The healthiest sources of protein
Need to increase the amount of protein in your diet? Here are some of the healthiest sources of protein.
Consuming adequate protein is important for muscle repair, hormone production, and healthy bones. And while the obvious go-to when it comes to protein is red meat, there are a lot of other healthy alternatives.
In this article we have gathered some of the healthiest sources of protein available.
Beans, peas and lentils (pulses)
Beans, peas, and lentils provide good amounts of protein and have the added benefit of being high in fiber and low in fat. Often associated with vegetarian and vegan diets, pulses generally provide around 8 grams of protein per 100g.
However, there is one pulse that towers above the rest when it comes to protein – split peas. These dried peas come in green or yellow and contain 25 grams/100g, which is equivalent to a portion of lean meat.
Eggs are one of the most popular and healthiest sources of protein. One whole egg provides around 6g of protein per 100g and is also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Eggs also contain all the essential amino acids that our bodies need. If you need low-fat options, egg whites are a great alternative and still pack a punch when it comes to protein content.
Plain Greek yogurt
Yogurt is a heathy food, not only because it contains healthy digestive bacteria, but also because it is high in protein. The reason for this is that Greek yogurt is strained (unlike regular yoghurt) to remove the liquid whey, which results in a creamier product that is higher in protein.
100g of standard Greek yogurt contains around 15g to 20g of protein. To maintain the health benefits, make sure you are eating plain Greek yogurt as the flavored kinds often contain high amounts of sugar!
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are generally high in protein and are an excellent snack when you are on the go. However, the protein content can vary greatly so it is best to know which ones top the charts. These include:
- Hemp seeds: 31.6 g per 100g
- Squash and pumpkin seeds: 29.8 g per 100g
- Peanuts (dry roasted): 24.4 g per 100g
- Almonds: 21.2 g per 100g
- Pistachios: 21.2 g per 100g
While you are unlikely to be eating 100 grams of each of these in one go, it can be helpful to know that the average handful of nuts and seeds contains roughly 6 to 8 grams of protein.
Fish is another excellent source of protein that is also heralded for its healthy oils and omega 3s. While fish varies in terms of protein content, some of the healthiest include:
- Salmon – this go-to protein has about 20g of protein per 100g
- Tuna: 28g of protein per 100g
- White fish (cod, haddock, flounder): 20 to 25g of protein per 100g
Oats are a very healthy grain and they are an excellent source of protein. As well as containing 16 grams of protein per 100g, oats also contain fiber, manganese, magnesium, and thiamine (vitamin B1). All this makes it a very healthy and nutritious (as well as quick and easy) breakfast to have.