High-Protein Superfoods: 19 Surprising Picks for a Healthy Diet

Written By HappyDieter

Last Updated on Oct 7, 2023 by HappyDieter

Hey there! Are you curious about high-protein superfoods and how they can benefit your health and fitness goals? Well, look no further because we’ve got all the juicy details for you right here.

Picture this: delicious foods that not only satisfy your taste buds but also pack a powerful punch of protein. These protein superfoods are gaining popularity for good reason – they offer a multitude of benefits that can help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

But why should you care about incorporating these high-protein superfoods into your diet? Well, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the importance of fueling your body with these nutritional powerhouses. From aiding in muscle recovery and growth to boosting metabolism and promoting satiety, these foods have got it all.

So, if you’re ready to take your health and fitness game to the next level, join us as we explore the world of high-protein superfoods and discover how they can revolutionize your well-being. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

  • High-protein superfoods offer a multitude of benefits, including aiding in weight loss, promoting muscle gain, and boosting metabolism.
  • Including a variety of high-protein foods like chicken, tuna, quinoa, and Greek yogurt in your diet can help you meet your protein intake requirements.
  • It’s important to maintain a balanced diet that includes a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables to ensure you get all the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Benefits of High Protein Foods for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

  • High protein foods increase satiety, aiding in weight loss.

  • Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and promoting muscle gain.

  • Consuming high-protein foods boosts metabolism and promotes fat burning.

  • Including these foods in your diet can help you achieve your weight loss or muscle gain goals more effectively.

High-protein superfoods offer numerous benefits. By incorporating these nutrient-rich options into your diet, you can maximize the potential of achieving your desired results. Here are some key advantages of including high-protein foods:

  1. Weight Loss

    • High protein foods have a higher satiety value, which means they keep you feeling full for longer periods. This helps reduce cravings and overeating, contributing to weight loss efforts.

    • When compared to carbohydrates or fats, proteins require more energy to digest. This thermic effect of food leads to an increased calorie burn during digestion, supporting weight management.

  2. Muscle Gain

    • Protein plays a crucial role in building and repairing muscles after exercise. By consuming high-protein superfoods, you provide your body with the necessary amino acids required for muscle growth and recovery.

    • Whether you’re engaging in strength training or other forms of exercise, adequate protein intake is vital for optimizing muscle development.

  3. Metabolism Boost

    • High-protein foods can boost metabolism due to the thermic effect mentioned earlier. The body expends more energy breaking down proteins compared to other macronutrients like carbohydrates or fats.

    • A faster metabolism aids in burning calories throughout the day, potentially facilitating weight loss while preserving lean muscle mass.


19 High Protein Super Foods

Looking to add more protein to your diet? Look no further! Here are 19 high-protein superfoods that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also provide you with the essential nutrients your body needs.

1. Chicken

Chicken, particularly the breast part, is a protein-rich food that is easily accessible to all. It’s an ideal protein source for bodybuilders and those on a diet aiming to lose weight. There are numerous ways to prepare a nutritious meal from chicken breasts, and even when fried with oil, it maintains a low calorie count – 100 grams of chicken breasts fried with oil have less than 200 KCAL.

In addition to its high protein content, chicken breast has minimal fats and carbs, and is abundant in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B12 as well as essential amino acids. The healthiest method to cook chicken breast might be to bake it in the oven with minimal additives or spices and serve it with plenty of vegetables.

2. Tuna

Tuna, whether canned or grilled, is an incredibly nutritious food, packed with potassium, magnesium, and selenium. It also has a high content of B group vitamins and is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Like other seafood, tuna is the only natural source of DHA and EPA, specific Omega 3 fatty acids that benefit heart and brain health.

Research suggests that Vitamin E and Selenium may prevent certain types of cancer (such as those affecting the digestive tract), and they reduce the risk of leukemia. A small serving of tuna provides half of the body’s daily protein requirements. It is recommended to serve it with a portion of rice and boiled vegetables.

