Top 10 Natural Sources of Protein to Keep You in Best Shape
Sometimes, the best natural protein sources are the ones we least expect. They keep us full, nourish our bodies, and are good for our health.
Transforming your life with a sustainable (and more importantly tasty) diet can be tough, and you’re probably wondering “what is the easiest protein to digest?” Don’t! We got you covered.
Preaching vegan isn’t our style––that’s your choice––but when most people think of protein, they think of the usual suspects––chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
However, these can be difficult to digest and can leave you feeling sluggish even after a workout. But did you know there’s a whole other world of clean sources of protein to try?
Variety is the spice of life, so for your culinary pleasure, we’ve lined up a list of the top natural foods that are high in protein and extra delicious too.
Top 10 easy to digest proteins
Satisfy your crunch craving and get an instant protein boost. Nuts and seeds, in general, are easy protein sources––you can grab a snack bag on the go, or munch at your desk. Our tops favorites are these two:
Packing an impressive 6.4g protein and 155 calories per 1oz (28g) serving, almonds are a tasty snack on their own or work well as a little extra to your morning porridge.
Weighing in at 1oz (28g) per serving and holding 7g of protein with only 160 calories, peanuts are perfect whether you’re watching a movie or trying to finish that last-minute report.
Note: Avoid salted varieties and minimize your added salt intake as much as possible, this upsets your fluid balance and can lead to dehydration and water retention. And be careful of friends with nut allergies, it never hurts to ask.
A combo of fibre, B vitamins, protein and much more, beans are a dietary all-rounder. Plus, there’s evidence to suggest adding this easy-to-digest protein to your plate can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of diabetes.
Mixed into falafels, added to a salad, or blended into hummus, chickpeas come ready with 4.5g protein and 109 calories*.
4. Black beans
The real ‘magical fruit’, black beans not only bring 6.9g protein and 54 calories* to your diet, they can also help with constipation and bloating too.
5. Kidney beans
Excellent for lowering cholesterol, a natural at improving your memory (thanks B1 vitamins) and an anti-oxidant, energy booster, kidney beans have 6.9g protein and only 54 calories.
Values per 1oz (28g) serving.
All those grains (and lentils)
These are some clean protein foods that really pack a punch. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you need some comfort and a protein boost, say hello to these wonders:
Low in fat, a good source of iron and fibre, quinoa is filled with 8.4g of protein and 222 calories per 185g of the superfood. Plus, for those on a low GI-diet, it’s good to know that quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain.
Another gluten-free warrior, buckwheat has a pretty impressive amino-acid profile and is filled with fibre protein, 13.25g (per 100g) to be exact, and a number of other vitamins and minerals. A little on the calorie-heavy side at 343 calories, but this is much less than other types of pasta, bread or cereals, and can be used a pancake batter-making alternative.
Fancy a curry or a nice thick soup, lentils have a wide range of uses and are a perfect accompaniment to your diet. If we’re talking numbers, they have 9g of protein per 100g and only 116 calories.
So many types, so many uses, you’ll never get bored of cheese. From the sweet to salty, creamy to crumbly, cheese is a master of many culinary arts. If you’re looking to improve your diet, but not increase your waistline, these are our choices:
9. Cottage cheese
Used as a stable in many of the world’s kitchens, you can find cottage cheese everywhere from Indian curries to Russian breakfast plates. It’s a top protein filler with 11g per 100g of protein and only 98 calories.
10. Cheddar cheese
Comforting and packed with protein and calcium, cheddar is good for your bones, teeth and normalizing your blood pressure. Weighing-in at 25g of protein per 100g, enjoy but only enjoy in moderation, it’s protein benefits are matched by its 400-calorie price tag.