[HEALTH TIPS] Eight foods that help gain muscle and have more protein than eggs

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Protein is a building block for muscle, as well as hormones and enzymes in our bodies. As a beauty bonus, protein helps our bodies grow healthy hair and nails and keeps skin healthy, too.

Eggs are a complete source of protein. In one little 70-calorie package, you get 6 grams of protein as well important nutrients, like choline and eye-protecting antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

But eggs aren’t the only good source of protein; in fact, many amazing vegetarian and vegan sources often get overlooked when people think of protein.

Below are eight food that help gain muscle and have more protein than eggs:

  1. QUINOA

One cup cooked quinoa = Eight g protein

This protein-rich whole grain delivers 8 grams of protein per cup. Quinoa is also a rare complete plant-based protein, which means it provides all the essential amino acids. Not to mention, quinoa delivers 5 grams of healthy fiber per cup and cooks up quickly.

      2. ALMONDS

One ounce = Six gram protein

While almonds are high in fat, it’s the heart-healthy kind that’s good for you and helps keep you full. They are also rich in protein, with a 1-ounce serving delivering 6 grams of protein. Try slivered almonds on top of your salad, or spread nut butter on your toast.

      3. GREEK YOGURT

Seven ounce container = 20 g protein

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, so it delivers a lot more protein than an egg, at 20 grams per 7-ounce serving. Probiotic-rich yogurt is excellent at breakfast—try a parfait with berries and granola, or add it to your smoothie.

      4. TOFU

Half cup = 22 g protein

Tofu is a vegan and vegetarian powerhouse protein. Half of a cup delivers 22 grams of protein. Tofu is a very versatile protein—think of it like a blank slate for many flavors and dish types. Scramble it with spices and spinach for an easy breakfast, add it to a stir-fry or give silken tofu a try in smoothies.

      5. PEANUT BUTTER

Two Tbsp. = 7.7 g protein

Humble and classic, peanut butter does more than make up half of a PB&J sandwich. It actually delivers a nice boost of protein to toast, noodles, smoothies and oatmeal, delivering just over 7 grams per serving. For a protein-rich snack, spread peanut butter on apple slices or celery sticks.

      6. PUMPKIN SEEDS

One ounce = 8.5 g protein

Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are protein-rich seeds. Snack on them on their own or add them to muffins, trail mixes or quick breads. A 1-ounce serving of pumpkin seeds has 8 grams of protein and also delivers zinc, which supports your immune system, and magnesium, a mineral that helps keep your heart healthy.

      7. CHEDDAR CHEESE

One ounce = 6.8 g protein

An ounce of cheese just edges out an egg with its protein content, with Cheddar cheese clocking in at almost 7 grams per ounce. Cheese has gotten a bad rap for being higher in saturated fat and sodium, but turns out cheese is healthier than we used to think. It makes a great snack on its own (or as part of an awesome cheese board).

      8. CHICKPEA PASTA

Two ounces = 14 g protein

We don’t often think of a bowl of pasta as being protein-rich, but new bean pastas are changing that. These relatively new noodles use bean flours instead of semolina to give you a meal that’s packed with protein and fiber. Chickpea pasta doesn’t taste quite the same as typical wheat-based pastas—the texture is a little heartier and you can tell it’s made from beans—but with a yummy sauce, it makes a tasty dinner. A 2-ounce serving delivers 14 grams of protein, plus 8 grams of fiber.