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37 Energizing, High-Protein Foods That Aren't Meat

Getting your fill of this essential nutrient just got a lot more interesting.

Trying to picture a high protein meal or snack probably brings to mind a plate with a hefty portion of chicken, beef, or pork. But whether you’re a vegetarian, trying to cut back a bit on meat, or just sick of having chicken for dinner every night, protein-rich foods can be found far beyond the meat section of the grocery store. From grains and dairy products to vegetables (yes, they can have protein too) and nut butters, you have more options than you think.

The right amount of protein can vary based on your weight and activity levels, but the USDA recommendation of 46 grams per day for women 19 years and older is a good target to aim for. It’ll help you maintain your energy, rebuild your muscles after exercise, and keep your immune system humming along. And unlike fats and carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store protein, meaning it’s essential to get the recommended amount each day. Here are 37 surprising sources that make great additions to a healthy diet.

  • Great Grains
    1. Spelt&mdash;10.67 grams in 1 cup, cooked <br><br>2. Teff&mdash;9.75 grams in 1 cup, cooked <br><br>3. Amaranth&mdash;9.35
    Photo: iStockphoto
    1. Spelt—10.67 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    2. Teff—9.75 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    3. Amaranth—9.35 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    4. Quinoa—8.14 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    5. Farro—7 grams in ¼ cup, uncooked

    6. Buckwheat, the main ingredient in Japanese soba noodles—5.77 grams in 1 cup of soba noodles, cooked

    7. Barley
    Hulled—5.74 grams in ¼ cup, uncooked
    Pearled—3.55 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    8. Bulgur – 5.61 grams in 1 cup, cooked
  • In The Dairy Aisle
    9. Cottage Cheese&mdash;11.81 grams in just 4 ounces of 2 percent milk fat cottage cheese <br><br>10. Greek Yogurt&mdash;9.95
    Photo: istockphoto
    9. Cottage Cheese—11.81 grams in just 4 ounces of 2 percent milk fat cottage cheese

    10. Greek Yogurt—9.95 grams in 3.5 ounces of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

    11. Eggs—6.29 grams in 1 large hardboiled egg
  • Small But Mighty Seeds
    12. Pumpkin Seeds&mdash;8.8 grams in &frac14; cup, roasted without salt <br><br>13. Sunflower Seeds&mdash;6.19 grams in &frac
    Photo: istockphoto
    12. Pumpkin Seeds—8.8 grams in ¼ cup, roasted without salt

    13. Sunflower Seeds—6.19 grams in ¼ cup, dry roasted without salt

    14. Chia Seeds—4.69 grams in 1 ounce

    15. Hemp Seeds—3.16 grams in 1 tablespoon, hulled
  • Surprises in the Produce Section
    16. Black Eyed Peas&mdash;5.23 grams in 1 cup, cooked <br><br>17. Green Peas&mdash;4.29 grams in &frac12; cup, cooked <br><br
    Photo: istockphoto
    16. Black Eyed Peas—5.23 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    17. Green Peas—4.29 grams in ½ cup, cooked

    18. Guava, the highest-protein fruit—4.21 grams in 1 cup

    19. Spinach—4 grams in ¾ cup, cooked

    20. Brussels Sprouts—3.98 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    21. Portabella Mushrooms—3.97 grams in 1 cup grilled and sliced

    22. Artichokes—3.47 grams in 1 medium artichoke, cooked

    23. Kale—2.47 grams in 1 cup, cooked

    24. Sun-dried tomatoes—1.9 grams in ¼ cup
  • Nuts, in Both Whole and Butter Form
    25. Peanuts&mdash;9.42 grams in &frac14; cup, raw <br><br>26. Peanut butter&mdash;7.11 grams in 2 Tbsp., smooth style without
    Photo: istockphoto
    25. Peanuts—9.42 grams in ¼ cup, raw

    26. Peanut butter—7.11 grams in 2 Tbsp., smooth style without salt

    27. Almonds—7.23 grams in ¼ cup, dry roasted with no salt added

    28. Almond Butter—6.71 grams in 2 tablespoons, no salt added

    29. Pistachios—5.72 grams in 1 ounce, raw (about 49 kernels)

    30. Cashews—5.17 grams in 1 ounce, raw

    31. Cashew Butter—5.62 grams in 2 tablespoons., no salt added
  • Get a Lot of Bang for Your Buck with Beans and Lentils
    32. White Beans&mdash;17.42 grams in 1 cup, boiled without salt <br><br>33. Black Beans&mdash;15.24 grams in 1 cup, boiled wi
    Photo: istockphoto
    32. White Beans—17.42 grams in 1 cup, boiled without salt

    33. Black Beans—15.24 grams in 1 cup, boiled without salt

    34. Navy Beans—14.98 grams in 1 cup, boiled without salt

    35. Lentils—13.39 grams in ¾ cup, cooked

    36. Garbanzo Beans—10.7 grams in 1 cup from a can, drained and rinsed

    37. Edamame—9.23 grams in ½ cup, frozen
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