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Protein is one of the essential nutrients required in our everyday diet; however, almost everyone agrees that protein is important.
Eating plenty of protein has numerous benefits.
It can help you lose weight (especially belly fat), and increase your muscle mass and strength, to name a few.
The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men.
However, many health and fitness experts believe that we need much more than that.
Meat
Meat contains a significant amount of proteins. White or poultry meats are healthier than red meats because of their high content of lean proteins. Chicken is one of the most nutritious and versatile meats. Four ounces of chicken contains 32 grams of protein, with very low fat and cholesterol. Chicken is best nutritionally when boiled, roasted and baked.
Beans/Legumes
Beans and legumes are one of the best options when it comes to protein-rich foods and are considered the best protein sources for vegetarians. Legumes like peas, lentils and beans like pinto, garbanzo, white, kidney and soybeans, are all packed with protein. Beans are also loaded with dietary fiber and eight essential amino acids. Beans contain an approximate 9 mg of protein per gram, and some varieties also contain 12g per 100 grams.
Nuts
Nuts like cashews, almonds, and peanuts are high protein food. The highest amount of proteins is available in Brazil nuts. One ounce of Brazil nut is sufficient to fulfill the protein requirement for the day. Brazil nuts are rich in amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids that help in muscle development and prevent skin dryness. Almonds are nuts with a number of health benefits, including a high level of protein. ¼ cup of almonds contains 8 grams of protein.
Dairy Products
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cream, and cheese are important sources of protein. They also provide the body with essential minerals and vitamins. The calcium present in milk keeps the teeth and bones in a healthy condition and helps prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. Skimmed milk and low-fat dairy products are an even healthier option, especially for people who want to lose weight.
Seafood
Seafood is a very good source of protein and is low in fats. A three ounce serving of salmon contains 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. Salmon is also packed with omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which are needed for healthy living. Tuna provides 24 grams of protein per 100 grams, and cod fish provides 20 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Dates
Dates are sweet and delicious fruits which grow on date palm trees. Dates are the best sources of protein, and a single date contains 0.220 grams of protein. 100 grams of dates will provide you with 2.50 grams of protein. Dates contain a number of health benefits and are eaten as both soft and dried fruits.
Hemp Seeds
When you’re in desperate need of some crunch in your salad, skip the croutons and go for hemp seeds — a three-tablespoon serving dishes out 10 grams of protein. Toss them in raw, or toast on the stove beforehand to unleash a nutty aroma so they smell as good as they taste.
Tangerine
Tangerine is related to the citrus family and contains nutrients that provide a number of health benefits. Tangerines are also one of the best protein-rich fruits. One large tangerine fruit contains 1 gram of protein. When prepared in sections, it will give 1.23 grams of protein.
Greek Yogurt
Made by straining away the liquid, deliciously thick Greek-style yogurts contain about twice as much protein as regular versions. You’ll also reap the rewards of gut-friendly probiotic bacteria and bone-building calcium.
Bananas
Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits and contain 4 grams of protein per 100 grams. Bananas are must have for breakfasts. You can eat them whole or make a milkshake. You can also prepare a curry with raw banana, and it tastes amazing. Bananas are also good for people who suffer from constipation problems. They are also rich in amino acids and can be used as face packs to treat dry skin.
Peas
While most veggies average between one to five grams of protein per serving, a cup of peas can contain up to 10 grams, making it one of the most important plant-based protein sources out there, says Mary Dan Eades, M.D., author of Protein Power. But that’s not all: Unlike other plant sources, peas also contain high levels of glutamine, an amino acid compound that helps repair your muscles after workouts, improve digestive health, and they’ve even been shown to reduce sugar and alcohol cravings
Blueberries
Blueberries are high protein fruits that are also rich in vitamins and certain minerals. Blueberries are available in several forms like canned, sweetened, unsweetened, raw and syrup. Blueberries contain 0.50 grams of proteins, and 1 bowl of blueberries will yield you 1.10 grams of proteins.
Eggs
But we’re not just talking egg whites, people. Even though some claim there’s too much cholesterol and saturated fat in the yolk, Eades points out that the yolk is exactly where you’ll find tons of vitamins A, D, and E — stuff you’re not going to get in the whites alone. And you can’t argue with the heart healthy omega-3s, which research has shown reduces the risk of heart disease and weight problems. In other words, the whole egg is much more nutritious and contains around six grams of protein, so there’s no need to toss any of it aside.
