Fruits aren’t the first thing most people think of as a great source of protein. But some provide more of this nutrient than others, and there are high-protein fruits that can increase your intake. So, what fruits are high in protein? Protein fruits include choices like dried apricots, guavas, jackfruit and goji berries.
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With protein, every little bit counts, and you can increase your intake of this nutrient by turning to some unexpected sources.
The foods highest in protein include choices like meat, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese. And on the plant-based side of the spectrum, you can consume foods like peanut butter, almond butter and lentil dishes if you want to ramp up the amount of protein in your diet.
But there’s one type of food that often gets overlooked when adding extra protein to an eating plan: high-protein fruits. Some fruits contain enough of this nutrient to notably impact your diet.
Let’s take a closer look at high-protein fruits.
In this article, we will:
- Define high-protein fruits
- Discuss the benefits of adding high-protein fruits to your diet
- List some fruits that are rich in protein
What are high-protein fruits?
High-protein fruits are fruits that have more protein than the typical fruit. Fruits mainly consist of these nutrients:
- Vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B and vitamin E)
Fruits may also contain some protein, and high-protein fruits have more of this essential nutrient than is typical. For example, some high-protein fruits have as much as 10 percent of the recommended daily dose of protein in a single cup of fruit.
Still, keep in mind that if you want to add extra protein to your diet, it’s best not to limit your options to fruit.
If you follow a plant-based diet, you can include foods like nut butter and high-protein vegetables like garbanzo beans to support the protein intake you get from fruit.
And if you eat animal-based foods, a choice like salmon will boost healthy fat and omega-3 fatty acid intake as it provides you with protein. For lean protein, grass-fed beef offers the nutrition you need.
Why add high-protein fruits to your diet?
Here are some reasons for adding protein-rich fruits to your diet:
1. Most high-protein fruits are low in fat, sodium, and calories
High-calorie foods can cause weight gain. And fat and sodium can create health problems if consumed in excess.
Most high-protein fruits have very little fat, sodium and calories. This makes them ideal choices to support you on your health journey.
2. High-protein fruits are a good source of fiber
Like all fruits, those that are rich in protein contain lots of fiber. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), dietary fiber from fruit can improve your health in these ways:
- May reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease
- Supports proper bowel function
- Eases constipation and diverticulitis
Also, fiber-rich foods like fruits help you feel full with fewer calories. This feeling of fullness can support you if you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
3. Many high-protein fruits are stellar sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C helps your body grow and repair its tissues. It heals wounds and supports the health of your teeth and gums.
Fruits tend to be high in vitamin C, and high-protein fruits are no exception.
4. Some high-protein fruits are excellent sources of potassium
Potassium can help you maintain healthy blood pressure. It can also reduce your risk of developing kidney stones and help decrease bone loss as you age. High-protein fruits such as apricots are wonderful sources of potassium.
5. High-protein fruits add vital protein to your diet
According to the Mayo Clinic, protein plays a crucial role in helping your body build and repair muscle tissue. And studies show protein provides a feeling of satiety that can support weight loss or help you maintain a healthy weight.
Also, adding more protein to your diet can help you burn fat more effectively. A 2012 study showed an inverse relationship between quality protein intake and abdominal fat.
High-protein fruits are one way to increase your intake of this essential nutrient.
What fruits are high in protein?
Here are some of the high-protein fruits that are richest in this nutrient (per cup serving), listed in descending order. When consuming these food items, your choices include dried fruit, fresh fruit, and frozen fruit added to a delicious smoothie (tropical fruits are a great addition).
We’ve included each fruit’s protein content, as well as the percentage of the current daily value of protein it provides. Our information comes from the USDA Food Data Central Repository.
High-protein fruits with more than 3 grams of protein per cup
- Passion fruit — 5.2 grams per cup, 10 percent daily value
- Sugar apples — 5.2 grams per cup, 10 percent daily value
- Dried jujube — 4.7 grams per 100 grams, 9 percent daily value
- Guavas — 4.2 grams per cup, 8 percent daily value
- Avocado — 4 grams per cup, 8 percent daily value
- Dried goji berries — 4 grams per cup, 8 percent daily value
- Durian — 3.6 grams per cup, 7 percent daily value
- Tamarinds — 3.4 grams per cup (pulp), 7 percent daily value
High-protein fruits with 2 to 3 grams of protein per cup
- Pomegranates — 2.9 grams per cup, 6 percent daily value
- Jackfruit — 2.8 grams per cup, 6 percent daily value
- Ground cherries (also known as dwarf cape gooseberries or strawberry tomatoes) — 2.7 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Mamey sapote — 2.5 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Cherimoya — 2.5 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Dried mango — 2.5 grams per 100 grams, 5 percent daily value
- Fried yellow plantains — 2.4 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Breadfruit — 2.4 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Lemons — 2.3 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Soursop — 2.3 grams per cup, 5 percent daily value
- Frozen loganberries — 2.2 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
- Apricots — 2.2 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
- Kiwifruit — 2.1 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
- Blackberries — 2 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
- Mulberries — 2 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
Protein fruits with less than 2 grams of protein per cup
- Casaba melon — 1.9 grams per cup, 4 percent daily value
- Oranges — 1.7 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Bananas — 1.6 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Tangerines — 1.6 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Sweet cherries — 1.6 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Raspberries — 1.5 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Cantaloupe — 1.5 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Nectarines — 1.5 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Fresh mangoes — 1.4 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Grapefruit — 1.4 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Yellow peaches — 1.4 grams per cup, 3 percent daily value
- Plums — 1.2 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Strawberries — 1.1 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Red or green grapes — 1.1 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Blueberries — 1.1 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Fuyu persimmon — 1 gram per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Prunes – 1 gram per ounce, 2 percent daily value
- Watermelon — 0.9 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
- Pineapple — 0.9 grams per cup, 2 percent daily value
High-protein fruits are just one aspect of a healthy diet. Give your body the nourishment it needs in the most convenient way possible by subscribing to Fresh N Lean. We make our chef-prepared meals with organic ingredients and deliver them to your front door.