Top 16 Delicious & High Protein Foods – www.historyoclock.com

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  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Chicken breast
  • Cottage cheese
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Lentils
  • Lean beef
  • Fish
  • Quinoa
  • Protein powders
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Turkey breast
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Summary

Getting enough protein daily is essential for your overall health. Healthy protein sources include eggs, nuts, lean meats, fish, dairy, and certain grains.

Proteins are a large category of molecules that support cell structure, immune function, movement, chemical reactions, hormone synthesis, and more. They’re all made up of tiny building blocks called amino acids. Nine of these are essential–meaning your body needs them but can’t make them on its own, so you need to get them in your diet (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Not only is protein essential for your health but consuming it can keep you feeling full and satisfied, which supports a healthy body weight (3Trusted Source).

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is set at 0.36 grams (g) of protein per pound of your body weight (0.8 g per kilogram). Remember that this reflects the minimum protein required to meet your body’s needs (4Trusted Source).

Here are 16 delicious foods that are high in protein.

yolk and white falling from cracking egg
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1. Eggs

Whole eggs are a good source of protein that’s easy to absorb, and they’re also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants (5Trusted Source).

Remember that egg whites are almost pure protein, but whole eggs that include the yolk provide many more nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Protein content

One large egg (50 g) provides 6.3 g of protein (5Trusted Source).

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2. Almonds

Almonds are a nutritious tree nut rich in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. They’re also high in plant-based protein. (6Trusted Source)

Eating almonds may benefit your health in several ways, including lowering heart disease risk factors like high LDL (bad) cholesterol and high blood pressure (7Trusted Source).

Protein content

One ounce (28.35 g) of almonds provides 6 g of protein (7Trusted Source).

Other high protein nuts include pistachios, which deliver 5.73 g per 1-ounce (28.35 g) serving and cashews, which contain 4.34 g of protein per 1-ounce (28.35-g) serving (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

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3. Chicken breast

Chicken breast is an excellent choice if you’re trying to bincrease your protein intake. In addition to protein, chicken provides a variety of B vitamins, plus minerals like zinc and selenium (10Trusted Source).

Protein content

One half of a chicken breast (86 g) provides 26.7 g of protein (10Trusted Source).

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4. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that is low in fat and calories yet high in protein. It’s rich in calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and various other nutrients (11Trusted Source).

Protein content

One cup (226 g) of cottage cheese provides 28 g of protein (11Trusted Source).

Other high protein cheeses include cheddar cheese, which provides 3.96 g of protein per 17-g slice, and mozzarella, which provides 6.29 g of protein per 1 ounce (28.35 g) (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

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5. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt, also called strained yogurt, is a very thick type of yogurt high in protein.

It has a creamy texture and is a good source of many nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, and zinc (14Trusted Source).

Protein content

One 7-ounce (200-g) container provides 19.9 g (14Trusted Source).

Other yogurt products that are high in protein include unsweetened low fat yogurt, which provides 11.9 g of protein per 8-ounce (227-g) container, and kefir, which provides 9.21 g of protein per 1 cup (243 mL) (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

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6. Milk

Dairy milk contains a little of nearly every nutrient that your body needs. It’s a good source of high quality protein, and it’s high in vitamins and minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin (vitamin B2) (17Trusted Source).

Many people with lactose intolerance can’t tolerate milk and other dairy products, and they avoid many dairy-containing foods (18Trusted Source).

Protein content

One cup (246 mL) of dairy milk provides 8.32 g of protein (17Trusted Source).

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7. Lentils

Lentils are among the richest sources of plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Plus, they’re loaded with other nutrients, too, including fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese (19Trusted Source).

Studies show that people who regularly consume lentils and other legumes have a lower risk of developing health conditions like heart disease and fatty liver disease (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

Protein content

100 g (about 1/2 cup) of cooked lentils provides 9.02 g of protein (19Trusted Source).

Other high-protein legumes include chickpeas, which provide 7.05 g of protein per 100 g cooked, and black beans, which provide 8.86 g of protein per 100 g cooked (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source).

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8. Lean beef

Lean beef is a rich source of protein. It’s also high in bioavailable iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B12 and B6 (24Trusted Source).

