Proteins are large molecules composed of long chains of amino acids. They are building blocks for cells, tissues, and organs, and play a role in regulating metabolic processes, immune defense, and signal transmission, among other functions.
Fruits are not particularly good sources of protein for nutrition. However, fruits can be a healthy addition to a protein-rich diet as they contain many important vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Nevertheless, there are some types of fruit that surprisingly contain high amounts of protein. In the table above, you can see fruit that is rich in protein.
Fruits With High Protein Content
We will now take a closer look at some types of fruit that have higher protein content compared to others:
- Avocados contain more protein compared to other types of fruit and are also rich in healthy fats. An avocado contains about 4g of protein.
- Guavas are one of the few types of fruit that contain all essential amino acids and therefore have a high protein content.
- A large peach contains up to 2g of protein and is also rich in vitamin C and dietary fibers.
- A medium-sized nectarine contains about 1.5g of protein.
- A cup of raspberries contains about 1.5g of protein and is also rich in dietary fibers and antioxidants.
- Bananas are particularly known as a potassium-rich food. A medium-sized banana contains about 1g of protein, along with a lot of energy.
- Kiwis contain approximately 1g of protein per fruit, along with dietary fibers and vitamin C.
- Pomegranates contain proteins in addition to antioxidants and dietary fibers.
- Strawberries, along with vitamin C and antioxidants, are also a good source of protein. One cup of strawberries contains about 1g of protein.
While dried fruits are typically rich in fiber and vitamins, they contain very little protein. The drying process can lead to nutrient concentration and increased sugar content, but the protein content remains relatively the same. Therefore, dried fruits are more of a complement to other protein-rich foods.
Protein-rich fruits alone are not sufficient to meet the body's daily protein requirement. Incorporate additional protein-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains into a vegan diet to meet the protein needs. Also, utilize the linked tables:
- protein-rich nuts and seeds
- protein-rich legumes
- protein-rich grains
- protein-rich vegetables
- protein-rich mushrooms
- protein-rich herbs and spices
- protein-rich beverages
Fruits With BCAAs?
BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are a group of three essential amino acids, namely leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are of great importance for protein synthesis and muscle building.
Guava contains all three BCAAs and is one of the best fruit sources of leucine. Other fruits like guavas, kiwis, bananas, and mangoes also contain lower amounts of BCAAs. Compared to other protein-rich foods, the BCAA content in fruits is very low.
Supplementing A Protein-rich Diet With Fruits
While fruit is not known for its high protein content, it can still be part of a protein-rich diet when consumed in combination with other protein-rich foods. Here are some ways you can incorporate fruit into your protein-rich diet:
- You can garnish a fruit salad with chopped almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds to increase the protein content.
- Use plant-based protein powders like pea protein, rice protein, or hemp protein to boost the protein content of your smoothie.
- Nuts and seeds are a great protein-rich addition to fruit. For example, sprinkle chopped almonds or hemp seeds on your cereal.
- Some fruits like bananas and apples can be used as a substitute for flour in baking recipes. For instance, you can make a protein-rich banana pancake by mixing bananas with oats and protein powder.
- Some fruits like bananas and apples can be used as a flour substitute in baking recipes. For example, you can make a protein-rich banana pancake by mixing bananas with oats and protein powder.
- There are many recipes for homemade protein bars that include fruit as an ingredient. For instance, you can combine bananas, peanut butter, and protein powder to create a delicious bar.