Eggs are the poster child for protein—they’re cheap AF, versatile, vegetarian, and pack in six grams of protein (per large egg, that is). Not too shabby, eh?
But honestly, how many more hard-boiled eggs can you eat before you start to snore mid-bite? Time to broaden your horizons with these high-protein foods that have even more protein per serving than an egg:
1. Dried spirulina
Protein: 8 grams per 2-tablespoon serving
Fish aren’t the only high-protein food you can find in the ocean—spirulina (powdered algae or seaweed) is surprisingly full of protein. Hint: Try sprinkling spirulina over a salad, or use it to season roasted vegetables. (Spirulina powder also can turn your boring smoothie blue.)
2. Greek yoghurt
Protein: 17 grams per single-serving container
When it comes to muscle recovery, plain non-fat Greek yogurt knocks it out of the park: Those little plastic cups pack tons of protein in just 100 calories.
3. Gruyère cheese
Protein: 8 grams per 28-gram serving
This deliciously rich variety of Swiss cheese is arguably the most addictive way to get your daily protein intake. Just watch your portions, though: While a 28-gram serving contains a reasonable 117 calories, it can be easy to consume several portions if you aren’t careful.
4. Dried pumpkin seeds
Protein:12 grams per 1-cup serving
“Chickpeas have iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K, which all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength,” says Beth Warren, registered dietitian and author of the book Secrets Of A Kosher Girl. And they’re high in protein, too. Win-win.
Protein: 9 grams per 100-gram serving
Whether scrambled or sautéed, tofu is an ideal—and flexible!—protein for both day and night. “It contains all eight essential amino acids,” says Warren. Plus, you’ll get a hefty dose of magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1.
Protein: 7.5 grams per 1/4-cup serving
They’re a high-protein food, but almonds also make a great snack because they’re high in vitamin E, copper, and magnesium, says Warren.
8. Edamame beans
Protein: 9 grams per 1/4-cup serving
Fueling up with soy at your favourite sushi joint might be your ticket to proper recovery from barre class. “They’re an excellent source of iron and calcium,” says Warren.
9. Rolled oats
Protein: 7 grams per 1/2-cup serving
We often think of this breakfast staple as a straight-up carb, but it’s time to think beyond the bowl. Along with a hefty dose of protein, it contains filling fibre, and a load of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, says Warren.
Protein: 20 grams per 85-gram serving
If you’re sick of chicken, go for shrimp—they’re low-calorie with a surprisingly high amount of protein, says Martha McKittrick, a nutritionist in New York City and blogger at City Girl Bites. Rather than bathed in butter, enjoy them dipped in cocktail sauce to keep calories low.
Protein: 20 grams per 85-gram serving
Seitan—a plant-based protein derived from wheat gluten—is another great high-protein food, especially for vegetarians. “It takes on the seasonings it’s prepared with and often mimics the taste of meat or chicken dishes,” says McKittrick. But definitely don’t eat seitan if you are gluten-sensitive.
12. Cottage cheese
Protein: 24 grams per cup serving
Yeah yeah, it’s the stuff your grandma loves. But it’s also legit high in protein—and so versatile, says Jill Weisenberger, registered dietician and author of The Overworked Person’s Guide to Better Nutrition. Go sweet by mixing in fruit and nuts, or savory with tomatoes, fresh basil, and a few cracks of black pepper, she suggests. (You can even eat it for breakfast!)
13. Roast beef deli meat
Protein: 19 grams per 100-gram serving
You might be giving deli meats some serious side-eye thanks to their rep for having tons of preservatives, and sodiums, but they can be part of a healthy diet. “They key is to choose high quality options. Deli meats should include nothing more than the meat and seasonings,” says Weisenberger.
This article was originally published on Women's Health SA.