High protein foods are important. On our journey to that coveted beach hunk body, there are many things to be done. We have to be working out consistently, rest adequately to give our muscles time to recover and grow and plan our workouts to not strain our muscles or develop one group excessively. There are so many things to do that, understandably, we might drop the ball on one or two areas.
When we do drop the ball, most of us tend to do so in the areas of nutrition and hydration. It’s easy to grab the most convenient snack or meal to satisfy our hunger pangs. While understandable, this might be detrimental in the long run on the path to a sculpted body. But don’t worry.
We at MaximOnline have gathered the best high protein foods here for you. These high protein foods have beneficial properties that will help keep you in shape. We’ve also included some sidekicks to accompany these high protein foods to keep your diet balanced!
1. Salmon, Part Of The Fishy High Protein Food Group
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This alone qualifies it as one of the important high protein foods. It’s an amazing source of proteins. A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains 22–25 grams of protein. Couple its high protein content with its low-fat content and you’ve got the perfect food for your post-gym nosh.
Lightly salt your raw salmon to taste. Sprinkle some black pepper to taste as well. Lay your salmon fillet skin side down on a hot oiled pan. Apply some pressure with your spatula to prevent the fish from curling.
When you’ve noticed a colour change through about three-quarters of the fillet, flip it. Leave it on the pan for a few minutes more before removing. Your salmon should be perfectly cooked with crispy skin. You can squeeze a few drops of lemon juice if you like. Healthy and delicious.
2. Almonds, Nutty High Protein Foods Galore
Almonds have a large number of antioxidants. They are rich in minerals like iron and zinc, and fibre as well. On top of that, they have high amounts of protein. A 28 gram serving of almonds has six grams of protein. That’s an impressive ratio.
You can either have your almonds raw, or lightly toasted. To toast your almonds, preheat your oven. Place your nuts on a baking tray and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts and check on them with 5-minute intervals.
The great thing about almonds is that their high protein content leaves you feeling full for longer. They’re one of the perfect high protein foods to snack on.
3. Chicken Breast, High Protein Foods Take Flight
Another staple protein of choice for those of us looking to eat clean. Chicken breast is the dish of choice for most gym rats. It has low amounts of fat and a high protein ratio. It also has zero carbohydrates and no glycemic load. The perfect food for clean eating.
Similar to salmon, lightly season with salt, pepper and olive oil. You can add herbs like rosemary if you want in moderation. Preheat your oven and roast your chicken breast at 450°F for about 15-18 minutes. Remember to allow the chicken breast to rest for the same amount of time you cooked it.
4. Broccoli, The Green Vegetable With An Attitude
Broccoli is a great vegetable bursting with tonnes of vitamins and minerals. One cup of broccoli has more Vitamins K and C than you need in a day. Plus you get minerals like potassium, calcium, and selenium. It’s also low in calories. Broccoli is one of the great high protein foods, especially as an accompaniment to your meat protein.
You can lightly sauté your broccoli in a pan, or you can make soup. It’s easy. Sauté onions, garlic and broccoli in a pan. Add some potatoes and carrots. You can add in chicken or vegetable broth, or you can add lightly salted water as a healthier option at this point. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. When cool, blend till smooth. Add pepper to taste.
5. Milk, Creamy White Goodness
Milk is pretty self-explanatory. It’s designed to nourish newborn animals so it’s jam-packed with nutrients and other good stuff. It’s a good source of proteins and fatty acids. On top of everything, it’s a great source of calcium. Calcium is really important for building strong bones. Perfect for preventing injuries while working out.
There isn’t a recipe for milk. Drink it fresh and cold. Mix it with your protein shake if you want.
6. Dried Fruit, Sweet And Healthy Snacking Goodness
Dried fruit is a great source of natural sugar. While we usually recommend avoiding adding sugars to your diet, natural sugars in moderation are fine. Dried fruit is packed with Vitamin C as well.
Drying your fruit is a simple task that you can perform with a regular oven. Just layout your fruit in a baking tray. Set your oven to its lowest setting and leave your fruits in there for six to eight hours. They’ll dry out and you can refrigerate them for storage. You can combine your dried fruits with the almonds from above for one of the best snacks that also doubles your intake of high protein foods.
7. Sweet Potatoes, High Protein Foods and Carbohydrates
Studies have shown that sweet potatoes are healthier than regular potatoes. The carbohydrates contained in sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. This means that they take longer to digest. While that may sound like a bad thing, it isn’t!
Taking a longer time to digest means that the energy from consuming a sweet potato is released over a longer period. You’ll be energized for longer and you’ll stay full for longer as well. That’s a cool double benefit.
To prepare delicious and succulent roasted sweet potatoes, cut your potato into small chunks. Lightly oil with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, tossing the sweet potatoes every 10-15 minutes to prevent them from burning. In the end, you should have lovely caramelized sweet potato cubes.
8. Bananas, Yellow On The Outside, Potassium On The Inside
Bananas are a great source of Vitamins B6, C and potassium. It is also a really good source of fibre and natural sugars. Bananas contain sucrose, fructose and glucose. These natural sugars give you energy without fat and cholesterol. They are ideal for your post-gym snack.
No recipes for bananas here of course. Eat them ripe and you can’t go wrong. Alternatively, you could try blending a few bananas and freezing them for a guilt-free substitute for ice-cream!
9. Blueberries, Sweet And Tart
Blueberries are one of the more all-rounded high protein foods. They are rich in Vitamin C, improve bone strength, blood pressure and mental health. They also increase your energy levels and help to control your weight.