Seafood
Seafood is a very good source of protein and is low in fats. A three ounce serving of salmon contains 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. Salmon is also packed with omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids which are needed for healthy living. Tuna provides 24 grams of protein per 100 grams, and cod fish provides 20 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Grass Fed Beef
New research has disproven the age-old belief that there’s a link between dietary saturated fat and heart disease (there isn’t), Perlmutter says having a lean sirloin — which has a cool 22.5 grams of protein in just three ounces — from time to time is clutch. One caveat: “When picking out beef, make sure it is grass-fed and not grain-fed,” explains Perlmutter. “Grain-fed protein sources are going to increase inflammation because of the omega-6 fatty acids in them.” Inflammation can lead to more belly fat, so it’s basically the exact opposite of what you’re going for.
Soy Milk
Soy milk is another great option for vegetarians to get a good dose of proteins. 8 ounces of soy milk contains 7 grams of proteins. Adding this super drink to your diet will provide you with recommended daily allowance of protein needed by an individual.
Tilapia
Commonly available at most fish markets, tilapia provides an approachable, mild-tasting fish choice that will give you laudable amounts of protein to keep your muscles well-fed.
Coconut
Along with 15 grams of protein — which, we might add, is pretty darn impressive for a fruit, coconut is also high in theronine, an amino acid your body uses to prevent fat buildup in the liver and speed up recovery after a butt-busting workout. Don’t have an actual coconut handy (unless you’re on a tropical vacay, in which case we’re really jeal)? You can still reap some of the health bennies from its derivatives, like coconut flour (four grams of protein in two tablespoons), milk (five grams per cup) and butter (two grams in two tablespoons).
Apples
Apples can be consumed in both raw and cooked form, with or without skin, and contain a range of health benefits. Two medium-sized apples give around 0.60 grams of protein. When served in slices with skin, it yields 0.30 grams of proteins.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is different from other refined bread in the way it is processed. Whole wheat bread and pasta varieties are high in proteins along with other beneficial effects on the health. They can be made a part of any meal and teamed up with other food items for good taste.
A balanced diet includes proper portions of not just protein, but should have a perfect proportion of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates too. Include at least some of the above mentioned foods in your diet which, when combined with other important nutrients, will yield positive and healthy results.
Wheat Germ
The wheat grain is made up of three components—endosperm, bran, and germ. The germ is the most nutrient-dense part and includes notable amounts of plant-based protein. You can use it to add a protein boost to your oatmeal, pancakes, and even shakes.
Pumpkin Seeds
Before going to town on the salad you whipped up for lunch, top it off with a small scoop of crunchy pumpkin seeds. Even a tablespoon serving can pack three to five grams of protein in it. Of course, with the sneaky calorie count — there are about 60 calories per tablespoon — you shouldn’t go crazy. Measure out a tablespoon before sprinkling into your bowl.
Peanut Butter
Studies have shown that if you stick to the two-tablespoon serving size (about 190 calories), the spread can be a helpful weight-loss aid — especially if you eat it in the morning. According to researchers, adding it to your breakfast specifically can help you better distinguish when you’re full for the rest of the day, thanks to its ability to moderate glucose levels and control blood sugar spikes. Moreover, you’ll be less likely to overeat and actually stay full until lunch time.
Cow’s Milk
Nut milks like coconut, almond, and cashew are a great way to naturally get some vitamin D (all have about 25 grams per cup), but if we’re strictly talking calories and protein here, moo milk is a top-notch source. The stuff has just 86 calories while serving up eight grams of protein in a cup (as opposed to a measly one to two grams in the nutty options), says Eades. That said, every glass of milk is definitely not created equally. To make sure you’re not being exposed to potentially harmful rBGH hormones or excessive amounts of estrogen — which research suggests is a potential link to prostate and breast cancers — Eades recommends opting for organic fat-free milk from grass-fed cows that have not been treated with hormones to play it safe.
Avocados
Consider this yet another reason to eat that glorious piece of avocado toast in the morning. The fruit is loaded with omega-3s and beta-carotene, which helps boost your immune system, and Eades says it’s a decent source of protein at five grams per fruit. Bonus: The monounsaturated fatty acids found in the stuff has been directly linked to eating less and feeling satisfied longer, and even helps fight inflammation.

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