As we all know, protein is one of the most crucial components of the human body. It is a macronutrient that consists of a chains of amino acids.
Not to forget that protein is also referred to as a building block of the human body. The body requires it to grow and repair its tissues, to support the immune system, chemical reactions, and movement.
Along with this, it may perform many crucial functions, like forming different enzymes and hormones. Therefore, any deficiency of protein could lead to impaired functioning in the body.
Because there are several benefits of consuming a high protein diet, it is crucial for you to consume your daily protein requirement through different foods.
All proteins are connected by tiny building blocks known as amino acids. Nine of the amino acids are considered to be essential amino acids because they are not made by the human body.
Due to this, you need to get them from your diet. Moreover, the daily protein needs for your body depend upon a myriad of factors like your pregnancy status, activity level, age, and body size.
This is the reason why some people may require more protein as compared to others.
However, it is crucial to consume at least the optimal amount of proteins by eating a protein-rich diet.
Few people also look for foods with high protein content and low calorie when they are on a diet, especially when they are targeting rapid weight loss.
Besides helping you ameliorate your health, protein is a filling macronutrient.
This means once you consume it throughout your diet, you may feel full and energized for a long time which could support your weight loss process.
Best High Protein Foods
So here’s a glance at some of the best high-protein foods to eat. Moreover, you could even try out a plethora of recipes from these ingredients so that your diet is not restricted to particular food items.
These high-protein foods could allow you to feel full for a longer time, thus supporting your weight loss journey.
Lean BeefPower-packed with high-quality proteins and even some essential nutrients like iron and zinc, lean beef could be an ideal high-protein food to include in your diet.
A three-ounce serving of 93% lean ground beef may provide you with 22 grams of protein. The zinc present in this ingredient also helps support healthy immunity.
One of the best ways to include lean beef in your diet could be to try a slow cooker beef Stew or to cook steak with mushroom sauce.
Chicken BreastAll non-vegetarian lovers could add chicken breast to their meals to amplify their protein levels.
Apart from the protein, chicken breast is also a good source of vitamins, along with different minerals like selenium and zinc.
½ chicken breast, which is approximately 86 grams, might provide you around 26.7 grams of protein. So why are you still waiting?
You can add this easy-to-cook and versatile ingredient to your meal plan. Besides being scrumptious, it could be used in many dishes.
You may make chicken Curry, add sliced chicken breasts to your salad, eat stir-fried chicken breast, or even make soups to satiate your hunger with this high-protein item.
PotatoThough potatoes are said to be a source of starchy carbs, they may even be good sources of nutrients like protein. A medium-sized potato and its skin may have more than four grams of protein.
However, you need to be careful to avoid the extra calories that come when you put extra fats on potatoes.
EggsYou must already know that whole eggs are among the most nutritious food items available. They are a good source of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and healthy fats.
These food items are rich in vitamin B12, vitamin A, and selenium.
Besides this, eggs also have choline, a crucial nutrient during pregnancy and breastfeeding because it helps in the development and growth of the fetus.
Here we are focusing on whole eggs and not just a part of the eggs. Though egg whites are pure proteins, whole eggs could provide many more nutrients like healthy fats, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
Moreover, eating these food items could even help to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. And if you didn’t already know, one large egg of 50 grams could provide you with approximately 6.3 grams of protein.
AlmondsAlmonds are a nutritious tree nut and a good source of plant-based proteins. It has essential nutrients like magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and manganese.
One ounce of this nut, approximately 28.35 grams, could provide you around 6 grams of protein. Other than this, eating almonds may ameliorate your health in many ways.
These nuts could truncate heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol.
You must get some almonds and eat them raw, toasted, or add them to your plant-based meals like salads and green bowls to boost protein and fiber.
Moreover, you could add other nuts like cashews and pistachios along with almonds because both of these nuts are also packed with protein.
Pistachios could deliver approximately 5.73 grams of protein per ounce. On the other hand, this figure is 4.34 grams of protein per one ounce for cashews.
Peanut ButterHere is another plant-based source of protein that is also tasty. Yes, you heard it right. You could enjoy peanut butter while ameliorating your health due to its high protein levels.
Just two tablespoons of this ingredient could provide approximately 7 grams of proteins. And yes, it is pretty easy to add to your meals.
You may either eat it raw or add it as an ingredient to your salad dressing.
You might even prepare some peanut butter energy balls by whisking the peanut butter with some of the high-protein nuts like almonds, cashews, or pistachios for a protein-packed meal.
QuinoaA popular ingredient in the developed world, Quinoa is a seed filled with a myriad of nutrients and protein.
This seed is categorized as a pseudo cereal and might have high quantities of iron, copper, folate, fiber, and zinc.
Besides this, quinoa’s protein content is even higher than many other grains.
Quinoa could be your ideal choice if you are a vegetarian and looking for all the nine essential amino acids.
This is because it contains all the nine essential amino acids, which may even be referred to as a complete protein.
Since your body cannot make these nine essential amino acids, consuming Quinoa could significantly ameliorate your health.
Just 185 grams, or one Cup of this ingredient, could provide you with 8 grams of protein. You could add it to some delectable dishes like porridge, soups, or even green bowls.
