Round, white and perfect, the egg is an ideal protein-delivery system. It can anchor a breakfast, slide into a sandwich at lunch, and beef up a dinnertime salad. And with 6 grams of protein per orb, it’s an ideal food for those who want to stay selfie-ready all summer: Protein fuels your muscles, boosts your metabolism, and keeps your hunger under control. In fact, in one study, women who ate a high-protein afternoon snack had lower levels of hunger and ate less at their next meal than those who ate a low-protein snack with the same amount of calories.
But as versatile as an egg may be, it’s hard to keep up your Humpty Dumpty enthusiasm, especially when the thermometer pushes past 80. Fortunately, there are a number of surprising superfoods that pack even more protein than eggs; some can even combine with the ubiquitous ovoid to provide a double-strength protein punch. Here’s Eat This, Not That! magazine’s list of Surprising Foods with More Protein Than an Egg. And to blast fat fast—and finally reveal your six-pack, once and for all—pair the superfoods with these 7 Eating Habits That Will Uncover Your Abs!
Amount of Protein: 8 g per 1 oz slice
Here’s an excuse for a wine-and-cheese hour: The schmancy Swiss cheese (don’t forget the accented ‘e’) contains 30% more protein than an egg in one slice, plus one-third of your RDA of vitamin A.
How to Enjoy It: If you’re looking to indulge, keep your serving to the size of four dice—and if you’re pairing it with wine, moderate your vino to one glass for women, two glasses for men, to get the bad-cholesterol-lowering benefits of the antioxidant resveratrol. But if you’re not quite ready to limit your Lambrusco, get motivated to kick soda to the curb with our exclusive report on the 5 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Give Up Soda!
Amount of Protein: 27 g per cup
Native to the Middle East, kamut, also known as Khorsan wheat, is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein and low in calories—and it may replace quinoa as your new, trendy ancient grain. A half-cup serving has 30% more protein than regular wheat, with only 140 calories. And kamut reduces cholesterol, blood sugar and cytokines, which cause inflammation throughout the body, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. “This whole grain has plenty to offer,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD. “It packs in a good source of zinc, iron and B-vitamins, all of which will help keep your energy levels high so you can burn more calories throughout the day, aiding your weight-loss efforts.”
How to Enjoy It: Toss it into salads or eat it as a side dish on its own. And if you’re looking for a quick way to turbocharge your own weight-loss, sip your way thin with the new 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Diet and Cleanse. Test panelists lost up to 10 pounds in just one week!
Amount of Protein: 21 g per cup
You know that beans and legumes are an excellent source of fiber and protein—but they also keep you from snacking more. Researchers found that subjects who consumed ¾ to 1 cup of legumes daily felt as much as 31 percent fuller than those who abstained, according to a review published in Obesity. And since chickpeas keep most of their protein content when they’re converted to flour, getting in your daily dose of filling protein is even easier.
How to Enjoy It: High in iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber, chickpea flour is an excellent gluten-free option to use in cooking and baking.
Amount of Protein: 10 g per bunch
Spinach is an amazing source of lean-muscle-building iron, calcium and a surprising amount of protein. It’s also rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and folate, which reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis.
How to Enjoy It: Hit the salad bar after a workout—and build muscle fast by mixing the ultimate power bowl. “When making your salad,” says Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, “choose nutrient-rich greens like romaine, spinach or mixed greens, a fruit like mandarin oranges or raisins to provide a source of quick-absorbing carbs, and a lean protein such as tuna or grilled chicken, beans or quinoa. Top it off with balsamic vinaigrette or olive oil and vinegar to help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.” Be sure you’re adding the right toppings, and keep your belly toned and tight—in no time flat—with these essential 7 Best Foods for Rapid Weight Loss!
Amount of Protein: 12 g per cup
Almonds and walnuts get all the attention, but these crunchy seeds are an underrated winner. One cup contains twice as much protein as an egg and is high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and immune-system-boosting zinc.
How to Enjoy Them: Try Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Fig Granola. Because of their sugar content, most granolas are guilty until proven innocent. But this one checks out, using only a modest amount of the sweet stuff, while the combination of pumpkin seeds, figs and ancient grains steadies your energy levels for only 140 calories.
Amount of Protein: 8 g per cup
Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which studies show can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Just one cup of the sun-dried version will lend you 7 grams of fiber, ¾ of your RDA of potassium—which is essential for heart health and tissue repair—and 50% of your RDA of vitamin C, the superstar antioxidant that prevents DNA damage. They’re also rich in vitamins A and K.
How to Enjoy Them: Use them as a pizza topping, a tangy addition to salads, or snack on them right out of the bag. Or mix them right into an omelet for a power-packed protein breakfast. For more combos that double the fat-blasting, don’t miss these 7 Food Pairings That Dial Up Your Weight Loss!
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