Where all know where we make up most of our protein intake: meats, eggs and diary probably spring to mind first. But did you know the repair nutrient can also be hiding in a lot of other unexpected food sources? Here’ 10 unexpected high protein foods. We start off with…
Legumes are known to pack a punch when it comes to protein and have become a stable food among vegans in helping bump up their protein intake. With a whopping 18g per cooked serving of lentils, more than a third of your required iron intake and a generous serving of folate and b vitamins, you’d be crazy to not add these into your eating habits!
Just 1 serving of this soybean contains 22g of protein, that’s as much as some protein powders! Great when added to salads or as a stand alone snack when looking for a quick protein hit.
3. Whole wheat pasta
This one may come as a surprise. While the protein content isn’t as high as some other featured foods (about 8g per serving) we couldn’t not put it on the list. Boasting high amounts of fibre and b vitamins, whole wheat pasta is certainly a healthier alternative to regular white!
4. Peanut butter
Who doesn’t love it?! Peanut butter and other nut butters can actually contain the same protein content as the nuts they come from by weight. 2 tablespoons can pack 8g of protein! Just be careful of the fat content. With 9 calories per gram of fat, you can quite quickly turn some peanut butter smothered toast into a caloric nightmare!
5. Cottage cheese
A 100g serving of cottage cheese can contain as much as 13g of protein. Ideal when accompanied sweet potato mash or blended with a breakfast shake. Try adding some chive and garlic to give it an extra flavour kick!
6. Greek yoghurt
Natural greek yoghurt can boast as much as 12g of protein for a 250g serving but be wary of the low fat/fat free alternatives. Food manufacturers typically replace the removed fat with excess amounts of sugar that can wreack havoc on your body and weight. Flavoured versions also tend to contain less protein than natural yoghurts. The best option would be to keep it plain and simple with some fresh fruit. You may also want to try a squeeze of lemon if you want some extra sweetness!
Quinoa, another unexpected source of high quality protein. Just 75g of quinoa contains 10g grams of protein, it is especially rich in the amino acid lysine, which is important for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa works well in soups and salads and can easily serve as a healthier alternative for rice in most recipes.
The highest-protein fruit, guava packs more than 4 grams per 135g, along with 9 grams of fibre and only 112 calories. Guavas also contain 600% of your RDA of vitamin C per 135g, that’s more than 7 oranges! Delicious alone as a snack or toss into a salad for a tropical twist.
9. Whole grain breads
Not all breads are a carb attack waiting to diminish your weight loss efforts. Wholemeal breads are nutrient dense and loaded with nutritious grains like barley and millet. They can also hold 4-6g of protein per slice! Try making a veggie and lean meat sandwhich for a lunchtime protein and nutrient boost. Experiment combining hummus, avocado slices, tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, onions and spinach for the most tasty results!
The humble artichoke is a surprisingly high protein food, nearly topping the list of the most protein dense vegetables. It contains almost double the amount of fibre as kale. It’s most enjoyed when boiled and served in dinner time salad. Try adding a little goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes or peel and pop the hearts onto whole grain flatbreads.