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15 protein-packed foods you probably didn't know could fill you right up

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

#1/16:

High-protein foods

#1/16:

High-protein foods

When you think of protein, you probably think of common meat and dairy sources, such as chicken, fish, beef, eggs and Greek yogurt. And you'd be right. Animal sources of protein are plentiful and pack a powerful punch when it comes to providing all nine essential amino acids you need to eat from food sources.

But animals don't have the corner on the market when it comes to providing protein. Protein, or more specifically, amino acids — the building blocks of protein — are found in lots of foods, which means you can ramp up your protein intake by thoughtfully consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The trick is eating whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. The more processing a food goes through, the more likely its nutrients, including proteins found in the bran and germ that are most often processed out of refined grains, will be altered or stripped. Check out these 15 unexpected sources of protein to get started. 

This post was sponsored by Lean Pockets. 

 

#2/16:

Chia seeds

#2/16:

Chia seeds

Chia seeds boast 4.7 grams of protein per ounce.

#3/16:

Edamame

#3/16:

Edamame

These boiled green soybeans have a whopping 18 grams of protein per cup.

#4/16:

Avocado

#4/16:

Avocado

Next time you eat guac, be grateful for the extra 4.5 grams of protein you get per cup. 

#6/16:

Artichokes

#6/16:

Artichokes

Your artichoke dip just got a lot more delicious with 4.2 grams of protein per medium-size veggie. 

#8/16:

Pumpkin seeds

#8/16:

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are better than pumpkin spice when you consider their 12 grams of protein per cup.

#9/16:

Green peas

#9/16:

Green peas

Eat a cup of peas, get 8 grams of protein in return. Not a bad exchange. 

#10/16:

Tempeh

#10/16:

Tempeh

This fermented and fried soy "cake" provides a whopping 34 grams of protein per cup

#11/16:

Seitan

#11/16:

Seitan

Made specifically from the gluten protein, this "gluten meat" has 75 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. 

#12/16:

Hemp seed

#12/16:

Hemp seed

Top your oatmeal with hemp seeds for an extra 10 grams of protein per 3-tablespoon serving. 

#13/16:

Soba noodles

#13/16:

Soba noodles

Buckwheat-based soba noodles offer 6 grams of complete protein per cup of noodles. 

#14/16:

Quinoa

#14/16:

Quinoa

Quinoa, the popular pseudo-grain, offers 8 grams of protein per cup. Plus, it's a complete protein source, meaning it provides all nine amino acids. . 

#15/16:

Sun-dried tomatoes

#15/16:

Sun-dried tomatoes

Top your pizza or burger with sun-dried tomatoes for an extra 8 grams of protein per cup. 

#16/16:

Kefir

#16/16:

Kefir

Switch your Greek yogurt for a fermented probiotic-packed drink that has 6 grams protein per 6 ounces. 

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