Protein is needed by your body to develop, grow and function properly. Whether from animal sources or plant sources, it is important to make sure that you get enough protein, even more so if you have an active lifestyle. Here are 25 high-protein foods including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, seeds, fruits, vegetables and other plant-based sources. For each food, the number of grams of protein per 100 grams of food is included.
Poultry, meat and fish
Eggs are one of the easiest and fastest sources of protein to prepare. They can be scrambled, fried, boiled, poached or baked and eaten on their own or added to another dish (burger, salad, soup, curry). They can also be used as an ingredient for baking. High in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates, they are perfect for a keto or paleo nutrition.
Protein per 100 grams:13 grams
2. Chicken Breast
High in protein, low in fat and with zero carbohydrates, chicken breast is usually the go-to chicken part for lean protein and one of the most eaten meats. Thanks to its popularity, there is an endless number of chicken recipes. You can bread them, stuff them, or cut them into pieces for salad, soup, stew and curry.
Protein per 100 grams:21 grams
3. Beef Steak
Beef steak is one of the most prized meats. Cooked rightly, its juiciness and tenderness are irresistible. Grilled, broiled or fried, the beef steak is also perfect for barbecues. With a side of vegetables, this can be the perfect meal.
Protein per 100 grams: 25 grams
If you’re looking for protein on a budget and with little to no cooking time, tuna, especially in its canned form, is one of the best options. You can make an extremely delicious tuna salad by adding mayonnaise, maize, onions, tomatoes, coriander and pepper.
Protein per 100 grams: 24 grams
Bacon is another extremely versatile food. Whether eaten on its own, wrapped around other food or chopped and added into other meals, it is a great meat staple. You can have it for breakfast alongside eggs, add it to salads for lunch or dinner or wrap it around avocado, green beans or asparagus for a healthy appetizer.
Protein per 100 grams: 13 grams
Salmon is one of the best fatty fish that you can eat. It is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and is very delicious. For an easy way to prepare it, all you need is a sauce made of butter, lemon juice, garlic and dill, poured over the salmon, and bake the latter.
Protein per 100 grams: 23 grams
Turkey can be eaten on occasions other than Christmas and Thanksgiving. The most popular way to prepare it is through roasting. However, it can also be prepared in the slow cooker. With the right stuffing and sauce, you can get a juicy turkey without any fuss.
Protein per 100 grams: 22 grams
Hot or cold, a glass of milk in the morning with breakfast, in the evening with some cookies or at night before bed is a satisfying drink. Milk can be flavored with cocoa powder, added to smoothies or even used in baking.
Protein per 100 grams: 3.4 grams
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in fat, making it perfect for a low-fat nutrition. It is also high in casein, a slow-digesting protein, and is thus great for a late-night snack. You can also use cottage cheese as a spread, in pancakes, in scrambles, in salads and even in desserts.
Protein per 100 grams: 10 grams
3. Greek Yogurt
Plain or flavored, Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as normal yogurt. Eaten on its own or used as a dressing (for example, instead of mayonnaise) or ingredient in other meals, it makes a nutritious and delicious addition. Greek yogurt can also be added to cakes for moisture.
Protein per 100 grams:10 grams
1. Cashew nuts
High in calories, protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates, cashew nuts are packed with powerful nutrients. You can eat them as a snack, garnish your meals with them or grind them to make a sauce for recipes. Cashew nuts can also be used as a healthy substitute for cream cheese in cheesecakes.
Protein per 100 grams: 18 grams
Almonds are another type of healthy nuts. They are available in various forms: whole, flour, oil, butter and milk. They can be eaten on their own as snacks or used to garnish meals such as salads, cereals and desserts. Rich in fiber, almonds are also good for cardiovascular health.
Protein per 100 grams: 21 grams
1. Chia Seeds
Considered as a superfood, chia seeds are one of the most nutrient-dense foods. They also provide a range of amino acids and are particularly helpful in a plant-based nutrition. You can add them to anything: salads, soups, stews, cereals and cakes. When soaked in water, they become gelatinous. You can then use them to make puddings, smoothies and energy drinks.
Protein per 100 grams: 17 grams
2. Pumpkin Seeds
Rich in zinc and magnesium, pumpkin seeds are powerhouses of nutrients, despite their small size. Roasted, they make for a great nutritious snack. Just like chia seeds, you can add them to anything: cereals, smoothies, puddings, granola bars, salads, soups, energy balls and cakes. You can even make a healthy trail mix by combining various types of seeds together.
Protein per 100 grams: 19 grams
1. Dried Apricots
Apricots are the nutritional heavyweight among fruits. Packed with Vitamin A, dried apricots are also a great source of fiber. You can make desserts like pies, jams and muffins using dried apricots without using any sugar. They can also be used in meals such as rice pilaf and add a sweet taste.
Protein per 100 grams: 3.4 grams
Naturally sweet, raisins are packed with energy. You can use them to add a sweet crunch to your salads and to sweeten smoothies, plain yogurts, cereals and cakes instead of sugar. Raisins can also be eaten on their own as a snack or mixed with other seeds and dried fruits for a delicious raw snack.
Protein per 100 grams: 3.1 grams
Guavas are tropical fruits that are extremely rich in vitamin C – far more than oranges – and have a unique flavor and fragrance. You can eat them on their own or add them to fruit salads. Guavas can also be used to make jelly.
Protein per 100 grams:2.6 grams
1. Green Peas
Green peas actually have more protein than leafy greens. They are also high in vitamin C and vitamin A. You can use them to make puree, spread, pesto, soup or just to add some green to meals, including curries.
Protein per 100 grams: 5 grams
Kale is one of the best leafy greens. It is rich in vitamins A, C and K and low in calories, but higher in carbohydrates than spinach. Kale can be used to make smoothies and even chips. You can also steam kale, eat it raw in salads or to garnish other meals, or saute it with some oil, garlic and onions.
Protein per 100 grams: 4.3 grams
Artichoke hearts, as well as artichoke leaves, are extremely nutritious. You can boil, grill, steam or roast them. You can even make dips out of them. A very simple and healthy way of preparing artichokes is to steam them and to serve them with melted butter.
Protein per 100 grams: 3.3 grams
Other Plant-Based Protein
Another grain that is considered as a superfood, quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also considered as the mother of all grains due to its nutritional value. In addition to this, quinoa is gluten-free. It is thus a popular substitute for rice, for example. It can also be added to salads for an energy burst.
Protein per 100 grams: 14.1 grams
2. Soy Beans
Rich in iron and magnesium, soy beans are one of the go-to plant-based sources of protein. You can use them as you would use any other beans: soups, salads, stews or rice.
Protein per 100 grams: 36 grams
Lentils are one of the quickest and easiest dried beans to prepare. They also absorb any flavor you add to them. Lentils are great for stews and soups. You can also use them in cold salads for more bulk.
Protein per 100 grams:26 grams
Seitan is one of the best meat substitutes that is also completely free of soy. High in calories, it is made from protein-rich wheat gluten. It is extremely tasty and nutritious, easily absorbs flavors and mimics the texture of meat quite well.
Protein per 100 grams:75 grams
Chickpeas are one of the most popular beans, after soy beans. High in folate, chickpeas are often used to make hummus. You can also use them just like any other beans: in soups, salads and stews. Roasted chickpeas make for a great snack as well.