What are Good Sources of Protein?

Proteins are the building blocks for the body. They provide for vital growth, repair of tissues and the maintenance of our immune system, and a necessary component of every meal. It’s hard to believe, but the mainstream Western diet all but turns their back on many of the best sources of proteins….especially those with the highest nutritional value, such as legumes, fruits, nuts, and whole grain; However, it would seem that the biggest issue for typical households is what protein sources exists and how much to consume.

Individuals should primarily try to consume 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds. Active individuals will need more protein than a person who is sedentary.

Whole Grains:

When selecting grains, the choices can bewilder most people. The way the grain is milled can affect both the texture; taste and how long cooking will take. For example, cracked wheat like Bulgur takes only a few minutes to prepare, as does Kamut, a sweet buttery-tasting grain. On the other hand, Wild Rice is firmer and may take up to an hour to cook.

  • Kamut 14.70 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Quinoa 14.12 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Amaranth 13.56 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Bulgur 12.29 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Wild Rice 7.5 gr. per 100 gr.


Although, not a major protein source, fruits can contain between 1/2 gram and 5 grams of protein per cup. For example, one cup of avocado contains about 3 grams of protein, and half a grapefruit contains about 1 gram of protein.

  • Avocado 2 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Banana 1.09 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Peach 0.91 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Fig 0.75 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Honeydew Melon 0.54 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Apple 0.26 gr. per 100 gr.


Vegetables help the acid/alkaline balance in daily diets. Vegetables help to break down the acid-forming foods with natural phyto-nutrients, by acting as a buffer.

  • Green Peas 5.42 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Spinach 2.86 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Broccoli 2.82 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Asparagus 2.20 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Yams 1.53 gr. per 100 gr.


Legumes contain the highest content of protein. Just one cup of cooked French beans has 12.48 grams of protein and preliminary research suggests a decreased risk of certain forms of cancer, and the likelihood of prevention.

  • Peanut 25.80 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Kidney Beans 23.58 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Pinto Beans 21.42 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Chick Peas 19.30 gr. per 100 gr.
  • French Beans 18.81 gr. per 100 gr.

Fish and Seafood

High in protein, lean, and low in fat, makes fish an excellent source of protein. Whether baked, broiled, steamed or grilled, fish is easy and quick to cook. But be aware, some selections have more fat than others do and more mercury, which can pose a danger to your health.

  • Sardines 24.62 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Anchovies 20.35 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Mackerel 18.60 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Cod 17.81 gr. per 100 gr.
  • Shrimp 13.61 gr. per 100 gr.

If only we chose the right foods for every meal. There is increasing evidence that the foods we choose have an amazing impact on aging, disease and longevity. Choosing carefully can translate to a better life.

Source: The National Agricultural Library