grains for protein

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Trying to picture a high protein meal or snack probably brings to mind a plate with a hefty portion of chicken, beef, or pork. But whether you’re a vegetarian, trying to cut back a bit on meat, or just sick of having chicken for dinner every night, protein-rich foods can be found far beyond the meat section of the grocery store. From grains and dairy products to vegetables (yes, they can have protein too) and nut butters, you have more options than you think.

The right amount of protein can vary based on your weight and activity levels, but the USDA recommendation of 46 grams per day for women 19 years and older is a good target to aim for. It’ll help you maintain your energy, rebuild your muscles after exercise, and keep your immune system humming along. And unlike fats and carbohydrates, your body doesn’t store protein, meaning it’s essential to get the recommended amount each day. Here are 37 surprising sources that make great additions to a healthy diet.

Great Grains
1. Spelt—10.67 grams in 1 cup, cooked

2. Teff—9.75 grams in 1 cup, cooked

3. Amaranth—9.35 grams in 1 cup, cooked

4. Quinoa—8.14 grams in 1 cup, cooked

5. Farro—7 grams in ¼ cup, uncooked

6. Buckwheat, the main ingredient in Japanese soba noodles—5.77 grams in 1 cup of soba noodles, cooked

7. Barley
Hulled—5.74 grams in ¼ cup, uncooked
Pearled—3.55 grams in 1 cup, cooked

8. Bulgur – 5.61 grams in 1 cup, cooked