Small, perfectly portioned, and super convenient—eggs are an ideal protein delivery system.
They might be humble in size, but being packed with healthy fats, minerals, and essential vitamins means the mighty egg can easily anchor a breakfast, liven up a frisee salad for lunch, and slide on top of a burger for dinner. And its impressive 6 grams of lean protein make it an exemplary food for those who want to get bikini-ready for summer.
That’s because eating protein-rich foods helps to boost your metabolism, prolong feelings of fullness, and maintain muscle mass to help your body scorch fat. One study found that women who ate a high-protein afternoon snack had lower levels of hunger and ate less at their next meal than those who ate an equal-calorie, low-protein snack.
Although immensely versatile, eggs aren’t the only way you can boost muscle mass and blast fat. In fact, there are a number of unsung (and some surprising) superfoods that pack even more protein than an egg. To even the playing field, we made sure to keep everything to a reasonable, single serving. Fit these foods into your diet, pair with a few sweat sessions a week, and you’ll be saying goodbye to those pesky hunger pangs—and your love handles.
Protein, per 2 tablespoons: 6.3 grams
Compared to the arguably more popular chia seeds, hemp hearts are lower in calories and higher in protein per tablespoon. Each seed also comes packed with heart-healthy, alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3. Studies suggest that hemp seeds can help fight heart disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome, likely because they’re rich in fiber and omega-3s. You can eat them straight from the bag, sprinkle a handful on salads, in your morning oatmeal, or your post-workout smoothie.
2. Edamame Beans
Protein, per ½ cup: 6.6 grams
These are an distinctive food since they’re one of many uncommon plant-based sources of full amino acids. They are additionally an excellent supply of magnesium, which is nice for boosting your metabolism, manufacturing of power and muscle improvement.
Protein, per ½ cup (cooked): 7.Three grams
These are an excellent food for many who need to lose some weight. They include fiber, which is essential for the health of your intestines. Chick peas launch cholecystokinin, a hormone that suppresses urge for food. This makes them an wonderful food for many who need a flat stomach.
4. Kidney Beans
Protein, per ½ cup (cooked): 7.6 grams
You may have known beans were a great source of fiber, but you may not have understood the extent to which kidney beans meet this expectation. In fact, these red beans provide a whopping 14 grams—that’s more than three servings of oatmeal! For that reason, these pulses can be considered an effective blood-sugar control pill as its unique resistant-starch fibers take longer to digest, making it a very “low glycemic” carbohydrate that helps prevent blood sugar spikes. A recent study found diabetics who ate one cup of beans every day for 3 months saw better improvements in fasting blood sugar, cholesterol, and even body weight than a group who ate one cup of equally-fibrous, whole-wheat products.
5. Black Beans
Protein, per ½ cup (cooked): 7.3 grams
All beans may be good for your heart, but black beans also boost your brainpower. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to protect against cell-damaging free radicals to help improve brain function. That same 1/2-cup serving will serve up an equal amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. Wrap black beans in a spicy breakfast burrito or puree them into a hummus-like dip. These pulses are a great source of resistant starch.
Protein, per 1 cup: Eight grams
Quinoa, along with amaranth, edamame beans and chia seeds, is among the uncommon plant-based meals that include all of the important amino-acids to type a full protein. Quinoa can also be an wonderful supply of fiber and unsaturated fat, which makes it a super-food for the guts and intestine.
7. Peanut Butter
Protein, per ounce (peanuts): 7 grams
Protein, per 2 tablespoons (peanut butter): Eight grams
A healthy dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fat comes from the peanut butter. Add it to your entire grain toast or mix it with honey, walnuts and pumpkin seeds on your snack and also you get an wonderful supply of all the required vitamins for prevention of cardiovascular and coronary artery illness.
8. Mozzarella & Cheddar
Protein, per 1 oz: Mozzarella, 6.Three grams; Cheddar, 6.5 grams
These staple cheeses are one of many explanation why so many pizza-loving Americans meet their protein necessities day-after-day. Not solely are cheeses a terrific supply of satiating proteins, however they’re additionally teeming with healthy fat, calcium, and vitamin D to assist help bone upkeep in previous age.
9. Gruyere Cheese
Protein, per 1 oz: 8 grams
Here’s an excuse for indulging in that wine-and-cheese hour: This fancy Swiss cheese contains 30 percent more protein than an egg in a single slice, plus a third of your RDA of eye-protecting vitamin A. This nutty cheese pairs well with crackers, and can also add flavor to spinach quiches or a potato gratin.
