21 High Protein Foods for Muscle Building

The world is obsessed with protein because of its umpteen benefits that benefit us humans at various points in our life. Proteins build muscles, helps in weight loss and weight gain; have tons of beneficial ingredients that aid in many medical conditions too.

Protein also ups our metabolism on one side and reduces hunger pangs on the other. Protein also controls the carbohydrate release into our bloodstream preventing blood sugar spikes.

Bodybuilders should earmark at least 1-2 grams of protein per kilograms of body weight. Consuming this much protein is eased out of you know all the possible sources of protein we have. Some items may surprise you especially when you are told about their protein content like the Greek Yoghurt. Let us read about more such items.

  1. Cottage Cheese

The solid portion obtained after curdling milk is Casein and the cottage cheese comprises mostly of this casein. It digests slowly inside our stomach, provides muscles a steady supply of the vital amino acids.

Protein packed within: 28 grams per cup.

  1. Eggs

The best part of eggs is their higher biological value (BV), exceeding all items on the grocery list. This value is counted by the amount of amino acids that particular food possesses and eggs surpasse this list.

Protein packed with: 6 grams per 1 large egg

  1. Whey Protein

Extracted from milk and concentrated, this is the fast-digesting protein which is also the cleanest on the market. It is often suggested as the perfect addition to any fat-loss or muscle-building diet. Whey protein is established as a low-calorie, perfect nutrition useful for supplementation immediately after a workout.

The claim to fame is that whey protein is fully anabolic or best for building muscle because it is certified as a rich source of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids).

Protein packed with: 24 g per scoop, on an average.

  1. Milk

Cow’s milk is still considered a reliable source of best protein with a biological value which is just a shade less than that of an egg. The amount of fat which comes along helps you absorb the fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D which is inherently present in the milk itself.

Protein packed with: 8 grams per glass.

  1. Greek Yoghurt

Obtained after fermentation of milk, this delicious and thick Greek yoghurt has double protein compared to the regular versions, having 15-20% water.

Protein Power packed: 23 g per 200 gm serving.

Please note that commercial formulations with added fruit contain too much sugar.

  1. Dried Lentils

We Indians have it as staple diet and have too many different varieties of lentils. They are a type of legume, high in fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, manganese and various other nutrients.

Lentils are among the world’s best sources of plant-based protein, and are an excellent food for vegetarians.

Protein power packed: 1 cup (200 gm) of boiled lentils contains 18 grams.

Other varieties include Chickpeas (chhole), Soybean (soyabean) and Kidney Beans (Rajma)

  1. Pumpkin Seeds

Surprisingly, people do buy pumpkin but discard the seeds and this rich protein source often finds itself in garbage dumps. It is a blessing in disguise for the animals who gleefully rush to this invaluable protein source.

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly high in many nutrients, including iron, magnesium and zinc.

Protein power packed: 1 ounce (28 g) contains 5 gm.

Some beneficial seeds worthy of including in this list are Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds and Chia seeds.

  1. Fish

Fish is incredibly healthy, and every species are famous for various reasons. Fish is loaded with various important nutrients, and tends to be very high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Protein power packed: 22 grams per 100 gm.

  1. Almonds

Considered a dry fruit Almonds are very popular in India. Almonds are loaded with important nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, manganese and magnesium. They are also considered a beneficial protein source and many consume it after soaking overnight in water.

Protein power packed: 7 gm per 30 gm.

Pistachios: 25 gm per cup.

  1. Peanuts

People keep munching peanuts as they are incredibly delicious. Whether consumed raw or roasted or fried they taste equally good. They are loaded with protein, fiber, magnesium and many studies show that they can help you lose weight.

Protein power packed: 30 gm contains 7 grams.

  1. Quinoa

Quinoa is the newest discovery in the world which is a seed/grain included in superfoods category.

Quinoa is high in many vitamins, minerals and fiber, and is loaded with antioxidants. Many dietitians recommend it as the perfect breakfast snack as it has numerous health benefits.

Protein power packed: One cup of cooked Quinoa contains 8 gm.

  1. Chicken Breast

Amongst the most popular animal based protein, Chicken breast is the most popular protein-rich food.

Despite many types of cooking prevailing here in India, the protein content is rarely disturbed. Though

Chicken breast is very easy to cook, and tastes delicious if you do it right.

Protein power packed: 53 gm.

(No wonder most bodybuilders swear by chicken for helping them create great bodies).

  1. Oats

Considered as one of the most healthiest grains on Earth, they are loaded with healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese, thiamin or vitamin B1 and several other nutrients. It is also loaded with fiber which supposedly keeps you full for longer durations.

Protein power packed: Half cup contains 13 grams.

  1. Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas are great sources of protein. But you can get an additional boost from sweet peas.

Protein power packed: 6 gm per cup.

  1. Green Beans

The beans we get here in India may be French, but almost all green beans will keep you lean with a solid gram of vegetable protein for every 18 calories you consume.

Protein power packed: 12 gm per cup of cooked beans.

  1. Spirulina

Carried by the astronauts from NASA, Spirulina is blue - green algae that’s typically dried and sold in powdered form and is about 60 percent protein and, like quinoa, it’s a complete protein, meaning it can be converted directly into muscle in the body.

Protein power packed: 8 gm per tablespoon.

  1. Avocados

Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, recommended as one of the essential superfoods, also deliver a surprising dose of protein.

Protein power packed: 6 gm per fruit.

  1. Wheat Grass

Discovered recently, this one is power packed with a whole lot of nutrients that do wonders for your body. Even a tiny dose packs fiber, protein, tons of vitamin A and K, folic acid, manganese, iodine, and chlorophyll, to name a few.

Protein power packed: Over 2 gm per tablespoon.

  1. Black Rice

Consumed earlier only by emperors today it is one of the hottest new food trend. There are some good reasons as it has fiber and protein which is much higher than its cousin, white rice. Even the brown rice comes nowhere near, though is slightly better than the white variety.

Protein power packed: 10 gm per ¼ cup.

  1. Broccoli

A healthy vegetable, Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and potassium. It is high in protein compared to most vegetables.

Protein power packed: 100 gm of chopped broccoli contains 3 gm.

  1. Protein Smoothies

The best part is, to up the protein content, along with the whey protein powder; you can add peanut or almond butter, and any other fruit which has protein and some fructose as well. Not only this will provide the necessary protein in huge quantity, it will also have benefits of the fruits as well.

Protein power packed: 30-40 gm per bottle.


Protein makes your muscles, along with water. This list of foods which are high in protein can come handy when you need to eat something healthy and tasty. Either you can grab a handful of nuts or you can as well have fruits, legumes or veggies.

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