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Protein Rich Foods to Gain Muscle and Lose Weight

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Protein rich food

If fitness experts had to choose between proteins and anything else in the world for a day, they would blindly choose proteins. And why not? Proteins are the building blocks of life. Period.

If you’re still confused, here’s a little preview: These macronutrients are touted as the way to build muscles, boost metabolism and burn calories while maintaining your hair, skin, bones, hormones and more. Even better, they make for great workout meals that align with your fitness goals. Impressive!

Scroll ahead to bind to the protein team.

Benefits Of Protein Rich Diet

Here’s why protein is so good for you.

  • If you indulge in heavy workout, following up with a protein-dense meal is essential to repair muscles and avoid muscle loss post-workout. Since muscles are 80% protein, a high intake of protein automatically improves your muscle mass and strength.
  • Eat to lose weight. Yes, you read that right. The more protein you eat, the more energy your body needs to breakdown proteins and, bam, you end up burning more calories.
  • The best way to avoid hunger pangs from derailing your weight loss plan is to prevent them at the first place. How? Bring protein on your plate more often. It is known to reduce Ghrelin (hunger hormone) and boost the Peptide YY hormone that makes you feel full. This means no more getting lured by unhealthy munchies later in the day.
  • Eating enough protein is your best bet at improving bone health and reducing the risk of bone fractures or osteoporosis later.
  • Ensuring plenty of protein in your diet balances your blood sugar levels by preventing insulin spikes. If you didn’t know, these uncontrolled spikes are responsible for those midday slumps at the desk, yo-yo moods and sudden craving for sweets. So let’s get some proteins, shall we?

Signs you’re not getting enough protein

  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Anxiety and mood swings
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Bloating or fluid retention
  • Susceptible to bone fractures
  • Brittle nails
  • Falling ill more often (Lower immunity)
  • Increased appetite
  • Skin pigmentation

Protein-Rich Foods

We’ve compiled a list of foods with highest protein that can be incorporated in your daily diet plan for muscle gain.

high protein Indian food- rajma or kidney beans

1. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans or Rajma are loaded with protein, carbohydrates and fiber. The best part? Its protein content is almost at par with that of meat without added calories or saturated fat. Psst! Want in on the best match for rajma? Pair it with piping hot steamed rice and join the rajma chawal club.

Estimated protein per cup: 43 gm

2. Greek Yogurt

This creamier cousin of regular yogurt has twice the amount of protein. It’s strained off the whey (read: lesser carbs and sugar) to achieve a thicker consistency. Top it with diced apples, berries and nuts for an appetite-stabilizing treat. Oh, and steer clear of sweetened Greek yogurt if you intend to keep your calories in check.

Estimated protein per cup: 17 gm

rich protein foods for vegetarians- yogurt
foods highest in protein lowest in fat- broccoli

3. Broccoli

Raw broccoli is almost 90% water, 7% carbs and 3% protein with negligible fat. Find raw broccoli boring? Toss these flower heads into a stir-fry, creamy soup or salad so your taste buds don’t go through an ordeal and you get your dose of protein. Win-win. Since the protein content per serving is relatively less, you might want to supplement it to your primary protein sources.

Estimated protein per cup: 3 gm

4. Quinoa

Meet the super grain which is a protein rich food for vegetarians and vegans both: the Quinoa. These tiny yellow pods with a nutty flavor are an ideal substitute for rice if you’re looking for a plate loaded with proteins, fibers and minerals. And did we tell you there’s no other plant source that offers a complete protein package? Vegans, hope you’re taking a mental note. Plus, it’s gluten-free.

Estimated protein per cup: 8 gm

highest protein grains- quinoa
protein rich food items- peanuts

5. Peanuts

You would be happy to know your favorite bar munchies has made it to this list. Peanuts, also known as monkey nuts (didn’t know that, did you?) are chock-full of protein, Vitamins B and E and essential minerals. If popping peanuts are no fun for you, you can have it in the form of peanut butter spread in your morning brekkie. Oh and it’s perfect to curb those midday hunger pangs.

Estimated protein per cup: 38 gm

6. Paneer (Cottage Cheese)

Your hunt for delectable desi food that packs a good ratio of proteins to fat ends at your favorite milky and crumbly paneer. A protein rich Indian food, paneer is the perfect inclusion to a vegetarian diet for muscle gain. Chomp away the ultimate protein delight by tossing it with chaat masala and dunking it in a dip of your choice (Think: hummus or mayo).

Estimated protein per cup: 21 gm

protein rich food veg- paneer
rich protein foods for vegetarians- chickpeas

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are more than just the base of your favorite lip-smacking hummus. It ranks high among protein rich food for vegetarians. These rounded beige legumes are also excellent for vegans or people looking to cut down on meat consumption, whilst keeping their protein intake in check. Besides, the dietary fibers in them keep you feeling fuller for longer. Controlled appetite? Yes, please.

Estimated protein per cup: 39 gm

8. Turkey Breast

Did you know cooked Turkey breast meat comprises over half of an adult’s recommended daily protein intake (46gm for woman and 56 gm for man). This explains why fitness experts swear by including turkey breast and thighs in an effective diet plan for muscle gain. Boost your protein intake with low-cal roasted turkey meat smothered with spiced chili sauces and mushrooms. A healthy makeover in progress, we would say.

Estimated protein per cup: 41 gm

foods with highest protein- turkey
highest protein fish- tuna

9. Tuna

Tuna fish is your best bet if you want to up your protein intake while scaling back on calories and fat. Packed with all 9 essential amino acids, regular consumption of turkey helps in the growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue. You can also switch between other fishes, such as Halibut and Salmon to ensure the best diet plan for muscle gain without allowing monotony to creep in.

Estimated protein per cup: 21 gm

10. Chicken Breast

A versatile protein source that features in myriad cuisines, chicken breast is packed with muscle-building protein and delivers a nice hit of other nutrients in just a single serving. You can have it grilled, baked, barbecued or roasted to get your portion of lean protein. Oh, and did we mention it helps in weight loss? Opt for light chicken stews, soups, salads and grilled recipes over deep-fried options to ensure more protein and less fat in your diet plan for muscle gain.

Estimated protein per cup: 43 gm

foods that contain protein- chicken


1. What are some protein rich fruits?

Protein rich foods include:

  • Guava (4.2 gm per cup)
  • Avocado (4 gm per cup)
  • Apricot (2.2 gm per cup)
  • Kiwi (2.1 gm per cup)
  • Blackberries (2 gm per cup)
  • Orange (1.7 gm per cup)
  • Banana (1.3 gm per cup)
  • Raspberries (1.2 gm per cup)
  • Peaches (1.4 gm per cup)

2. Which are the vegetables high in protein?

  • Lima beans (11.6 gm per cup)
  • Green peas (8.6 gm per cup)
  • Spinach (5.3 gm per cup)
  • Sweet corn (4.7 gm per cup)
  • Sweet potato (4.5 gm per cup)
  • Asparagus (4.3 gm per cup)
  • Kale (3.8 gm per cup)
  • Mushroom (3.9 gm per cup)
  • Broccoli (3.7 gm per cup)

3.Which are the dry fruits with high protein?

  • Zante currants (5.9 gm per cup)
  • Raisins (5.1 gm per cup)
  • Figs (4.9 gm per cup)
  • Dried apricots (4.4 gm per cup)

4. Mention protein rich Indian foods.

High protein Indian foods include lean chicken, pork, fish, beef, tofu, beans, cottage cheese, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.

5. Mention foods highest in protein and lowest in fat.

Foods such as tuna, halibut, tofu, eggs, nuts and chicken are relatively high in protein and low in fats.

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