3. Tilapia

Tilapia is a widely consumed source of proteins (26g / 100g), favored for its availability, cost-effectiveness, and flavor. Compared to other fish, it has extremely low levels of cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats. If possible, opt for naturally grown tilapia – it has significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The difference between naturally grown tilapia and hatchery-raised tilapia sparked rumors about tilapia’s health benefits since it contains omega 6 fatty acids. However, nutritionists and dietitians continue to recommend it.

The preferred method of preparation is baking it in the oven, seasoned with salt and pepper, and served with lemon and lemon juice. Bodybuilders frequently consume it as a post-workout protein source.

4. Shrimp

Shrimp are a great source of proteins. They are, the same as other seafood, rich in omega 3 fat acids, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. Although some nutritionists claim that shrimp have good HDL /LDL cholesterol ( even better than eggs! ), take that with a caution: shrimp have high cholesterol levels, so you need to carefully choose foods you will combine with them.

They can alleviate the symptoms of depression, and arthritis and help lower high blood pressure and fight Alzheimer’s. Shrimps can be prepared in almost countless ways, but we prefer the simplest: grilled shrimp, served with lemon juice.

5. Low-Fat Pork

Maybe it sounds crazy, but low-fat pork is a very healthy food, rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, and it should be regularly consumed ( you need to keep an eye on portions, though ). Low-fat pork proteins are “completed” which means that they contain recommended levels of amino acids important for human body cells.

Pork is a great source of zinc, too, which helps in testosterone production ( and it’s the main hormone for muscle building ).
Pork steak would be a perfect post-workout meal, served with a pinto bean ( since it cuts down bad cholesterol by 9%).

6. Lamb

The lamb is an almost perfect source of proteins, especially for bodybuilders, since it contains high levels of B12 vitamin and niacin which produce energy, so your workout can last longer. It is also a great source of zinc and selenium which makes it a perfect post-workout meal. However, it is high in saturated fats, so, before roasting, grilling, or boiling it, make sure to cut out fat from meat.

It is best served with green vegetables: kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, and watercress, with which it makes an incredible detox combination.

7. Ham

Ham is considered the queen of proteins! According to USDA, it consists of about 20% proteins. It helps you get rid of body fat, and it also contains a whole list of other healthy minerals, such as sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E.

It is a great food when you get bored with canned tuna, eggs, and chicken breasts. Keep in mind that processed foods, like ham, are often high in sodium, which can lead to cholesterol and high blood pressure problems.

8. Eggs

Eggs are a vital source of proteins. While the egg white is fat-free, the yolk does contain fats – both unsaturated and saturated, which are beneficial for our bodies. The yolk is also where most of the protein is found, approximately 6 grams of high-quality protein, so it’s not necessary to avoid it.

Contrary to some beliefs, scientific research indicates that consuming eggs while dieting does not raise bad cholesterol levels in our body. Eggs are also a good source of choline, which benefits the cardiovascular system. The healthiest and simplest way to prepare eggs is to hard boil them and serve with spices and vegetables.

9. Non-Fat Milk

Non-fat milk is affordable, widely available, and a staple drink for those on a high-protein diet. It’s a lesser-known fact that milk has a similar ratio of electrolytes and carbohydrates as many popular sports drinks. Despite being 90% water, one bottle of 1.5% milk contains nearly 37 grams of proteins. It’s also rich in vitamins A, D, and E, and is the best source of calcium, a mineral crucial for our bodies. Lactoferrin from milk positively impacts the human immune system, and some studies suggest it may also help prevent cancer.

Milk is the ideal drink for post-workout muscle recovery. And if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep, don’t forget to have a glass of milk before bed.

10. Parmesan Cheese

Rich in proteins, Parmesan cheese unfortunately also contains high levels of saturated fats and sodium. This type of cheese is packed with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E. Interestingly, all the nutritional value of milk is highly concentrated in Parmesan – a whopping 16 liters of milk is needed to produce 1 kg of Parmesan.

