35 High Protein Foods (Easily Available Veg & Non-veg)
We all have heard about high protein foods on countless occasions since our childhood and how much it is required by our body. It serves various essential functions in our body and is also known to be one of the most abundant biological constituents at a molecular level.
It is crucial for our growth, health, and bodily development and even for our immunity system (1).
This post contains all the necessary facts related to protein and includes high protein foods which you can include throughout the day in your diet and experience the increase in your energy levels.
What is Protein?
Protein is required for our well-being and sustenance. They are primarily constituted of thousands of smaller units which are known as amino acids (2).
These smaller units, which are of various different types, combine with each other in order to form a protein (3). The combination of sequences between different types of amino acids determines the type of protein as well as its functionality in the human body.
Why is Protein Important for Your Body?
Protein is a component of each and every important part of your entire body which gives it its relevance. Not only does it give strength to body parts like muscles, bones, joints, skin and even cartilages but also is needed to produce hormones and enzymes (4).
Enzymes are needed to break down food digesting and hormones affect various types of functions like blood circulation. As you already know that there are several different types of protein and they are required for various functions for example; creation of antibodies and even transport of oxygen in the blood (5).
Here is an interesting video from the Eat Happy Project that explains the importance of protein for our body
How much Protein You Should Consume?
Maintaining a regular supply of protein to your body is the key to a healthy life and active life. Consumption of various different types of protein should be practiced in order to receive maximum benefits (6).
We require 0.8 to 1 grams of protein per kilogram of our body weight. Different amount of protein is required to be consumed at different age groups which helps maintain a proper balance in your diet. Young and adolescent children, pregnant and nursing women, aging or stressed individuals need more than this stipulated amount of protein. Regular exercise and frequent travels also increase the protein requirement for our body (7).
The Benefits of Protein Consumption
A regular and steady intake of protein is essential. Too much of protein is never useful and too less of it can prove to be harmful to the body (8).
- Protein is more popularly known to increase muscle and bone strength which is why bodybuilders are advised to adopt diets which are rich in protein.
- More importantly, protein-rich diets provide increased energy throughout the day.
- Protein-rich foods are also highly recommended for maintaining or losing weight as it causes a slow and steady rise in our blood sugar level.
- Proteins are responsible for making antibodies which prevent us against infections.
- Proteins help in the formation of enzymes which catalyze metabolic and biochemical reactions (9).
- Transportation of nutrients from one part of the body to another is carried out with the help of Proteins like Haemoglobin.
Let us now look at the best protein food list.
35 High Protein Foods
It is one of the most common breakfast item containing minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. Eggs can be served in various different ways and carry over 6 grams of protein. Eggs are one of the high protein foods (10).
Consumption of 3 to 5 eggs throughout the day helps to get the required amount of protein. Along with protein Eggs are rich in folic acid, essential carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, E, D, K and minerals like zinc phosphorous, calcium and selenium.
All the goodness of these nutrients is stored in eggs which are very low in calories. Eggs can be considered as a complete food because of its rich nutrient profile.
Read here: Health Benefits of Eggs
Almonds are versatile nuts in case of nutrients. They are filled with protein, carbs, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, etc. Due to all these nutrients in almonds, they are excellent for improving heart health, support in weight loss, improve digestion(11). Substitute almonds with any other unhealthy snack or eat it as soon as you get up or garnish it on top of any preparation, it is the best in taste and nutrition (12).
One medium sized almond consists of about 0.27 grams of protein. It is also rich in carbs, so it is recommended to eat a maximum of 20 to 23 almonds to get optimum essential nutrients from them.
Also known as the common oat, Oats are a common type of cereal consumed on a daily basis. Filled with fiber, magnesium and thiamin oats comprises over 15% calorie and protein. Oats are whole grain which contains optimum proteins and complex carbs to kick start your day in a healthy way.
It also contains beta-glucan which helps in lowering cholesterol and has anti-diabetic properties. They have a low glycaemic index which helps in weight loss. It contains bioactive phytochemicals with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (13).
4. Cottage Cheese
A huge source of high quality of protein and is extremely rich in calcium, phosphorus as well as vitamin B2. One glass of milk contains 8 grams of protein. Milk is one of the high protein foods.
It is considered a complete food. Consumption of milk on a daily basis is said to improve body composition and facilitate weight loss during calorie restriction. Milk also reduces the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. It helps to improve bone mineral density due to high calcium in it (14).
Brocolli filled with bioactive nutrients broccoli provides 3 grams of protein per cup. It is a protein rich veg food.
Brocolli is an excellent source of phytochemicals such as glucosinolates, phenolic compounds, antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, K as well as dietary minerals like potassium (15). It is recommended to steam it rather than frying or boiling it to preserve its nutrients (16).
Quinoa is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. It adds several bonuses to your health and 185 g of quinoa has 8 g of protein. Quinoa is a super healthy superfood which is also very versatile in cooking.
It can be blended into many healthy recipes. It has a low glycaemic index and is light on the stomach. You can include it in any of your three main meals along with a healthy salad.
A popular source of plant protein which contains magnesium, potassium, and fibers. 198 g of lentils has whopping 18 g of protein. Lentils are protein rich food. It provides us essential and non-essential amino acids. Lentils are low in fat and sodium but are abundant in potassium. They are rich in polyphenols and help in reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer (17).
