Healthy Foods That Pack a Protein Punch
Whether you’re training for a big event like a marathon, or simply want to up your strength and muscle, a high protein diet can be a huge help. Protein helps repair and rebuild muscles, but remember — if you don’t also eat enough carbs or fats to satisfy your energy needs protein will be converted into energy, meaning fewer calories go to muscle repair. That’s why a balanced diet is so important!
Are you ready to up your protein intake? Give these 7 healthy and high protein foods a try!
1. Hard boiled eggs
Hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite high protein snacks to prep ahead of time. I generally boil a dozen, then they’re ready and waiting for me whenever hunger strikes. One large egg contains about 6 grams of protein.
2. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds pack a surprising amount of protein… there’s nearly 10 grams in just a quarter cup. You can add them to trail mix, sprinkle over salads, or eat ‘em plain. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes, because a quarter cup also contains 180 calories.
There are so many jerky products on the market now! Traditional beef jerky is awesome but you can also find unique varieties like salmon, elk, and turkey. I like to eat a nitrate-free jerky like Krave’s. With so many interesting flavor combinations, I can always find one to suit my mood.
Quinoa is a seed that’s often treated like a grain, but there are other grains that contain more protein, like spelt. This chewy grain has 11 grams of protein per cooked cup, compared to quinoa’s 8 grams. Learn more about spelt, including how to enjoy it, here.
5. Organic Cottage cheese
A single cup of 1% cottage cheese gives you a massive protein boost thanks to 28 grams of protein. So grab a tub and go to town (there’s just over 160 calories in a cup.) Adding fruit can give those curds and whey a great flavor, too.
Milk is another great protein source, and cow’s milk isn’t the only type that packs a protein punch. Soy milk actually contains nearly as much protein as cow’s milk, but it’s calorie count is more comparable to that of skim milk.
Move over tofu, there’s a new meat substitute in town. If you’ve never tried seitan the texture is similar to chicken. But, here’s the best part: 18 grams of protein per 3 ounces.
There are so many healthy foods to enjoy; what are some of your favorites? I’d love to hear about how you keep your protein intake up when your body needs it the most!