Natural Source of Protein

Natural Sources of Protein


By far, the best place to get the protein that your body needs is from natural sources. Taking protein supplements like whey protein can be valuable for individuals that have severe deficiencies. However, it is highly recommended that you get as much of your protein as possible from the foods that you consume.

Provided in this article are good natural sources of protein that you can enjoy every day. Please use this article as a reference if you are having a difficult time deciding on which foods to eat to get your daily requirement of protein.

Protein is the most important nutrient for your muscles. It helps them to increase in size and power and regenerate the tissue that is damaged during exercise. Protein is not a very reliable fuel source for the body.

If you are not getting enough carbohydrates in your diet, protein is transformed into carbohydrates by your body and can no longer be used to build or repair muscles. You should have a diet that consists of 1.4 – 1.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight every day. This requirement amounts to about 20% of your daily caloric intake.

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • Always choose natural, fresh products with little or no preservatives/unnatural additives over canned or processed products.

  • Choose tuna that is packed in water or olive oil to avoid the consumption of unhealthy fats.

  • Cooking fruits and vegetables may cause nutrients to be removed. Eat raw if you can.

  • Canning beans, vegetables, etc. may cause nutrients to be removed. Eat fresh if you can.

  • Try to choose animal products that come from animals that were fed a vegetarian diet and that were not kept in cages.

Natural Sources of Protein
Food Item Serving Size Amount of Protein (g)

1 oz 5 g

1 medium 1 g

1 medium 2 g

Beans, black
1/2 cup 8 g

Beans, garbanzo
1/2 cup 7 g

Beans, green
1/2 cup 1 g

Beans, pinto
1/2 cup 7 g

3 oz, cooked 27 g

Beef, ground
3 oz 26 g

1/2 cup 1 g

Cheese, American
1 oz 7 g

Cheese, cottage, low-fat
1 cup 28 g

Chicken breast
3 oz 19 g

Chicken, dark meat
3 oz 27 g

1/2 cup 2 g

1 large 6 g

Green peas
1/2 cup 4 g

1 oz 6 g

Ice Cream
1 cup 5 g

Milk, skim
1 cup 8 g

Milk, whole
1 cup 8 g

1 medium 2 g

Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp. 8 g

Pork Chops
3 oz 25 g

1/2 cup 1 g

3 oz, cooked 17 g

Sesame Seeds
1 oz 8 g

3 oz 7 g

3 oz, drained 22 g

Turkey Breast
3 oz 26 g

Turkey, dark meat
3 oz 24 g

Veggie Burger
3 oz 26 g

Yogurt, low-fat
1 cup 11 g

Types of Protein

Proteins, or amino acids, can be divided into two categorizes. The first amino acid category is related to the manner in which the human body obtains them. There are 9 amino acids that are considered essential because they are obtained only from the food that an individual consumes. On the other hand, there are 13 amino acids that are considered nonessential because they are manufactured by the human body.


The second category that proteins are classified under is related to the number of essential amino acids that they contain. Complete proteins are comprised of all of the essential amino acids, while, on the other hand, incomplete proteins contain only subsets of the essential amino acids and must be combined with other complimentary proteins.

Protein is a major structural component within every cell within the human body, and is critical for cellular growth, repair and maintenance. In addition, all human bodily tissue (i.e. organs, bones, muscles, and skin) contain their own set of proteins that are required to perform their various functions.

The amount of daily protein intake required by an individual varies based on their weight or, more specifically, their lean muscle mass. As a general rule of thumb, an individual with a healthy body weight and composition should consume approximately 0.4 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. For example, a 150 pound individual should consume approximately 60 grams of protein on a daily basis.

Protein sources include animal meats, plant foods (i.e. grains and legumes) and dairy products like milk and yogurt. The amount of protein in a food is measured in grams and 1 gram of protein = 4 calories.

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