Serve it with tofu or chicken breasts or with fruits like apples or pears but be mindful of portion sizes.

11. Non – fat Mozzarella

Mozzarella is a cheese that contains a high percentage of water and has a fresh milk taste. 100gr of Mozzarella contains about 25% proteins and about 500mg of calcium, but it’s rich in other important micronutrients like zinc and riboflavin, too.

It’s recommended for kids, older people, and sportsmen.

12. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese is a powerhouse of proteins and finds its way into a variety of dishes. It’s packed with calcium and phosphorus, both of which contribute to the strength of your bones. However, be aware that low-fat versions can have high sodium content, so it’s important to check the ingredients label. It’s an excellent source of vitamins B2 and B12, which are essential for brain health and play a crucial role in the production of red blood cells.

There are numerous ways to enjoy cottage cheese. You can pair it with fruits and a sprinkle of cinnamon, or with vegetables, or even low-fat pork. One of the simplest and most delightful ways to serve it is as a sour cream substitute on a baked potato.

13. Squash seeds

Squash seeds often go unnoticed, yet they hold significant importance as a source of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. While they are calorie-dense, they compensate with an abundance of folic acid, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Remarkably, proteins constitute an impressive 31% of squash seeds, surpassing even the protein content in a low-fat pork steak!

Additionally, they are a rich reservoir of omega-3 fatty acids, renowned for their heart-healthy benefits and positive effects on eyesight and mood. These seeds double as antioxidants and are favored for their cholesterol-lowering properties.

14. Almonds

Almonds are considered one of the most nutritious nuts available. A 100-gram serving of almonds provides about 22% proteins. They are also packed with a variety of minerals including copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium.

Almonds are ideal for strengthening your teeth and bones. They are also beneficial in preventing cancer and diabetes and provide the necessary energy for an effective workout. Almonds, particularly due to their monounsaturated fats, are recommended for dieters as they induce a feeling of fullness and prevent overeating.

You can enjoy them for breakfast, chopped and mixed with cereals and yogurt, as a snack with fresh apples, or served with chicken breasts or tuna for a delightful dinner.

15. Sunflower Seeds

A handful of sunflower seeds can provide you with numerous beneficial nutrients and can effectively curb your hunger. Sunflower seeds are among the 20 superfoods recommended for daily consumption and are considered beneficial in preventing cancer. They are rich in proteins, minerals (such as manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium), vitamins (like E, B1, B5) and folic acid.

However, it’s important to note that most of the content of sunflower seeds is fats – specifically unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid. They are a popular snack food and often found as an ingredient in bread. They can also be served mixed with cereals or salads made of tuna or chicken breasts.

16. Quinoa

Quinoa is known for its high-quality proteins which include all essential amino acids, especially lysine which is beneficial for the growth and health of our cells. It’s recommended for daily consumption especially for people who suffer from migraines due to its richness in magnesium and riboflavin. As a whole grain food, it positively impacts cardiovascular health and serves as a great antioxidant.

It’s crucial to note that quinoa is gluten-free and easy to digest, making it an ideal choice for dinner.

17. Greek Yogurt

Two words are enough: protein wonder! It’s extremely nutritious and tasteful.
The main difference between classic and Greek yogurt is that warm milk needs to be for some time in special vessels through which, during the process of fermentation and with the help of bacteria, whey filters out of yogurt. This way, an important amount of sugar and calories gets removed from yogurt, so, the final product, the Greek yogurt is pretty rich in proteins – it contains double the amount of proteins than the standard yogurt and many more nutrients.

You can serve it with fresh fruits, like blueberries, and it can be combined with almost any hot or cold meal.

18. Tofu

Despite its high calorie and salt content, and its frequent combination with soy, tofu is an excellent source of protein, particularly for vegans and vegetarians. It also contains beneficial (unsaturated) fats, making it an effective food for post-workout muscle recovery.