Eat your blueberries washed and raw for a tasty treat.
10. Cocoa, Chocolate That’s Good For You
That’s right cocoa is good for you. Cocoa intake can help you regulate your weight. It does this by regulating the use of energy, reducing appetite and inflammation and increasing fat oxidation and feelings of fullness. It makes the list of one of the best high protein foods because it’s delightful to eat and it regulates your weight.
While cocoa is good, the other ingredients it’s often prepared with to make chocolate can be fattening. For that reason, we recommend dark chocolate with a cocoa content of above 70%. It’ll be bitter, but you’ll get used to it and it’s well worth it.
11. Egg White, High Protein Egg-y Goodness
Eggs are an important part of most of our meals. However, eggs tend to contain fat and cholesterol due to their yolks. The solution is simple, remove the yolk! Egg whites are a good source of protein that is low in fat. It also contains essential vitamins like A, B12, and D.
Preparing egg whites is easy. Crack one to two eggs in a bowl. Separate the yolks. Beat the whites and add salt to taste. Cook over low heat to your desired consistency. Add pepper once ready to serve.
12. Lean Beef, Holy Cow
Beef is generally regarded as an amazing source of protein. To avoid the fat that comes with most cuts of beef, opt for a leaner piece of meat like a strip steak or flank steak.
Season both sides of your steak with salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes on each side on a hot oiled pan. Allow the meat to rest for five minutes and you’re done.
13. Tuna, Another One of the Fishy High Protein Foods
Tuna is an amazing source of omega-3 acids, potassium, magnesium, iron, Vitamins A, B6 and B12. It’s also low in fat and high in protein. This makes it one of the perfect high protein foods to go for if you’re tired of chicken and beef.
Slice your tuna into steaks, season with salt and cayenne pepper. In a pan, add butter and whole peppercorns. Cook the peppercorns till they begin to pop. Place your tuna steaks in the same pan and cook on each side.
14. Kidney Beans, Plant Based High Protein Foods
These beans are rich in protein. Almost 10% of each bean comprises of protein. That’s a high ratio. They’re one of the richest sources of plant-based protein. Perfect for vegetarians or if you get tired of meat.
Rehydrate your kidney beans by soaking them in water overnight. Then boil them in freshwater with salt. You can add your beans to salads or soups. The varieties and possibilities are endless.
15. Cottage Cheese, Dairy Based High Protein Foods
It’s important to have a balanced diet. Dairy is a key component of that diet. We can go for milk or cheeses to fill our dairy quota. For cheeses, cottage cheese is highly recommended. It has low fat content, high protein ratio and it helps to stimulate feelings of fullness. That’s right, it’ll help you lose weight too.
You can eat cottage cheese in a variety of ways. We recommend eating it on its own lightly seasoned, with fruit or with sweet potatoes.
16. Avocados, The Original Superfood
Avocados are known as a superfood and one of the best high protein foods. We recommend it because it allows you to boost the absorption of other nutrients, it’s sodium, sugar, and cholesterol-free – plus it contains good fats.
You can eat ripe avocados raw or mash them up and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
17. Apple Cider Vinegar, Good For Your Gut
This makes the list of the best high protein foods, in more of a fortifying capacity. It lowers your cholesterol level, which is useful as some high protein foods are high in cholesterol. It also helps you lose weight. If you take a spoon of apple cider vinegar with your meals, it can increase your feelings of fullness. It’s definitely useful as a weight loss aid.
Consume apple cider vinegar straight from the bottle. Alternatively, try adding it water or tea with a spoonful of honey for a more pleasant taste.
18. Brown Rice, Color Is In
Brown rice is surprisingly nutritious. Similar to sweet potatoes, it contains complex carbohydrates and will keep you fuller and more energized for a longer period of time. It’s a good source of fibre and has more protein than white rice.
Prepare your brown rice in a rice cooker. Most rice cookers have setting options for brown rice as it cooks slightly different from your regular white rice.
19. Chili, Get Ready To Sweat
Chili contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is a thermogenic that helps to increase the body’s metabolism. This means your fat content will be burned off at a faster rate. It lowers caloric intake, shrinks fat tissue and reduces fat levels in the blood.
Add chili as a seasoning to your meals. If you’re brave, go ahead and eat it on its own.
20. Coconut Oil, Healthy Goodness
Oils are important and almost always essential in the preparation of food. While many are aware of the benefits of olive oil, not many realize that coconut oil is amazing for you as well. Health-food advocates will say coconut oil contributes to higher energy levels and a stronger metabolism.
It contains fatty acids and proteins that hold antioxidants and provide many health benefits. It also helps keeps your digestion healthy.
Add coconut oil to your food preparation or take a tablespoon a day.
21. Sardines, Fishy High Protein Foods Once Again
Sardines are a small fish, but they’re one of the best high protein foods. The tiny fish contains omega-3, Vitamins D and B12, calcium, and protein.
You can eat sardines on their own or in salads, sandwiches, or even atop crackers.
22. Tea, It’s Chai Time
Tea is amazing for you. All varieties of tea are great. We prefer black tea for convenience and consistency. Tea helps to regulate your mood and improves weight loss as well.
Best of all it has zero calories. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the rest of the high protein foods on this list. Serve ice cold with a squeeze of lemon juice as a great alternative to sugary sodas and drinks.
The great thing about this list is that many of the entrants work as accompaniments to each other. Have some grilled chicken breast with a side of roasted sweet potato and sautéed broccoli. Top it off with a refreshing glass of milk. Feel free to experiment to find the recipe and combination that suits you best.