Made up of organic compounds called amino acids, protein helps with muscle building and a variety of other important functions within your body, so it’s something you’ll want to get enough of on a regular basis. Luckily, there are many healthy, nutrient-rich, and often tasty food sources of protein you can include in your diet to get a steady influx of beneficial protein. Some of the most common food-based protein sources are mentioned below.
Chicken Breast and Lean Beef
A single roasted chicken breast will give you just over 50 grams of protein, as long as it’s skinless. In fact, 80 percent of the calories in skinless chicken breasts come from protein. Lean beef is equally delicious and high in protein. It’s also full of highly bio-available iron and vitamin B12.
Despite what you may have heard, eggs are very nutritious. Egg whites, in particular, are almost pure protein. More than 30 percent of the calories in whole eggs come from protein. Eggs also have nutrients that protect your eyes and help your brain.
Milk, Cottage Cheese, and Greek Yogurt
These three dairy products can all be reliable sources of dietary protein. If you tolerate milk well, you’ll be treated to high-quality protein. Greek or strained yogurt is a popular type of yogurt that will give you nearly 20 grams of protein in one container. Cottage cheese is low in fat, and nearly 60 percent of its calories are from protein. Other protein-rich cheeses include:
Try These Food Sources of Protein, Too!
Nearly 15 percent of the calories from almonds are from protein. You’ll also be treated to an abundance of protein from peanuts, lentils, and raw oats. If you’re not a fan of meat, fish are loaded with protein. Salmon, for instance, will give you about 20 grams of protein for every 3 ounces you consume. With seafood, shrimp will give you roughly the same amount of protein. You’ll also get plenty of protein if your diet includes:
- Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other green, leafy veggies
- Pumpkin seeds
- Ezekiel bread and quinoa
As for how much protein you should aim for from the foods you eat, the recommended daily intake or value is 50 grams per day. There are protein powders and supplements you can take to make up for dietary deficiencies, but it’s generally advised to focus more on food-based sources of protein since such foods often have an assortment of other beneficial nutrients that are just as good for your body and mind.