Semolina PastaThough pasta might be considered a good carb source, semolina pasta could provide you with almost as much protein as one large egg provides.
One Cup of cooked Semolina pasta may provide you with approximately 6 grams of protein.
Moreover, pasta is an easy-to-prepare ingredient that could be modified according to your taste requirements.
There are numerous recipes that you could try out using pasta. You could even top this delectable ingredient with meat sauce or enjoy an Italian pasta dish.
LentilsAnother great source of protein for the vegetarians on our list are lentils. Being some of the best sources of plant-based proteins, lentils could be excellent ingredients for your vegan or vegetarian diet.
Moreover, lentils are packed with a plethora of nutrients like magnesium, folate, fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, and Iron.
Half a bowl of cooked lentils, or approximately 100 grams of lentils, could provide you with 9 grams of protein.
Different studies even show how people who consume lentils and other legumes regularly could have a truncated risk of developing diseases like fatty liver disease or heart disease.
Greek YogurtAlso referred to as strained yogurt, Greek yogurt has a creamy texture and different nutrients like zinc, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and selenium.
Greek yogurt is a thick type of yogurt and may be a good source of protein. Moreover, it is quite versatile because its flavor aligns with savory and sweet dishes.
You could add Greek yogurt to your salad dressings and use it in smoothies or even soups.
Moreover, if you wish to create a nutrient and protein-packed meal, you might also enjoy Greek yogurt with some crushed nuts.
Protein Requirement In A Day
The recommended protein consumption for most adults per day would be 43 to 63 grams.
However, lactating and pregnant ladies may even need to consume up to 100 grams of protein per day.
On average, the daily value of protein consumption may be set at 50 grams for a single day for most people.
But people like athletes or gym lovers who wish to build more muscle mass may aim at consuming more protein.
As a result, they generally consume whey protein and these high-protein foods.
Thus, this was our list of the high-protein foods you could add to your diet.
This list includes both animal and plant-based sources of protein. You could choose any of the sources according to your requirements.
Eating good, protein-rich foods could provide you with the benefits of muscle building and weight loss.
Moreover, many of these sources may provide additional nutrients to ameliorate your overall health.
Take suggestions from your health expert or a nutritionist for your body’s requirement for protein.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- Michael Zanovec, Carol E O’Neil, Debra R Keast, et al. Lean beef contributes significant amounts of key nutrients to the diets of US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 Nutr Res. 2010 Jun;30(6):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.06.001. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20650344/
- Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171477/nutrients
- Potatoes, Russet, flesh and skin, baked FDC Published:4/1/2019 Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170030/nutrients
- Sophie Réhault-Godbert, Nicolas Guyot, and Yves Nys The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health Nutrients. 2019 Mar; 11(3): 684. Published online 2019 Mar 22. doi: 10.3390/nu11030684
- James D. House, Kristen Hill, Jason Neufeld, et al. Determination of the protein quality of almonds (Prunus dulcis L.) as assessed by in vitro and in vivo methodologies Food Sci Nutr. 2019 Sep; 7(9): 2932–2938. Published online 2019 Jul 29. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.1146
- Giuseppina Mandalari, Davide Barreca, Teresa Gervasi, et al. Pistachio Nuts (Pistacia vera L.): Production, Nutrients, Bioactives and Novel Health Effects Plants (Basel). 2022 Jan; 11(1): 18. Published online 2021 Dec 22. doi: 10.3390/plants11010018
- Shalini S. Arya, Akshata R. Salve, and S. Chauhan Peanuts as functional food: a review J Food Sci Technol. 2016 Jan; 53(1): 31–41. Published online 2015 Sep 19. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-2007-9
- Samira Dakhili, Leyla Abdolalizadeh, Seyede Marzieh Hosseini et al. Quinoa protein: Composition, structure and functional properties Food Chem. 2019 Nov 30;299:125161. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125161. Epub 2019 Jul 9. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31323439/
- Gurpreet Kaur, Savita Sharma, H. P. S. Nagi, et al. Enrichment of pasta with different plant proteins J Food Sci Technol. 2013 Oct; 50(5): 1000–1005. Published online 2011 Jun 10. doi: 10.1007/s13197-011-0404-2
- Kumar Ganesan and Baojun Xu Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov; 18(11): 2390. Published online 2017 Nov 10. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112390
- Ryan W. Baranowski, Lauren E. Skelly, Andrea R. Josse, et al. Exploring the Effects of Greek Yogurt Supplementation and Exercise Training on Serum Lithium and Its Relationship With Musculoskeletal Outcomes in Men Front Nutr. 2021; 8: 798036. Published online 2021 Dec 22. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.798036
- Guoyao Wu Dietary protein intake and human health Food Funct. 2016 Mar;7(3):1251-65. doi: 10.1039/c5fo01530h. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26797090/
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Otella has an experience of around eight years of writing about health and nutrition-related topics. She is a full-time mother and a housewife, and the time she has left after doing her mother and household duties is spent writing for Working for Health as a full-time writer. Her life goal is to raise both her boys into a gentleman, and at the same time, she wants to educate people on how to keep themselves fit by tweaking their daily diet.