveniently available food options, which not only fulfills protein requirements but also contributes towards other important nutrients like healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Chicken breast - Skinless chicken breast is very rich in protein and very low in fats. Half a chicken breast contains close to 26-28g of protein (protein content varies with size). The chicken bones can also be used to prepare bone broth, which is a rich source of protein as well.

  3. Oats - A cup of Oats provides about 26g of proteins and contains about 605 calories. This will help you achieve ~50 percent of your protein requirement per day. It also contains soluble fibre which helps in avoiding coronary heart diseases.

  4. Almonds - Almonds are a rich source of multiple nutrients like protein, fiber, magnesium, Vitamin E. One ounce of Almonds contributes about 6g towards your daily protein requirement.

  5. Pistachios - Pistachios are loaded with protein, fiber, and folate. One cup of pistachios contains about 26g of protein. Also, the fiber makes you feel full and reduces the urge to overeat.

  6. Greek yogurt - Greek yogurt has a very thick creamy consistency and tastes delicious! For every 6 ounces of Greek yogurt, your body will be enriched with 17g of protein and 100 calories.

  7. Broccoli - This is one of the best vegetables to be included in your diet. Broccoli is full of important nutrients - apart from protein, it’s a rich source for phytochemicals which help in preventing cancer. Also, the high-level soluble fiber helps in regulating blood glucose and cholesterol.

  8. Cottage cheese - Consumption of a half-cup of cottage cheese will amount to 13g of protein. This is definitely a good option to add as a core ingredient of your meal if you’re a vegetarian.

  9. Milk/Soy milk - Soy Milk or Percent Milk are the options you can choose from. One cup of either contains about 8g of protein, while the calorie consumption is approximately 138 and 141 respectively.

  10. Quinoa - Due to its high levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, Quinoa is one of the superfoods. Another brilliant option for vegans and vegetarians.

  11. Lean beef - It is also known as ground beef and is a good source of Iron, Vitamin B12, protein and amino acids, which helps in reducing blood pressure and in protecting and building muscles. It contains about 7.6g of protein per ounce.

  12. Tuna - It is known for being the low-calorie and low-cholesterol protein source. Tuna also contains a high level of Vitamin B which helps with blood circulation.

Best Protein Sources for Body
Best Protein Sources for Body | Source

13. Lentils - Lentils are a form of legumes and the world’s best plant-based source of proteins for vegans and vegetarians. Along with protein, they are also very rich in fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, and folate. They have as high as 10% protein content.

14. Ezekiel bread - Ezekiel bread has high nutritional value. These types of bread are made with a mix of legumes like barley, millet, wheat, soybean, lentils, whole grains, and sprouts. Each slide of bread contains 4g of protein.

15. Pumpkin seeds - These seeds are a rich source of magnesium, iron, protein, and zinc. Zinc is an important nutrient which enhances immunity and prevents prostate cancer.

16. Turkey breast - A slice of turkey contains more protein in it than another kind of meat, plus have minimal calorie content.

17. Brussel sprouts - Brussel sprouts are rich in fiber, vitamin C along with moderate amounts of protein. Half a cup of sprouts (about 80 g) contains 28 calories and 2g of protein.


18. Shrimps - Shrimps are a very rich source of protein along with selenium, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a readily available seafood which contains about 18g of protein and only 84 calories in an 85g serving.

19. Peanut butter - Peanut butter is a healthier option to add to your daily dose of breakfast. You will be able to cover 8g of your protein requirement with two spoons of peanut butter.

20. Tofu - Tofu is another great substitute for meats. It contains a high level of magnesium, protein, iron and other important nutrients.

21. Pork Chops - Pork chops are an important source of protein and zinc as well. One pork chops contain 39g of protein and about 285 calories, which means it will meet approximately 76% of your daily protein requirement.

22. Halibut - One of the most important food item with high levels of protein is fish! Every half a fillet of halibut contains 42g of protein, which contributes to 85% of the daily protein requirement. One of the other essential nutrients is an Omega-3 fatty acid which can be found in oily fish like halibut. This nutrient helps with reducing heart diseases and lower cholesterol levels.

So next time you are in two minds about protein-rich foods, look no further!

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© 2018 Olivia Philips

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