Top 40 Protein Rich Foods

From curbing hunger to building muscle, hair and nails, protein is a vital part of every woman's diet. Whether you keep a meat-free vegetarian diet or paleo diet packed with animal products, your protein intake is essential to your overall health and fitness. Here are forty foods capable of providing a variety of amino acid profiles for a healthy, balanced diet.

Eggs and Dairy

  • Eggs – Low in carbs and high in essential amino acids, eggs aren't just for breakfast. Pop a boiled egg into your lunch for a portable, protein-packed snack, or enjoy an eggy quiche for a satisfying and delicious meal.

  • Greek Yogurt – With double the protein of traditional yogurt and an array of beneficial probiotics, Greek yogurt is also high in calcium. Versatile enough for everything from breakfast to a high-protein substitute for sour cream, it's a great staple item for your grocery list.

  • Cottage Cheese – Slowly digested thanks to the casein proteins, cottage cheese is a great late-night snack to keep you feeling full all night, with a steady supply of all nine amino acids to rebuild muscle and tissues while you sleep.

  • Swiss Cheese – Versatile, widely available and high in protein, Swiss cheese can be purchased in a variety of fat contents to suit any diet.

  • 2-Percent Milk – With more fat than skim milk to aid in the absorption of vitamin D, 2% milk contains lots of protein and omega 3s.

  • Protein Powder25 Grams of Protein per Serving. Perfect for post-workout recovery and on-the-go snacks to curb hunger, a high-quality whey protein isolate supplement like Pinup Girl Protein contains all nine amino acids, 0 grams of carbs or sugar and can even be integrated into many of your favorite recipes for extra protein.

  • Smoothies – The deluxe version of the everyday protein shake, smoothies also contain fruits, vegetable and juices to increase antioxidants and other nutrients.

  • Frozen Greek Yogurt – A delicious alternative to ice cream, the frozen version of this protein-packed favorite gives you all the satisfaction of a delicious dessert with an added dose of nutrients and probiotics.


  • Yellow Fin Tuna - With 25 grams of high-quality protein in every three ounces of yellow fin tuna, this easily digestible fish is also a great source of vitamin B and selenium.

  • Halibut -- Every three ounces of halibut contains about 23 grams of protein, but only 2 grams of fat. Look for Pacific halibut as opposed to Atlantic, due to its sustainability.

  • Octopus -- While it might not be the most common source of seafood protein in Western diets, octopus does contain a whopping 25 grams of protein for every 3 ounces.

  • Sockeye Salmon – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, sockeye salmon also provides 23 grams of protein in every 3-ounce serving.

  • Tilapia – A mild-tasting favorite of picky eaters, every three ounces of tilapia delivers 21 grams of protein.

  • Anchovies – This classic pizza topping packs a lot of protein into a tiny, salty package. To be precise, 24 grams per each three-gram serving.

  • Light Tuna – Less expensive than white tuna, light tuna also contains more protein; 22 grams for every 3 ounces. Look for water-packed varieties as opposed to those packed in calorie-laden oils.

  • Sardines – Relatively low in mercury due to their small size, sardines are high in protein, vitamin D and healthy fats.

High-Protein Meats

  • Steak – Bottom or top round steak contains roughly 23 grams of protein for each 3-ounce serving but is also high in calories and unhealthy fats.

  • Lean Ground Beef – Every three ounces of ground beef contains about 18 grams of protein, with grass-fed varieties the most nutrient-dense choice.

  • Boneless Pork Chops – With about 26 grams of protein per 3 ounces, pork chops are a protein-dense and highly versatile meat.

  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast – The go-to for meal-prepping fitness buffs, skinless chicken breast contains 24 grams of relatively lean protein in every 3-ounce serving.

  • Turkey Breast – Your Thanksgiving favorite also contains 24 grams of protein per 3 ounces. Like chicken, this is a leaner source of animal protein.

  • Corned Beef – Versatile and delicious, corned beef contains 24 grams of protein for every 3 ounces of meat.

  • Canned Chicken – Great for quick salads and on-the-go meals, canned chicken packs 21 grams of protein into every three ounces. Canned meats are typically higher in sodium, so be sure to read labels carefully.

  • Roast Beef – Relatively lean, this deli favorite provides 18 grams of protein for every 3 ounces piled on your favorite sandwich.

  • Canadian Bacon – Lower in fat than traditional bacon, every 3 ounces of Canadian bacon contains about 15 grams of protein.

  • Chorizo – A staple of Mexican cuisine, 3 ounces of spicy chorizo contains about 21 grams of protein.

  • Pepperoni – More than just a pizza topping, pepperoni can be added to sandwiches, salads and snacks for about 18 grams of protein per 3 ounces.

  • Roasted Turkey Breast – Consider adding 3 ounces of roasted turkey breast the next time you're at the deli counter; this lean sandwich meat contains about 18 grams of protein per serving.

  • Beef Jerky – Shelf-stable and infinitely portable, beef jerky contains about 13 grams of protein per ounce. Look out for MSG and nitrites in ingredient lists, though, and be mindful of sodium.

Plant-Based Proteins

  • Navy Beans – Every cup of navy beans contains about 20 grams of protein. Inexpensive, convenient and versatile, canned varieties can be added to chili or used as a hummus ingredient.

  • Dried Lentils – Affordable and dense in fiber and minerals, every quarter-cup of lentils contains about 13 grams of protein.

  • Peanut Butter – Two tablespoons of this childhood favorite contains about 8 grams of protein.

  • Mixed Nuts – Great for quick snacks, mixed nuts are rich in unsaturated fat and protein, with 6 grams in every 2-ounce serving.

  • Bean Chips – A healthy and protein packed alternative to potato chips, every ounce contains about 4 grams of protein.

  • Tofu – This vegetarian and vegan favorite is packed with soy-based proteins and can be prepared in a variety of ways. While firmer varieties will be higher in protein, each 3-ounce serving contains roughly 12 grams of protein.

  • Edamame – As fun to eat as they are delicious, edamame-style soybeans contain about 8 grams of protein in each half-cup serving.

  • Green Peas – Each cup of green peas contains about 7 grams of protein.

  • Wheat Germ – The most nutrient-dense part of the wheat plant, each ounce of wheat germ contains about 6 grams of protein.

  • Soba Noodles – Made from buckwheat, which is one of the few nutritionally complete plant-based proteins, soba noodles provide about 12 grams of protein in each 3-ounce serving.

  • Quinoa – Another rare plant protein containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is versatile, delicious and high in many nutrients.