Along with exercise, a healthy diet is a necessity to gaining a healthy lifestyle which is why today we will talk about high in protein foods that will help your body to repair/build muscle.
Whether you are looking for protein foods simply as an addition to your diet, or are looking to add them in to your diet for a specific reason i.e to help you build muscle you need not looking any further as today we will cover protein foods from sea foods to vegetables and more!
Farm Based Foods
First we will cover the most protein efficient farm foods in this section and the foods that many would consider to be their favorites.
Chicken: Chicken is the most common type of poultry for a reason. Its nutritional value is incredible and not just for the protein either! 3 oz of Chicken contains:
- 165 calories
- 6g of fat
- 9mg of iron
- 3.6 mg of niacin
- 21 mcg of selenium
- 0.6 mg of vitamin B6
- 24g of protein!
These are all supportive for our health as selenium supports your body’s immune function, niacin helps your body to use sugars and fatty acids more usefully and not to mention the huge amount of protein which repairs/builds muscle.
Egg: Egg is a very dynamic food as it can be served in multiple ways such as scrambled, hard-boiled and soft-boiled.
Since egg is produced by chicken it has very similar qualities so the nutritional value of egg isn’t very different. Here are a few key components that 1 egg contains:
- 8.4g of fat
- 155 calories
- 1.8 mg of Iron
- 1 mg of Zinc
- 1.6 ug of Vitamin B12
- 24 ug of Selenium
- 13.4g of protein
Beef: Beef is classed as a red meat and actually contains more protein than that which is found in chicken which is a surprise because 24g of protein is a LOT. Let’s take a look as to what is inside the beef that we eat (unless you’re vegetarian of course):
- 26.1g of protein!
- 217 calories
- 11.8g of fat
- 0.05g of Omega-3
- 0.33g of Omega-6
Whilst beef contains more protein than chicken unfortunately it also contains more fat so in my opinion out of these 3 farm based foods chicken is number 1!
Fish: Fish is one of the most popular sea foods and can be delivered in numerous ways. The variants that it has, combined with the nutrients that it contains makes it one of the most recommended sea foods. Fish such as 1/2 fillet wild salmon contains:
- 3.4g of omega-3
- 39g of protein
- 281 calories
- 13g of fats
- 341mg of omega-6
As shown clearly salmon can be very good for nutrients such as protein and omega-3.
Sardines: This fish boosts the immune system, is beneficial in strengthening bones, aids in preventing certain types of cancers and reduces blood clotting and heart disease so this seafood is definitely up there with the best. Here we cover what is in sardines per can (106g):
- 250 calories
- 20g of fat
- omega-3 2.5g
- 19g of protein
- 220mg of sodium
Tuna: Here are some health benefits of tuna. It aids in weight loss, boosts immune system (like sardines), helps to reduce blood pressure and risk of heart disease, aids in improving metabolism and improving blood circulation along with much more!
Components found in tuna (5oz)are:
- 80 calories
- 2.5g of fat
- 20mg of cholesterol
- 150mg of sodium
- 14g of protein
These sea foods are the most beneficial fish to eat nutrients wise so when ever you want to go for the healthiest choice of fish, these 3 are what I would advise you to go for. Whilst the other fish may be healthy, they are not as healthy as these.
Now that we have covered 2 different categories of meat which contain a lot of protein, we will cover the vegetables which are also high in protein for the vegetarians out there or maybe you like both vegetables and meats and would like to know the most protein filled vegetables.
Peas: First up we have peas which are excellent additions to a lot of different meals. Peas can be consumed fresh out the pod, mashed or even frozen so there are plenty of different ways that they can be enjoyed. The following can be found in a can of peas:
- 170 calories
- 2.08g of fat
- 9.12g of protein
- 29.82g of carbohydrate
- 62.73mg of calcium
Broccoli: (1 medium stalk). Broccoli, just like peas is an excellent addition to Broccoli meals, for example a sunday dinner so to enjoy these delicious vegetables the most be sure to add them to a meal rather than eating them solely (which is probably NOT very nice)! Calories and nutrients found in 1 medium stalk of broccoli (148g) are:
- 45 calories
- 80mg of sodium
- 8g of carbohydrates
- 0.5g of fat
- 4g of protein
While this vegetable has much less protein than peas, it also has much less fat so it doesn’t necessarily make it a ‘worse’ vegetable, it just has different pros and cons. Regardless, it still has a healthy amount of protein.
Spinach: Another very popular vegetable with a great amount of important nutrients. 1 1/2 cups of shredded Spinach contains:
- 0g of fat
- 160mg of sodium
- 10g of carbohydrate
- 2g of protein
- 40 calories
Although peas clearly contain much more protein than broccoli and spinach that doesn’t mean that these other 2 vegetable should be ignored because they still have a good amount of protein in them and have benefits in their own way i.e broccoli and spinach contain much fewer calories so for people trying to lose weight broccoli and spinach would be more recommended whereas if someone was trying to build muscle, peas would be advised. It all depends on what your goals are and which foods fit your needs.
For a healthy diet fruits play an essential role and is probably the most promoted category of foods around schools since teachers, parents want you to get into the habit of ‘having your 5 a day’ from a young age. So here are the 3 fruits which are highest in protein!
Dried Apricots: You may have noticed that there is a prefix of ‘dry’ apricots and may be wondering why. Surprisingly, fresh apricots don’t carry the same amount of protein that dried apricots do so it is important to eat dried apricots if you want the full protein value. Found in dried apricots (130g) are:
- 313 calories
- 1g of total fat
- 13mg of sodium
- 81g of carbohydrate
- 4g of protein
As shown there is next to no fat and plenty of protein so get dried apricots on your shopping list!
Raisins: Eating these not only gives you the big protein benefit but you are also doing your bones a favor since raisins contain calcium so you are increasing the strength of your bones. Raisins (120g) contains:
- 390 calories
- 30mg of sodium
- 93g of carbohydrates
- 3g of protein
- 0g of fat
Raisins contain absolutely no fat and 3g of protein so in my opinion they are just as good, if not better than dried apricots due to the fact that raisins have absolutely no fat in them.
Guava: Although it’s a fruit you’ve probably never even heard of there’s a first time for everything so when you next go to your local fruit shop/supermarket be sure to keep an eye out for these. Contents of guava (100g) are:
- 68 calories
- 1g of total fat
- 2mg of sodium
- 14g of carbohydrate
- 3g of protein
Guava gives many other benefits than what meets the eye such as regulation of blood pressure levels, eye health improvement, nervous relaxant (which helps to relax muscles and nerves of the body) and many more benefits that you don’t want to miss out on!
These fruits are all incredible additions to your diet, not just in protein but also in the health benefits that you receive from eating these phenomenal foods. I would advise all of these to you as they all offer very similar protein amounts but for me dried apricots and guava stand out the most since dried apricots have that slight edge on protein but guava offers some incredible health benefits.
Hopefully you will try at least 1 food from each of the categories that we have covered today since every single one of these foods are greatly beneficial and implementing them into your diet would work wonders for your body.
Depending on if you are focusing protein for muscle gain or for some other reason each one of these foods in each food group would benefit you regardless as:
- They are all high in protein for their category
- Some offer great health benefits
- They all provide the nutrients your body needs to survive and develop.
If you have any inquiries or anything to say please leave a comment below!
Best regards, Kyle