Lentils can be easily stored throughout the year and are easily available. Some of the lentils are brown, red, green, yellow, black, etc. Each one has a unique nutrient profile and is super healthy.
9. Flax Seeds
Obtained from the flax plants which bears bright blue flowers. 30 g of flax seeds constitute 60 % of protein. Flax Seeds are one of the high protein foods. Flaxseed oil is also very nutritional. Rich in alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds help in weight loss especially in the belly region.
They are also helpful in reducing the risk of arthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune and neurological disorders (18).
100 g of bean sprout contains around 4 g of protein. It is a common ingredient in many homemade dishes. Bean sprouts are a protein rich veg food.
Very delicious and a highly popular source of protein. Rich in fiber, magnesium and they also help in weight loss. 28 g of peanuts contains 7 grams of protein.
12. Whey Protein
Supplements contain high-quality protein which helps make up for any deficiency in protein. They can provide 20 to 50 g of protein. Whey protein provides the quick dose of proteins and it is best to consume it as a post-workout meal.
A quarter block of Tofu contains around 12 g of protein and is a superb alternative for those who wish not to consume meat. Tofu is also rich in magnesium, iron and other nutrients. Tofu is one of the high protein foods and importantly those who don’t eat non-veg it is a high protein vegetarian food.
14. Green Peas
Known to prevent various brain diseases such as Alziemers, green peas provide many nutrients like iron, copper, zinc as well as calcium. A cup of peas can provide 9 g of protein. It can be added in a variety of dishes to enhance flavor and nutrient profile.
15. Peanut Butter
A very popular breakfast ingredient which is highly delicious and rich in protein. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains7 g of protein.
16. Soy Milk
You can add soy milk to food to increase the protein content. 1 cup of soy milk contains about 8 g of protein. Soy milk is a protein rich food.
A very rich source of fiber which highly effective for boosting healthy digestion. A cup of pistachios amounts to 25 g of protein. It is a high protein vegetarian food
Walnuts prevent disease like osteoporosis and gallstones. They are rich with copper and a cup of walnuts can contain 20 g of protein. Walnuts are one of the high protein foods.
19. Pumpkin Seeds
Contains a high quantity of zinc and can help strengthen your immunity system. Pumpkin seeds are popular in the seasoning of different dishes and a cup of it provides 12 g of protein.
Cashew consumption is healthy for the formation of red blood cells as it contains iron and copper. Eat cashews daily in a small amount like 5-6 pieces. An ounce contains 5 g of protein.
Soybeans have the highest content of protein which is why they are the most protective type of bean. One cup of soybeans gives you over 68 g of protein.
22. Kidney Beans
Helps in detoxifying the body as it is rich in molybdenum and has vitamin B1 which helps prevent Alzheimer’s. 1 tablespoon of kidney beans contains 1 g of protein.
Barley is rich in fiber and useful for weight loss, healthy digestion. A cup of barley contains at least 23 g of protein.
It is a form of carbohydrate which assists in controlling blood sugar. A cup of chickpeas offers 15 g of protein. Chickpeas are one of the high protein foods.
25. Sweet Corn
Rich in vitamin A and potassium along with being low in fat, sweet corn replenishes your body with minerals. A single large corn ear can give you 4 g of protein.
Cauliflower has a lot of benefits like improved memory and sleep. It is rich in choline and can provide 16 g of protein.
Recommended throughout the summer, both its water and pulp is extremely nutritious. It offers several minerals and assists your immunity system. They can give you over 13.2 g of protein.
Guava is rich in fiber which increases healthy digestion. It contains more than 1.4 g of protein.
A type of cheese popular throughout India and most of South Asia. There are a variety of dishes you can prepare from paneer. A hundred grams of paneer contains 18 g of protein.
30. Chia Seeds
An ounce of chia seeds offers you 4.4 g of protein. Chia seeds contain fiber and serve as a great energy booster. It is a protein rich food.
31. Hemp Seeds
If you are allergic to soy then consumption of hemp seeds is best for you. 1 ounce of hemp seeds give you 9 g of protein.
They are a type of grain which is rich in lysine and amino acids which are otherwise missing in other grains. A hundred grams of amaranth has 3 g of protein.
Spinach is thick and leafy which makes it a delicious addition to many dishes. A hundred grams of spinach has 3 g of protein.
Rich in potassium and sodium; millets are grown around the world as a type of cereal. On consuming a hundred grams of millets one can intake 11 g of protein.
Ragi or Finger millet is used to make ragi flour. It is rich in various fibers and contains 7 g of protein per 100g.
Tips for Protein Intake
Here are some tips for proper protein intake and its digestion.
- Never go on a high or low protein diet. Eat enough protein necessary for your body.
- Cooked the protein rich food well to make it go easier on your stomach. Undercooked Protein is a disaster. You can eat only fish and dairy products as raw.
- You can include protein for breakfast and dinner. If your calorie intake is enough, proteins in dinner will do repair work for your body. In breakfast, it will help your blood sugar rise steadily and keep you full for a longer period of time.
- Consume protein powder (whey protein) after exercise (within 10 minutes) or any stressful activity of the day.
This was all about protein and protein rich food. Write to me about your feedback and suggestions in the comment section below.