Try serving it with a vegetable soup to enhance its flavor.

19. Blackberries

Blackberries are primarily known as a superfood due to their antioxidant properties – they contain 10 times more antioxidants than tomatoes or broccoli. One of these antioxidants – ellagitannins, which is rare in other foods, has been shown to be highly effective in preventing cancer.

Blackberries are low in calories and packed with vitamins C and E, folic acid, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Due to their high fiber content, blackberries play a significant role in preventing diabetes and are beneficial for managing high cholesterol levels.

Blackberries can help you feel satiated, making them a staple in many weight loss diets. They can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or in a compote.

Embracing the power of high-protein superfoods

Including high-protein superfoods in your diet can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. These nutrient-dense foods not only provide you with essential amino acids but also offer a range of health benefits. Here are some key reasons why you should consider incorporating these superfoods into your daily meals:

  1. Fuel your body with quality proteins: High-protein superfoods are an excellent source of great protein that can help meet your daily protein intake requirements. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, there is a wide variety of options to choose from, such as beans, quinoa, and spirulina.

  2. Boost energy levels: By consuming foods rich in high-quality protein, you can experience increased energy levels throughout the day. The protein content in these superfoods helps sustain energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer periods.

  3. Enhance muscle recovery: Superfoods known for their high protein content possess muscle-repairing properties that aid in post-workout recovery. Including them in your diet can help reduce muscle soreness and promote faster healing.

  4. Explore new recipes: Embracing high-protein superfoods opens up a world of delicious possibilities. Get creative with recipes that incorporate these nutritious ingredients into your favorite dishes or try out new ones altogether.

  5. Improve overall well-being: Incorporating superfood components like lean meats or plant-based proteins into your meals contributes to better overall health. These foods offer essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for optimal bodily functions.

By embracing the power of high-protein superfoods, you can enjoy the benefits they bring to both your physical and mental well-being. So go ahead and explore the diverse range of options available to create nourishing meals that support a healthy lifestyle.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet.


Q: What are high-protein superfoods?

A: High-protein superfoods are foods that are rich in protein, which is an essential nutrient for the body. They are a great addition to a healthy diet as they provide the body with the building blocks it needs for muscle growth and repair.

Q: What are some examples of high-protein superfoods?

A: Some examples of high-protein superfoods include almonds, lentils, black beans, Greek yogurt, and protein powder.

Q: How much protein do these superfoods contain?

A: Almonds, lentils, and black beans are all high in protein. Greek yogurt is also high in protein, and protein powder usually contains even higher amounts of protein.

Q: How much protein do I need in a day?

A: The amount of protein you need in a day depends on various factors, such as your body weight, activity level, and overall health. It is generally recommended to consume between 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Q: Are these superfoods a rich source of protein?

A: Yes, almonds, lentils, black beans, and Greek yogurt are all rich sources of protein. They can help you meet your daily protein needs.

Q: Is Greek yogurt a complete protein?

A: Yes, Greek yogurt is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs.

Q: How much protein is in a serving of these superfoods?

A: Almonds contain about 6 grams of protein per ounce. Lentils contain about 9 grams of protein per cooked cup. Black beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. Greek yogurt contains about 18 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving. Protein powder can vary in protein content, but some brands can provide up to 25 grams of protein per serving.

Q: Can these superfoods help in building muscle?

A: Yes, these superfoods can help in building muscle as they provide the body with the necessary protein and amino acids required for muscle growth and repair.

Q: Are there any other benefits of consuming high-protein superfoods?

A: Yes, consuming high-protein superfoods can have additional benefits such as improved heart health, increased satiety, and better weight management. They are also high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health.

Q: How can I add protein-packed foods to my diet?

A: You can add protein-packed foods to your diet by incorporating them into your meals and snacks. For example, you can add almonds or lentils to salads, black beans to tacos or soups, and Greek yogurt to smoothies or as a topping for breakfast bowls. Protein powder can be mixed into shakes or used in baking recipes.