Red meat can be a part of a healthy diet, but it’s best to moderate your intake. Consuming high amounts of red meat has been linked to a higher risk of developing certain health conditions, including colorectal cancer (25Trusted Source).

Try cutting back on red meat and eating plant-based protein, fish, and poultry more frequently.

Protein content

A 3-ounce (85-g) serving of lean beef provides 24.6 g of protein (24Trusted Source).

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9. Fish 

Fish is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals, like iodine, selenium, and vitamin B12 (26Trusted Source).

People who include a lot of fish in their diet tend to have a lower risk of health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, fatty fish like salmon and herring are high in omega-3 fats, which have powerful benefits for your overall health, including supporting heart health (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

Protein content

All types of fish are high in protein. For example, half a salmon fillet (124 g) provides 30.5 g of protein, while a cod fillet (180 g) provides 41 g of protein (30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

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10. Quinoa

Quinoa is rich in fiber, folate, copper, iron, and zinc, and it’s higher in protein than many grains (32Trusted Source).

Quinoa is often referred to as a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. However, it actually contains insufficient amounts of certain amino acids, like leucine (33Trusted Source).

Protein content

One cup (185 g) of cooked quinoa provides 8 g of protein (32Trusted Source).

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11. Protein powders

When you’re pressed for time and unable to prepare a meal, protein powder can come in handy.

You can easily add protein powders like whey and pea protein to shakes, smoothies, energy balls, yogurt, and more to increase the protein and fullness factor.

Protein content

Whey protein powder provides about 16.6 g of protein per scoop (28.6 g), while pea protein provides 15 g of protein per scoop (20 g) (34Trusted Source35Trusted Source).

Note that the protein content per scoop differs between products, even when the scoop size is the same.

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12. Ezekiel bread

Ezekiel bread is different from most other breads. It’s made of organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes, including millet, barley, spelt, wheat, soybeans, and lentils.

Compared with other breads, like white bread, Ezekiel bread is high in protein, fiber, and various important nutrients.

Protein content

One slice (50 g) of Ezekiel bread provides 6 g of protein.

However, remember that the exact nutritional content of Ezekiel bread will vary between products.

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13. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Plus, they’re loaded with plant-based protein and fiber (37Trusted Source).

Try adding pumpkin seeds to salads, baked goods, oatmeal, or yogurt, or mix them with unsweetened dried fruit and almonds for a convenient snack.

Protein content

A 1/4 cup (29.5 g) of pumpkin seeds provides 8.8 g of protein (37Trusted Source).

Other high protein seeds include sunflower seeds, which provide 7.25 g per 1/4-cup (35-g) serving, and flax seeds, which provide 7.5 g of protein per 1/4-cup (42-g) serving (38Trusted Source39Trusted Source).

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14. Turkey breast

Turkey breast consists mostly of protein, with very little fat and few calories. It also contains several vitamins and minerals, including selenium, zinc, and vitamins B12 and B6 (40Trusted Source).

Protein content

A 3-ounce (85-g) serving of turkey provides 25.6 g of protein (40Trusted Source).

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15. Shellfish

Shellfish, including shrimp, oysters, clams, and scallops are excellent sources of protein. Plus, shellfish contain healthy fats and a number of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, zinc, vitamin B12, and iron (41Trusted Source).

Protein content

A 3-ounce (85-g) serving of cooked clams provides 21.8 g of protein, while the same serving of shrimp provides 20.4 g of protein (41Trusted Source42Trusted Source).

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16. Peanuts and peanut butter

Peanuts and peanut butter are packed with nutrients like protein, folate, magnesium, and vitamin E (43Trusted Source).

Eating peanuts and peanut butter may help make you feel full due to their high protein content. In fact, studies show that adding peanut butter to a high carb meal may help reduce blood sugar spikes after the meal (44Trusted Source).

Protein content

A 1-ounce (28.35-g) serving of peanuts provides 7.31 g of protein, while a 2-tablespoon (32-g) serving of smooth peanut butter provides 7.2 g of protein (43Trusted Source45Trusted Source).

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The bottom line

Getting enough protein daily is essential for health.

People’s protein needs vary. However, experts recommend most active people consume 0.54–0.9 g of protein per pound of their body weight (1.2–2 g per kg) per day (4Trusted Source).

Fortunately, there are many high protein foods to choose from, including animal and plant-based sources.

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