Protein is essential to a healthy diet, but its traditional sources (meat, eggs, animal products) are not necessarily the only ways to benefit from daily protein consumption. Plant-based proteins are a great and increasingly popular way to get your daily protein intake. In addition to protein-rich vegetables, there are protein-rich fruits that you can add to your snacks and meals to increase your protein intake.
Although everyone’s personal protein needs may be slightly different, the Dietary Reference Intake recommends consuming 46 grams of protein per day for the average woman and 56 grams of protein per day for the average man.
If you often feel hungry, this may be a sign that you need to eat more protein. Any balanced diet needs protein, so if you want to change your diet or simply add protein from other sources, consider these fruits.
Protein-rich fruits that replace meat
Avocados are also high in fiber. “Healthy fats and fiber can help you feel full longer,” she says. “Top whole wheat toast with avocado and an egg to increase the protein content.
A truly miracle fruit that burns fat, is low in calories, contains protein and, like all citrus fruits, is essential for healthy immune function.
Guava (for the most protein)
If you can find this tropical fruit, know that it contains the highest amount of protein, with 4 grams per cup. You can eat it with the skin but also its seeds, if you want to benefit from all the benefits.
Half a cup of dried apricots contains about 4.9 grams of protein, which is 10 percent of the recommended daily value of the nutrient, says Sandra Arevalo, a registered dietitian at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York.
Apricots are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6 and niacin. The fruit is also rich in iron, potassium and copper. “You can eat apricots as a snack, add them to your breakfast cereal, chop them, and add them to your pancake batter or cookies,” says Arevalo. Since the fruit is rich in iron, eating apricots reduces the risk of anemia.
Goji berries are a complete protein and offer about 3.5 grams of protein per 100 calories, which is similar to the amount you’ll find in oats. Goji berries are also a powerful source of vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A and antioxidants, says clinical nutritionist Julia Murray. “Goji berries can often be found in grocery stores, but in dried form, so be sure to check the label and make sure they don’t contain added sugars,” says Murray.
Two small cans of blond raisins contain about 100 grams of fruit, which provide about 5.1 grams of protein, says Arevalo. The fruit also contains fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, which support heart health. “If you’re looking for sources of protein without fat or cholesterol, this is the snack to go for,” she says. You can add them to your breakfast cereal, cookie dough, yogurt, or pancakes as a topping.
One hundred grams of prunes — about 10 fruits — contain about 3.7 grams of protein, or 7 percent of the recommended daily intake, Arevalo says. “Plums are similar to apricots in their nutritional content because they are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, iron, potassium and copper.”
They are also high in fiber and can help relieve constipation. Prunes are good as a snack on their own. Or you can add them to a fruit salad.
One cup of kiwi provides about 2 grams of protein. Kiwi is also rich in antioxidants and fiber, he says. “In addition, kiwifruit is rich in enzymes that promote healthy digestion. “Kiwifruit is a good source of folic acid, which is especially important for pregnant women as it prevents birth defects.”
Kiwi also contains magnesium, which supports nerve and muscle function.
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