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5 Surprising Sources of Protein

Whether you're trying to get enough protein in your diet, or just looking for something new to try, these five foods are a great way to boost your protein intake!

5 Surprising Sources of Protein

Protein is an essential part of any healthy diet, and while most people typically get their protein from animal sources, there are also many unexpected plant-based sources of protein. Here are five surprisingly protein-rich foods that can help you reach your daily goals while adding variety to your meals.



Lentils are a great source of protein with 18 grams per cooked cup! They are also an excellent source of fiber and iron. Try adding them to soups, stews, salads, or pasta sauces.

Hemp Hearts

Hemp Hearts pack 10 grams of protein per 3 tablespoons, and are a good source of essential fatty acids. Try sprinkling some into smoothies, on top of yogurt, or in parfaits.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseed, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are all high in protein, and are a great source of healthy fats. Nuts and seeds are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, or as a snack all on their own.


Quinoa is a grain and is a great source of protein. It contains 8 grams of protein per cup, and is packed with essential amino acids. Quinoa is also a great source of minerals, like magnesium and iron. Use quinoa just as you would any other grain, like rice or pasta.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional Yeast is a great way to add cheesy flavor to dairy-free dishes, but it’s also a great source of protein. It contains 8 grams of protein per tablespoon, and is a good source of B vitamins.

The Bottom Line

Adding variety to your diet is an important part of gut health — it helps ensure a diverse microbiome, and a healthy microbiome has a significant impact on your overall health. Trying new sources of protein is a great way to diversify your diet and promote a healthy gut!

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