10. Organic, Grass-Fed Milk
Protein, per 8-oz cup: 8 grams
You probably knew milk was a rich source of protein but did you know you should always be looking for organic milk? Organically-raised cows aren’t given the same inflammatory hormones and antibiotics that conventional cows are, and grass-fed cows have been shown to have higher levels of omega-3s and two to five times more lean muscle-building CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than their corn- and grain-fed counterparts. Although skim milk is low-cal, many of the essential vitamins milk serves up are fat-soluble, which means you’re cheating yourself out of their benefits unless you opt for at least 1 percent.
Protein, per 1 cup: 10.7 grams
This is a grain similar to wheat. However, it contains more protein, more fiber and is a great muscle-building food.
Protein, per 1 cup cooked: 9.4 grams
This nutrient-packed seed was a staple of the Incan diet. The grain-like seeds (like quinoa, it’s known as a pseudocereal) have a mild, nutty taste. And as for nutritional profile, gram for gram, few grains can compete with amaranth. That’s because it’s higher in fiber and protein than wheat and brown rice, loaded with vitamins, and has been shown to help lower blood pressure and bad LDL cholesterol. Add it to granola, boil it up like oatmeal, or cook it up like rice: toss with grilled veggies as a bed for chicken, or with almonds, apples, and goat cheese for a waist-whittling salad.
13. Sprouted Whole-Grain Bread
Protein, per 2 slices: Eight grams
Not all breads are the refined, white carb bombs that may shatter your weight loss objectives. This nutrient-dense bread is loaded with the brain-protecting B Vitamin, folate, and good-for-you grains and seeds like barley and millet. What’s extra, as a result of it’s sprouted, the grains, seeds, and legumes have been pre-digested and eliminated of their anti-nutrients, supplying you with an simply digestible bread teeming with much more vitamins.
Protein, per ½ cup (cooked): 9 grams
Like all pulses, these little half-moon-shaped legumes are crammed with fiber that helps velocity fats loss: Spanish researchers discovered that folks whose diets included 4 weekly servings of legumes misplaced extra weight and improved their ldl cholesterol greater than individuals who didn’t. Add inexperienced lentils to salads, and sub pink lentils for hen in curry.
15. Pumpkin Seeds
Protein, per 1 oz: 9 grams
Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds contain energy-boosting magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. That also means pumpkin seeds will help give you glowing skin. Skin cells rely on zinc to make the proteins that repair damaged tissues and regenerate new ones. Throw them on salads and rice dishes or eat them raw in cereal.
16. Banza Pasta
Protein, per 2 oz: 14 grams
This delicious pulse pasta is made with chickpeas instead of white, refined flour. As a result, it has double the protein and 25 percent fewer carbs than traditional noodles. Even without being enriched, it packs 8 grams of gut-friendly fiber and 30 percent of your iron RDA per serving. Cook and eat the same way you’d enjoy traditional pastas. This simple swap will save you nearly 100 calories per serving.
17. Greek Yogurt
Protein, per 7 oz: 20 grams
If you’re looking to lose weight and build fat-fighting muscle, yogurt will be your waistline’s best friend. Besides the satiating power of its protein and fat, yogurt is also one of the best sources of gut-friendly probiotics. A study printed in the Journal of Nutrition found that probiotics, like those found in yogurt, helped obese women lose nearly twice as much weight as those who did not consume probiotics. Choose wisely, though. Skip over low-fat and fat-free versions that are skimmed of nutrients and satiating power, as well as flavored yogurts, which can contain almost as much sugar as a dessert.
18. Beef Jerky
Protein, per ounce: 9-12 grams
Jerky is among the richest amino acids food you possibly can ever discover. You can eat it as a post-workout meal particularly if you’d like quick outcomes in your muscle-building journey. Organic grass fed is once more, a best choice when selecting a beef jerky.
Protein, per Three ounces: 24 grams (Anchovies); 22 grams (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut, and Snapper); 21 grams (Flounder, Sole, Sardines); 20 grams (Shrimp & Cod)
Fish is low in caloric worth, however excessive in amino acids. Fish has a feat to guard the mind and it’s anti-inflammatory because it accommodates omega-Three fatty acids.
Protein, per 3 ounces: 26 grams (Turkey breast); 16 grams (Chicken breast); 9 grams (Chicken thigh)
Poultry is one of the best sources of animal-based protein because it’s much leaner and lower in gut-harming saturated fats. Chicken is by far one of the most popular sources because it’s immensely affordable, easy to prepare, and lower in fat than many other types of meat.
21. Red Meat
Protein, per 3 ounces: 19-31 grams (Beef); 23-25 grams (Pork); 8.6 grams (3 slices bacon)
Red meat is one of the most traditional sources of protein besides an egg. Opt for grass-fed beef when you’re at the store—it’s more nutrient-dense than its conventionally-fed counterpart.