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7 High-Protein Foods That Aren’t Meat

Eating protein is a key part of any diet, as it can boost your metabolism and help keep your appetite steady throughout the day. But if you’re worried that meat-heavy meals are the only way to up your protein intake, we have some good news for you: There’s actually a diverse world of meat-free protein to enjoy in legumes, seeds, dairy products, and more. Just check out these meatless, protein-packed foods.

1. Chia Seeds

There’s much more to chia than a catchy commercial jingle. (“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”) These powerful seeds boast 4 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons, help the digestion process, and keep you feeling full. You can sprinkle them over just about any food—we used them in our No-Cook Oatmeal recipe last week.

2. Greek Yogurt

(Image: PR Web)

With 17 grams per 6-ounce container, Greek yogurt has double the amount of protein of regular yogurt. Of course you can eat it solo, but why not be part of a food trend and combine it with a bunch of other ingredients for some savory yogurt?

3. Edamame

Soybeans are the only vegetables that are a complete protein. This means they contain the nine amino acids that we must eat because our bodies can’t make them. A cup of cooked edamame contains 17 grams of protein, as well as a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

4. Quinoa

This popular superfood has 8 grams of protein per cup. Check out our tips on how to perfectly cook it, and you’ll be adding light and fluffy quinoa to just about everything.

5. Tempeh

Not to be confused with tofu, tempeh has a unique and earthy flavor and a chewy, firm texture—similar to a veggie burger. Not only that—it sports a whopping 15 grams of protein per ½ cup.

6. Cottage Cheese

(Image: Food Network)

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, at roughly 26 grams per cup. To go the savory route, pair it with some fresh veggies; or, to make yourself something sweeter, mix cottage cheese with fruit and cinnamon.

7. Lentils

Lentils do more than just bring the protein (at 18 grams per boiled cup, by the way). Just one serving of lentils contains 37% of your daily recommended iron and more than half of your daily fiber, and can help lower cholesterol and promote heart health.

So, the next time you want a quick protein hit—whether it’s after a run or just because it’s snack time—you need not cook yourself a plate of grilled chicken. Just open up a container of Greek yogurt, cook up some quinoa, or sprinkle some chia seeds into your oatmeal!

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