While many people might not commonly associate fruit with protein, there are many types that might surprise you.
While beans, nuts, vegetables, and (obviously) meat are better sources, there are several types of fruit that are surprisingly high in protein, and can be beneficial when incorporated into a broader nutritional diet.
What Is Protein?
Proteins are essential nutrients within the human body, and are considered the building blocks of body tissue.
They are also the main fuel source, allowing us to have the energy to accomplish our daily tasks, as well as the background functions which occur naturally in the body.
Protein & The Human Body
Protein serves many functions within the human body, and is an important nutrient that we must consume in order to live and thrive.
One main use for protein is the growth and maintenance of muscle, something that is necessary if we are to have the strength to walk, talk, and even breathe on our own.
With the exception of water, protein is the most abundant molecule found in the human body, which goes some way to show just how important they are for our wider development.
Found in all cells of the body, protein acts as a major structural component throughout our entire systems.
Other systems that are directly influenced by protein are the hair, the skin, and bodily organs, as well as for the creation of red blood cells.
Protein Rich Fruit
While fruit isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when we think of protein, there are several kinds that are extremely beneficial sources of protein, and which should be considered as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
A fruit naturally occurring in tropical regions, the guava generally contains around 4 grams of protein per cup, making it one of the highest protein rich fruits in the world.
This might not sound like much, but this amount of protein can be extremely beneficial, especially when ingested on a semi regular basis.
The skin and seeds are also rich in vitamin C and fiber, making it a great all round healthy fruit.
With around 3 grams of protein per cup, jackfruit is distantly related to the fig family, and has an unusual appearance, with flesh that is similar to pulled pork in texture.
Laden with fiber and potassium – a chemical vital for healthy heart function – the jackfruit is another tropical fruit that is an undiscovered gem of healthiness.
A popular fruit incorporated by manner into their daily diets – usually as a breakfast or salad food – avocado contains around 3 grams of protein per cup, and is chock full of healthy fats, fiber, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins C, E, and K.
While most commonly seen in dried form, many might be surprised to learn that the raw form is not only tastier, but also incredibly beneficial to our overall health.
Containing around 2 grams of protein per cup, apricots are also a good source of potassium, and vitamins A, C, and E – making them great for promoting healthy hair, eyes, and skin.
Commonly found in most countries in the world, where they grow wild and abundant, blackberries contain around 2 grams of protein per cup, as well as around 8 grams of fiber, high levels of antioxidants, brain boosting polyphenols, and around 50% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Containing around 2 grams of protein per cup, the kiki is also rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, and even iron, making it one of the most versatile and healthy fruits on this list.
Perhaps most surprisingly, cherries are also a good source of protein, containing around 1.6 grams of protein per cup. Perhaps because they are so widely associated as a sweet treat, cherries do not get the credit they so rightly deserve.
Laden with potassium, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and melatonin, cherries are the best kept secret in the world of fruit.
Despite being high in sugar, one serving of around an ounce of raisins contains around 1 gram of protein, as well as a ton of fiber and potassium.
They are also quite rich in iron, making them quite impressive for such a small fruit.
Bananas are famously high in potassium, but many might not know that they also contain around 1.6 grams of protein per banana.
They also contain fiber, prebiotics, vitamins A, B6, and C, and magnesium.
The most important and rich part of the banana is the stringy bits on edges. These are the pathways for the nutrients around the fruit, and can provide a high amount of nutrients.
A popular breakfast fruit, grapefruits contain around 1.3 grams of protein per serving, not to mention only having around 100 calories per fruit – making them good for your waistline as well as your overall health.
Full of vitamin C, calcium, and iron, the citric acid in grapefruits are also good for breaking down potential kidney stones and similar illnesses.
Other Sources Of Protein
Aside from fruit and meat, there are plenty of other foods that are rich sources of protein. Protein rich foods include dairy products like milk, eggs, soy products, fish, whole grains, and cereals.
Vegan Protein Sources
Vegans might be concerned that a meat-free diet might make them protein deficient, however, there are several protein rich food sources that are vegan friendly and beneficial for overall health.
Foods such as soybeans, lentils, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, chickpeas, cowpeas, lima beans, pigeon peas, lupines, wing beans, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, cotton seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about high protein fruits and their benefits as part of a balanced diet.
Why not try some for yourself?