Protein is hot-hot-hot right now. Protein is a building block for muscle, as well as hormones and enzymes in our bodies. Beauty bonus—protein helps our bodies grow healthy hair and nails and keeps skin looking good too.
Protein is also very filling because it takes longer to digest and won't cause blood sugar spikes, like simple carbs do. Most of us are eating enough protein (find out exactly how much you need to eat every day), but we don't always space it out throughout the day. Many of us eat a majority of our protein at dinner and not too much at breakfast and snacks.
So, why an egg? Eggs are a complete source of protein. In one little 70-calorie package, you get 6 grams of protein as well important nutrients, like choline and eye-protecting antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
All meat and fish are high in protein, so it felt silly to include them in this list. Ground beef has 23 grams per 3 ounces, chicken breast has 26 grams per 3 ounces, and 4 ounces of salmon has 27 grams of protein. We tried to choose foods that you may not think of as "protein" to show you how easy it can be to eat more protein.
Try these healthy high-protein foods with more protein than an egg to boost your protein intake throughout the day.
1 cup cooked quinoa = 8 g protein
Pictured recipe: Basic Quinoa
This protein-rich whole grain delivers 8 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa is also a rare complete plant-based protein, which means it provides all the essential amino acids. Not to mention, quinoa delivers 5 grams of healthy fiber per cup and cooks up quickly (learn all about cooking quinoa so it comes out perfectly).
3 ounces = 8 g protein
Pictured recipe: Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu
Tofu is a vegan and vegetarian powerhouse protein. If you think you don't like tofu, it's possible you just haven't made it the right way (get our best tips for cooking tofu so it's actually tasty). Tofu is a very versatile protein—think of it like chicken, a blank slate. Silken tofu is great in smoothies, and firm tofu adds protein to stir-fries and soups.
1 ounce = 6.5 g protein
Pictured recipe: Tomato-Cheddar Cheese Toast
An ounce of cheese just edges out an egg with its protein content, but it does have more. Cheese has gotten a bad rap for being high in saturated fat and sodium, but turns out cheese is healthier than we used to think. It makes a great snack on its own (or as part of an awesome cheese board).
1/4 cup = 7 g protein
Pictured recipe: Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
Almonds have been shunned for being high in fat (side note: they are, but it's the heart-healthy kind that's good for you and helps keep you full), but this nut is also rich in protein. A 1/4-cup serving of whole almonds is about 1 ounce. Try slivered almonds on top of your salad, or spread nut butter on your toast.
1/2 cup = 8 g protein
Pictured recipe: Black Bean Tacos
Black beans, or any beans really, are often overlooked as a protein source. But whether you use them as taco filling, stir them into soup or whir them into dips, beans are a great source of protein. A half cup of cooked lentils has 9 grams of protein, and chickpeas and kidney beans aren't far behind. Beans offer a protein-fiber one-two punch and since most of us aren't eating enough fiber, eating more beans is a good place to start. Try dry-roasted chickpeas to get your protein on the go.
2 ounces = 14 g protein
Pictured recipe: Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto
We don't often think of a bowl of pasta as being protein-rich, but new bean pastas are changing that. (Barilla is even making a red lentil pasta that's protein-packed and tasty.) These relatively new noodles use bean flours instead of semolina to give you a meal that's packed with protein and fiber. Chickpea pasta doesn't taste quite the same as regular pasta—the texture is a little heartier and you can tell it's made from beans—but with a yummy sauce, it makes a tasty dinner.
1 cup = 23 g protein
Pictured recipe: Yogurt Banana Sundae
Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, so it delivers a lot more protein than an egg. Probiotic-rich yogurt is excellent at breakfast—try a parfait with berries and granola, or add it to your smoothie.
2 Tbsp. = 7 g protein
Pictured recipe: Peanut Butter-Banana English Muffin
Humble and classic, peanut butter does more than make up half of a PB&J sandwich. It actually delivers a nice boost of protein to toast, noodles, smoothies and oatmeal. For a protein-rich snack, spread peanut butter on apple slices or celery sticks.
2 slices = 8 g protein
Pictured recipe: Tomato & Smoked Mozzarella Sandwiches
Most of us don't think of bread as a protein source, but it actually does have some. Some whole-wheat breads have 3 to 5 grams per slice—and make a sandwich on sprouted-grain bread and you'll get 8 grams of protein (and that's not including any of the fillings inside). Sprouting grains helps their natural sweetness and nuttiness come out, and the texture of sprouted-grain bread is pretty hearty. Look for these breads in the freezer aisle at your grocery store, as they're sometimes kept there to maintain freshness.
1 ounce = 9 g protein
Pictured recipe: Low-Carb Seeded Quick Bread
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a protein-rich seed. Snack on them on their own or add them to muffins, trail mixes or quick breads. Pumpkin seeds also deliver zinc, which supports your immune system, and magnesium, a mineral that helps keep your heart healthy.