The staple foods of any high protein diet are meat and fish as they generally provide the highest overall protein content outside supplements like whey. Animal protein will always be the basis for this type of diet, however it can get a little repetitive living off chicken breast and lean steak (well, so I’ve heard). Fortunately there’s protein content in fruit, vegetables and legumes, but here we’re going to take a look at fruit specifically and try to identify what fruits provide the most protein.
The general perception is that fruit isn’t a good source of protein, and as a general rule that’s correct. If you’re looking to meet your daily target intake it’s going to take a lot more banana’s than chicken to get there, but fruit shouldn’t be ignored as a supplementary source. Alongside protein fruit contains various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which most other foods don’t provide. This makes them an important part of any balanced diet.
Vegetarians don’t have the same luxury of easy protein fixes as meat eaters, with their entire intake coming from fruit, veg and supplements. Even for non-vegetarians, eating high protein fruit is a great way to maintain your overall health and wellness and provide your body with plenty of essential nutrients.
Occasionally mislabelled as vegetables, avocados contain 3g of protein per cup (150g) and contain other essential nutrients like zinc, fibre and folic acid. They are a fairly high calorie fruit; however they also contain plenty of heart healthy fats.
Dried figs are also fairly high in calories and carbs but provide 5g of protein per cup along fibre, calcium and potassium. The nutritional makeup of the fig makes it a popular snack among athletes.
A fresh peach will provide around 1.4g of protein per cup, alongside a healthy dose of vitamins A and C – all at fewer than 60 calories.
With 2.2g of protein per cup, apricots are a higher protein alternative to the peach. Dried apricots contain as much protein as fresh, meaning that a cup of dried apricots will get you around 5.1g of protein.
With 18.4g of protein per cup, goji berries are an excellent source of protein. The only downsides are that getting through a cup of goji berries is going to take a decent amount of effort, and it will probably cost you more than you’d like!
At 1.6g of protein per cup the banana doesn’t have the highest protein content, but it’s a great post workout recovery snack as the carbs and potassium in a banana can help aid the recovery process.
While fruit doesn’t contain anywhere near as much protein as animal sources, they can help supplement a protein-rich diet and provide some variety. Combining meat with fruit and other high protein vegetables and legumes can help provide a healthy, varied diet with a strong mix of essential vitamins and minerals.