Proteins are important nutrient components that are made of essential and non-essential amino acids which provide energy to the body. Protein controls many important metabolic functions in the body and is a fundamental component of all living cells.

Proteins are essential building blocks that contribute to the growth and development of muscles, bones, ligaments and tissue. It also helps to fight infections by boosting the immune system. It is also required to maintain bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism and circulation. Our body needs these macronutrients to produce enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Haemoglobin helps in the supply of oxygen to every part of the body. Protein deficiency can lead to loss of muscle tissues, a weak heart, weak immunity and even death in extreme cases.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 gram per kilogram for adults. Pregnant and lactating women require 70 grams of protein per day. Active and elderly people require more than the RDA for adults i.e. more than 0.8 grams per kilogram.

[ Read: Sources of Vitamin B6 ]

Sources Of Protein Rich Food: 

Our body gets proteins from food we eat.  There are a number of food sources that provide proteins in ample amounts. These choices include meats, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

  • Animal sources and dairy products have the highest amount of proteins. They contain all the essential amino acids required to make new proteins in the body. Animal proteins include meat, eggs, poultry, sea food and dairy products. Dairy products which contain proteins include milk, cheese, paneer and yoghurt.
  • Vegetables, fruits and legumes are other sources of protein. They are not a perfect source of protein as they lack in one or more amino acids that are needed for the creation of proteins.
  • Nutrients present in fruits are essential for maintaining healthy skin and hair.  You can consume fruit in its raw form or can create a variety of preparations like fruit salads, concoction of juices, smoothies, milk shakes and so on. Apart from high levels of protein, fruits are also low in fats and high in fibre which will keep you full for a longer period of time and prevents bloating.
  • Supplement proteins are available in the form of protein powder, protein shakes, protein bars and so on. These supplements are taken by body builders to build body mass by burning body fats during exercises.

1. Meat:

Meat contains a significant amount of proteins. White or poultry meats are healthier than red meats because of its high content of lean proteins. Chicken is one of the most nutritious and versatile meats.  Four ounces of chicken contains 32 grams of protein with very low fat and cholesterol. Chicken is best nutritionally when boiled, roasted and baked.

Dark meat though good in proteins, contains a high amount of fats and can also raise cholesterol levels. 58 grams of Chicken breasts contains 17 grams protein and 37 gram chicken thigh contains 9 grams of protein. For a high amount of protein, pick the lean meats or go for poultry or fish. Try and avoid frying meats like bacon, hot dog or deep fried chicken as frying removes the protein content. Meat from organs like liver or kidney contains too much sodium and fats which outweigh the benefit of the high protein foods.

Food Source of ProteinAmount of Protein in 100 gramsProtein to Calorie Ratio
Lean beef36 g5.3
Turkey and Chicken Breast32 g4.5
Beef cooked16.91 g to 40.6 g9.6
Lamb cooked20.91 g to 50.9 g6.8

[ Read: Biotin Rich Foods ]

2. Beans/ Legumes:

Beans and legumes are one of the best options when it comes to protein rich foods and are considered the best protein source for vegetarians. Legumes include peas, lentils and beans like Pinto, garbanzo, white, kidney and soy beans, are all packed with protein. Beans are also loaded with dietary fibre and 8 essential amino acids. Beans contain an approximate 9 mg of protein per gram, and some varieties also contain 12g per 100 grams.

Black beans contain 7.5 grams of protein and is extremely low in fat with just 1 gram of fats. Soy bean is a nice addition to lunch and salads and contain more than 11 grams of protein. Chickpeas contain 16 grams of protein per 100 grams. This is one of the best sources of proteins for vegetarians. Kidney beans provide7.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. Like other beans, baked beans are high in protein and offer 6 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Food Source of ProteinAmount of Protein in 100 gramsProtein to Calorie Ratio
Soy bean36 g12.5
Kidney beans24 g2.5
Black beans21 g16.1
Chickpeas19 g19.1
baked beans6 g25.5
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Arshi Ahmed

  • Nabatosh Saha

    Protein content of Cherry fruit?

  • Brinda

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing article on protein rich foods. Looking forward to include few such foods like tofu, mangosteen and apricots into my daily diet. Including such food types will ensure good health in the long run. Keep sharing more such interesting and well-researched posts. Will keep coming back for more! :)

  • Anonymous

    Is there Protein in Paneer?
    And if it is there please tell how much.


    Is it okay for us that we feed tomatoes for Cobb broilers?
    I am going to use that feed for my thesis if it’s okay.

  • Kristine T. Habib

    So many great recipes!