When you think of protein, fruit doesn’t usually spring to mind. But believe it or not, fruit also contains some of this essential macronutrient. Some fruits contain more than others, with some high-protein fruits containing up to two-thirds of the recommended daily dose of protein.
That said, they still don’t contain enough to make them your primary source of protein in your diet. So pair the fruit with additional healthy protein sources to hit your recommended daily value.
The advantage of incorporating fruit into your diet is that you’re reaping the benefits of a whole load of nutrients like carbs, which aid protein synthesis. You also get countless vitamins and minerals that fine-tune your overall health.
Read on to find out which high protein fruits have made the cut, and what other benefits they have to offer. We’ve ranked ten fruits from highest to lowest, so you can keep it in the back of your mind when you’re out shopping.
High-protein fruits list
4g protein per cup
Though it’s slightly more difficult to find than the other fruit on the list, Guava is number one on our list for its high protein content. It supplements your diet with a decent amount of protein, not only providing you with a substantial amount of it, but also with plenty of other beneficial nutrients. It contains four times (yes, you read it correctly) the recommended amount of vitamin C, which may sound like a lot, but isn’t anything to worry about. When vitamin C is sourced from whole foods, your body excretes any excess due to its water solubility. Additionally, it has a fair amount of magnesium, vitamin A, iron, and the antioxidant lycopene to protect your body against aging.
How to eat it: If you’re not familiar with the fruit, guava is pretty easy to prepare. All you need to do is wash it, halve it, and then cut it into pieces. Enjoy it on its own, or make a tropical salad out of it with other high-protein fruits like kiwis and banana, plus a topping of unsweetened yogurt or some nuts.
4g protein per cup
Considering avocado amongst high-protein fruits may surprise you for a number of reasons. First off, the fact that avocado is considered a fruit, and second because avocado has a reputation for its role as a healthy source of fat. As it turns out, it contains a relatively high amount of protein too. With that in mind, the monounsaturated fatty acids found in avocados help reduce bad cholesterol while maintaining the good. Avocados also contain plenty of blood pressure regulating potassium to keep you healthy all year round.
Get more avocado: If you’re thinking of ingredients that’ll bulk up your salad, avocado is a delicious and creamy one that will bring all your other elements together. You can also mash it into guacamole, or mix with cacao powder and honey for a sweet treat.
2g protein per cup
You probably wouldn’t expect a small apricot to contain this much protein. However, it’s rather dried apricots that provide the above-stated amount of protein. It makes sense that dried fruit has concentrated values of nutrients like protein, but this also means that their sugar content is equally concentrated. So make sure to consume dried apricots in moderation. Aside from protein, apricots contain an exceptional amount of vitamin A and C. Both act as antioxidants that help shield your body against free radical damage, especially eye-related issues.
Eat more: Chop dried apricots up and add them to your breakfast cereal or your afternoon yogurt snacks. You can also enjoy them with a handful of nuts, or sneak them into anything you bake, be it bread, cake or cookies.
2g protein per cup
Aside from delivering a healthy dose of protein, kiwis are one of those fruits that have a few more tricks up its sleeve. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and include over half of the vitamin K you need per day. But the tale doesn’t end there, this tart treat also contains vitamin E, which is known for its skin-healing properties, making kiwi a top performing contender on our high-protein fruits list.
Get more in: Enjoy kiwis as they are with a spoon or chop them up and throw them into a fruit salad. If you’re looking to push your protein levels up, pair kiwis with a handful of nuts or dollop of Greek yogurt. Feeling adventurous? Then swirl them into a smoothie and tone the acidity down with more fruit or ginger.
2g protein per cup
Grapefruit has also earned its place on our high-protein fruits list, as it contains a fair amount of protein. On top of that, you’ll be filling your diet with lots of other nutrients that round off a balanced diet beautifully, such as vitamin C and fiber. The fiber contributes to healthy weight loss by keeping you satisfied for longer, and the vitamin C will boost your immune system in colder months. Make sure to consume the pith (the stringy white bits) along with the juicy part of the fruit, because that’s where all the nutritious fiber is.
How to enjoy: Eat grapefruit as a refreshing starter before you dig into your meal. Cut the fruit in half, and then use a serrated knife to cut around the flesh in a circular motion. Then use a knife and fork to cut the flesh into smaller pieces. You can also eat it after your meal if you usually crave something sweet after food.
2g protein per cup
The amounts of protein that we’re discussing here may seem small, but every little helps. When you combine different sources of protein, you benefit from a range of amino acids and a good variety of extra nutrients. Loaded with fiber, vitamins, potassium, and antioxidants blackberries are little pocket rockets. The contain vitamins A, E, C, to K, plus iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, and anthocyanins.
How to eat more: You can freeze blackberries can then blend them into smoothies or made into “nice cream”, or they can be used to top your favorite pancake recipes. Other than that, you can just snack on them – they are an excellent food to try practicing mindful eating since they are so fun to eat.
1.5g protein per cup
Topping up on protein can be a pretty tasty affair. Try out thirst-quenching cantaloupe melon. Not only is it mouthwatering, but it also offers more protein than you think. Melon is also loaded with immune-strengthening vitamins A and C, which you know by now are potent antioxidants. Plus, the orange color of the melon indicates that it’s a good source of beta-carotene, a nutrient responsible eye and skin health.
Melon time: Cut up chunky slices and savor them as they are, or get create a melon melange alongside other types of melon like honeydew and watermelon. You can also enjoy it the Spanish way with a slice of good-quality cured ham wrapped around it.
1g protein per cup
Peaches bring a lot more to the table than just their plumpness and protein content. Another source of beta-carotene, peaches will take care of your immunity and eyesight too – you’ll see! If you’re looking for other foods with beta-carotene, think sweet potatoes, carrots, and anything with that distinctive orangey hue. It’s no surprise the fruit is staple food on weight loss programs, as it contains a lot of fiber for a happy, healthy gut.
Let’s get peachy: If you struggle to find just the right peach at the market or grocery store, why not try buying a bag of frozen peach slices? The fun fact about frozen fruit is that the fruit is usually at its best when frozen, retaining its sweetness and nutritional peak. You can then either thaw them or blend them into smoothies, or make instant sorbet as we did with this instant strawberry ice cream.
Every little bit helps
You can now confidently eat a variety of fruit knowing that you’re getting more than just a couple of vitamins or antioxidants. Most fruit contains protein, but some have higher values than others. Keep this high protein fruits list handy to refer to when planning your breakfast or snacks. Get even more ideas by signing up to 8fit Pro and searching for these fruits in our extensive recipe library.