Proteins, along with carbohydrates and fats, are a necessary macronutrient for our body. They are basically made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, although some may also contain sulphur and phosphorus.
Also, proteins are composed of amino acids. There are 20 types of these that are part of proteins, and differ in essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential ones are not produced by the body so they must be obtained through the diet. But, what foods are richer in protein?
In this article we present a list of 25 foods with the highest amount of this macronutrient.
Peanuts are an ideal snack with a high protein content . But they are also rich in fibre or magnesium. Many studies suggest that it is an optimal food for losing fat, and this is because they have a large amount of monounsaturated fats, known as good fats.
It is also possible to benefit from this food by consuming peanut butter, which, in addition to being equally nutritious, is delicious. It contains 16% of its calories in protein: in 28 grams of the product (159 calories) 7 grams are protein.
Now you have an excuse every time you go for tapas . Because shrimp, besides being a very tasty food, is rich in protein. Shrimps are low in calories, yet they contain many nutrients. For example: selenium, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fat. The protein content is 90%. At 85g (84 calories), 18 are protein.
Soy is a vegetable source of protein and contains most of the essential amino acids with the exception of methionine. However, if we mix soya milk with cereals it is possible to be nourished with this missing amino acid. 100g of this legume contains 15.7g of protein.
The soybean can be consumed as soybeans or as soybean milk . But normal milk also contains a lot of protein. In fact, cow’s milk contains a lot of nutrients that our body needs. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus and riboflavin. 149 calories contain 8 grams of protein.
Salmon is composed of a large amount of proteins and also provides polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids . However, this also applies to other fish, as they all have a high protein content. Some contain more fat, for example mackerel, and others less, such as hake. 85g of salmon contain 19g of protein.
6. Turkey breast
Turkey breast is an excellent food with a high protein content . Since it contains little fat, it is also an ideal food for weight loss.
A meal with 85g of turkey breast contains 24g of protein and 146 calories.
7. Chicken breast
Another option, equally healthy as the previous one, is the chicken breast , a food rich in protein and low in calories. Almost 80% of its calories come from protein. 100g of chicken breast contains 22g of this macronutrient.
Oats are a cereal with a high fiber content, which causes the metabolism to speed up and you feel fuller. But also this delicious cereal is also rich in protein and contains numerous minerals and antioxidants . In half a cup of oats there is 13g of protein.
There is some controversy about cholesterol and egg consumption. But this is a healthy food, rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which should not be lacking in the diet . Without a doubt, it is the best source of protein that exists, containing all the essential amino acids, in other words, proteins with high biological value.
If you had previously talked about peanuts, almonds are also a high-protein food that also includes numerous nutrients such as fiber, vitamin E and magnesium. In 28g of almonds there are 6g of protein and 161 calories.
11. Cottage cheese (light)
Cottage cheese is a type of cheese that in its normal version contains a lot of fat. However, the light version is highly recommended because it is a food high in a type of protein called casein .
Casein is a slow absorbing protein so it is ideal to take at night if you practice physical exercise. It also contains a high level of glutamine.
- If you want to know more about this amino acid, you can visit our post: “Glutamine (amino acid): characteristics and functions”
12. Greek yogurt
Almost 50% of the calories from Greek yogurt are protein . This food contains a lot of fat and therefore the light version is a better choice. Greek yogurt is good for building muscle mass, while also speeding up the basal metabolism to burn fat when you rest. It is also rich in vitamin D and calcium.
13. Lean pork
Pork usually has a lot of saturated fat, i.e. unhealthy fat. Therefore, a good alternative is to consume lean pork, because, like any meat, it is rich in protein (20% of its calories are protein) . In addition, this type of meat is rich in vitamin B1 and vitamin B3.
14. Veal fillet
Veal is a great source of protein . Its great taste makes it one of the favorite meats but, being a red meat, it should not be eaten more than twice a week.
Beef is rich in iron, vitamin B12 and numerous nutrients. 85g of this food contains 22g of protein.
Quinoa is a cereal that contains high quality protein, i.e. of high biological value . It is a complete source of amino acids, so it is ideal for building muscle and burning fat.
Lentils are delicious and nutritious legumes that, in addition to iron, copper, magnesium and other nutrients, are also rich in protein . Therefore, it is a good nutritious alternative for vegetarians. 27% of its calories are protein.
17. Essene Bread
The Essene bread or ezekiel bread provides multiple health benefits , so it is excellent for your body. It is a type of bread made from legumes and cereals (sprouts). One slice contains 4g of protein and 80 calories.
Tuna is a very popular protein food that can be eaten canned or cooked . It is a low-fat fish, however, it contains omega-3 fatty acids. 100g of tuna contain 25g of protein.
19. Pumpkin seeds
It has already been said that soybeans were a high-protein food. Well, pumpkin seeds are also . They have many nutrients such as iron, magnesium and zinc, and 28g of this product contains 5g of protein
Another cereal included in this list is couscous, because it is rich in vegetable protein . It also contains other interesting nutrients from a dietary point of view, such as slowly absorbed carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and fiber. For every 100g you will be consuming 15 of protein.
Mussels are delicious and are an excellent health product . Their great nutritional quality and very simple preparation make them a highly recommendable product. It is rich in protein, iodine and vitamin B12.
Tofu is prepared with soybeans and its origin is oriental. As you probably know, soya protein is one of the healthiest, and tofu contains 8g of protein per 100 . It is a very healthy food, not in vain we can find it in many recipes of vegan and vegetarian food.
Chickpeas are one of the healthiest and most nutritionally complete legumes . It contains 19g of protein per 100. It can be eaten in salads or in classic stews and casseroles.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and is a food that contains 22g of protein per 100 . It cannot be missed if you need a high-protein diet.
This oily fish contains 25g of protein per 100 . In addition, it is rich in fatty acids and is very low in calories, making it ideal for a balanced diet. As if this were not enough, it should also be noted that it is a fish rich in many minerals: zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium among them.
- Bischoff, R; Schlüter, H (2012 Apr 18). “Amino acids: chemistry, functionality and selected non-enzymatic post-translational modifications”. J Proteomics 75 (8): 2275-96.
- Cabrera Padilla, Antonio María; Sanz Esteban, Miguel; Bárcena Rodríguez, Jesús. (2011). “The organization of the body of a living being”. Biology and Geology 1. San Fernando de Henares: Oxford University Press.