Along with 15 grams of protein—which, we might add, is pretty darn impressive for a fruit—coconut is also high in theronine, an amino acid your body uses to prevent fat buildup in the liver and speed up recovery after a butt-busting workout. Don’t have an actual coconut handy (unless you’re on a tropical vacay, in which case we’re really jeal)? You can still reap some of the health bennies from its derivatives, like coconut flour (four grams of protein in two tablespoons), milk (five grams per cup) and butter (two grams in two tablespoons).
2- White beans
Generally speaking, organic white beans are a good way to rack up protein points without having to resort to an animal-based source, says Eades. Whether they’re in the form of navy bean soup or eaten as a side dish with dinner, a one-cup serving contains about 16 grams of protein and a hefty amount of thiamine, a vitamin that helps your body metabolize carbs more efficiently. Before you load up your cart, though, make sure you’re picking out the right kind of white beans, explains Perlmutter. “A lot of the legumes we are picking up nowadays have been treated with harmful herbicides, so it’s important consumers are eating something that is organically-grown and not treated with harsh chemicals.”
3- Peanut butter
Okay, okay, so PB is kind of a calorific way to rack up nine grams of protein, but studies have shown that if you stick to the two-tablespoon serving size (about 190 calories), the spread can be a helpful weight-loss aid—especially if you eat it in the morning. According to researchers, adding it to your breakfast specifically can help you better distinguish when you’re full for the rest of the day, thanks to its ability to moderate glucose levels and control blood sugar spikes. Moreover, you’ll be less likely to overeat and actually stay full until lunch time.
4- Cow’s Milk
Nut milks like coconut, almond, and cashew are a great way to naturally get some vitamin D (all have about 25 grams per cup), but if we’re strictly talking calories and protein here, moo milk is a top-notch source. The stuff has just 86 calories while serving up eight grams of protein in a cup (as opposed to a measly one to two grams in the nutty options), says Eades. That said, every glass of milk is definitely not created equally.
Consider this yet another reason to eat that glorious piece of avocado toast in the morning. The fruit is loaded with omega-3s and beta-carotene, which helps boost your immune system, and Eades says it’s a decent source of protein at five grams per fruit. Bonus: The monounsaturated fatty acids found in the stuff has been directly linked to eating less and feeling satisfied longer, and even helps fight inflammation.