10 High-Protein Fruits to Add to Your Diet
When you think of protein, you probably think meat, seafood, legumes, tofu, yogurt, cheese, nuts and eggs—the usual suspects. And you’re not wrong—they’re among the best foods to consume for protein, an essential macronutrient that builds muscle mass. But fun fact: Fruit contains protein in small amounts too.
According to the FDA, women should aim for 46 grams of protein a day, while men should consume 56 grams per day. A one-cup serving of fruit will generally provide less than six grams of protein, so yes, you’d have to eat pounds and pounds of the stuff to meet your daily requirement. The real benefits to eating a fruit-rich diet are the other vitamins and nutrients the food group can provide, plus healthy carbs and fiber. And if you combine your daily dose of fruit with another protein-rich snack, you can create a satisfying, protein-packed pick-me-up. Here, ten high-protein fruits* to add to your diet (plus snack pairings to sneak in even more protein).
*All nutrition data sourced from the USDA.
1. Jackfruit (3 grams protein)
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit related to figs, and the texture of its unripe flesh is uncannily similar to pulled pork. A one-cup serving contains three grams of protein. It’s also packed with other health benefits, like three grams of fiber and 110 milligrams of heart-healthy potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, magnesium, calcium, iron and riboflavin, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A handful of spicy roasted chickpeas
2. Guava (4 grams protein)
Another tropical treat, guava contains about four grams of protein per cup, making it one of the higher-protein fruits you’ll find. The naturally super-sweet fruit also contains plenty of vitamin C and fiber, especially if you eat the skin and seeds (which you can and should!).
Protein-rich snack pairing: A few slices of sharp cheddar cheese
3. Avocado (3 grams protein)
You probably already know that avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats, but did you know it also contains three grams of protein in each cupful? According to Cedars-Sinai, it’s also rich in fiber, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins C, E and K. The combination of fat and fiber will keep you full, too.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A scoop of homemade trail mix
4. Apricot (2 grams protein)
One cup of raw (not dried) apricot will give you two grams of protein. The stone fruit is also a good source of potassium and vitamins A, C and E for eye and skin health, per WebMD. The fiber in both the flesh and skin can aid digestion and keep you satisfied, too.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A small handful of roasted almonds
5. Blackberries (2 grams protein)
Surprisingly, one cup of raw blackberries contains about two grams of protein (and a whopping eight grams of fiber). You’ll also find nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, plus high levels of free-radical-fighting antioxidants and brain-boosting polyphenols.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A half-cup of Greek yogurt
6. Kiwi (2 grams protein)
One cup of kiwi has about two grams of protein, and as long as you clean the skin well, you can reap its fiber-rich benefits too. Kiwi also contains a lot of vitamin C, potassium and phosphorus, as well as iron.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A serving of low-fat cottage cheese
7. Cherries (1.6 grams protein)
Summer’s most delicious treat has about 1.6 grams of protein per cup (pitted, naturally). They’re a great source of potassium, which can regulate blood pressure and is essential to muscle function, and they have lots of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries are also rich in melatonin, which can help you get a restful night’s sleep. (And when they’re not in season, you can buy them frozen for blending into smoothies.)
Protein-rich snack pairing: Almond butter toast
8. Raisins (1 gram protein)
Since they’re higher in sugar than raw fruit, one serving of raisins is only an ounce (womp, womp). But that small amount still contains about one gram of protein, plus tons of fiber and potassium. Raisins also have a decent amount of iron, which can help prevent anemia.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A small serving of roasted mixed nuts
9. Bananas (1.6 grams protein)
You’ve heard that bananas are high in potassium (eat one for a leg cramp!) but they also contain about 1.6 grams of protein in each cup. They’re a convenient source of fiber, prebiotics, vitamins A, B6 and C, and magnesium. And FYI, you should be eating those stringy bits (aka phloem bundles): They’re like the pathway for all the nutrients inside the fruit.
Protein-rich snack pairing: A couple tablespoons of peanut butter
10. Grapefruit (1.3 grams protein)
One cup of sunny grapefruit contains 1.3 grams of protein, not to mention less than 100 calories. Like other citrus fruits, it’s packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as bone-building calcium and iron. And according to WebMD, the citric acid in grapefruit may prevent kidney stones (it binds to excess calcium in the body, which can lead to the painful condition).
Protein-rich snack pairing: A few spoonfuls of salted pistachios