Fruits are an essential component of any healthy diet. Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard vegan or a steak loving omnivore, humans need a regular intake of fruit for a well-balanced diet. Fruits aren’t just sweet and sugary; many high protein fruits are delicious and nutritious too!
The classic recommendation is that we need at least 5 servings of fruit and veg a day. Adding high protein fruits, such as guavas or avocados, to your diet is a great way to supplement your protein intake while also adding extra fiber (and taste) to that daily intake.
For veggies or vegans, high protein fruit is an especially important addition to the diet, but anyone else, too, can benefit from a little added protein and sweetness in their life. Keep reading to discover which fruits are the best sources of protein!
How much protein should we consume?
Protein is an essential macronutrient. All human beings require large quantities of protein in order to function as human beings. We need protein to repair muscles, to repair damaged tissues, and to replace cells. We need protein for bodily functions, including important immune responses that create antibodies and fight off nasty viruses (you know the virus we’re talking about).
Without protein, our bodies wouldn’t get very far at all!
For this reason, it’s essential that we keep our bodies topped up with protein. A person of average size and height requires a minimum of 50 grams of protein per day just to function. This goes up if you’re highly active, lifting weights, are frequently exercising, or (unfortunately) are sick.
Traditionally, that source of protein has come from meat or fish. Food such as chicken is naturally high in protein. 100 grams of chicken (½ a cup of chicken) can contain 27 grams of protein. 100 grams of shrimp contains a similar amount, while a single boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein.
For vegetarians and vegans, though, protein has traditionally been thought of as difficult to source. That’s simply not the case, though, because protein substitutes such as tofu contain 10 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Pinto beans contain 20 grams per 100 grams, while lentils contain 9 grams per 100 grams.
Is there protein in fruit?
There are also many fruits high in protein, including classic everyday fruits such as apricots and bananas. However, it’s important to consider that what we call ‘protein-rich fruits’ never have as much protein as meats or fish, or plants high in protein such as beans and legumes.
Fruits with the most protein contain between 1 and 3 grams of protein per serving. Strawberries contain 1 gram of protein per cup, while avocados contain up to 3 grams. The protein in apple servings is much lower, though, at only 0.5 grams per apple.
What this means for the fruit-lover is that even fruit with the most protein can only be considered as a protein supplement. They are a delicious supplement, though, and of course, fruits also contain important sugars, fibers, and vitamins. But don’t try and replace your entire protein intake with fruits; it would never end well (balance is always key!).
Top 5 High protein fruits
The following list isn’t exhaustive because all types of fruits contain some level of protein. Here are the highest protein fruit options to include in your diet!
Protein in dried apricots: 3.5 grams per 100 grams
If you’re looking for fruits with high protein content, then start with dried apricots. Not only are dried apricots deliciously sweet and moreish (it’s super easy to go through a whole pack of them!), but they measure up with 3.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Dried apricots are a fantastic low calorie, high protein snack, and they are bursting with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Eat them on their own, mix them up with yogurt for breakfast, or create an apricot-rich trail mix.
Protein in avocados: 3 grams per 100 grams
Are avocados even a fruit? Yes, it turns out that avocados aren’t a vegetable, but a fruit (they have a large seed and lots of pulpy flesh, which actually classes the avocado as a type of berry).
Avocado protein is exceptionally high in comparison to other fruits, topping off at 3 grams per 100 grams. Avocados are filling but are also full of healthy oils and fats that can bring cholesterol down.
There’s a lot you can do with an avocado, too, and an avocado is very different from your traditional fruits (it’s not sweet, but is creamy and savory). Why not make some great guacamole, or how about avocado on toast for breakfast?
Protein in a banana: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
Bananas are one of those classics. Despite being a tropical fruit, you can find bananas in stores all over the world.
They are well known for being a high-energy fruit (sportspeople love fuelling up with a few bananas!), but they are also rather high in protein too.
Bananas also contain a large quantity of potassium, lots of Vitamin B6 (and a little Vitamin C), and plenty of fiber!
Protein in dates: 2.5 grams per 100 grams
Dates are a deliciously addictive treat that we mostly associate with Middle Eastern cuisine and culture. Their popularity is spreading, though, and we highly recommend including dates (they are usually sold in their dried form) in your diet.
Dates are one of the best protein fruit options on the menu, containing 2.5 grams of protein per 100 grams (almost as much as avocados).
Dates are high in fiber and carbs, too, making them the best fruit to eat for more than just their protein. Enjoy dates as a tasty snack, or add them to your salads for a sweet finish.
Protein in guava: 2.6 grams per 100 grams
If you’re still wondering: ‘What fruit is high in protein that I would really love?’, then look no further than the guava! There are few people out there that can say no to juicy, juicy guava!
Guava clocks in with 2.6 grams of protein per 100 grams, so it’s up there with the other high protein fruits. We enjoy guava in its juice form, but for maximum protein, it’s best enjoyed sliced!
High protein fruits: get the fruit bowl ready!
High protein fruits are a delicious way to add extra protein into your diet, but you always need to remember that fruits are only ever a protein supplement.
Fruits that are high in protein are also healthy for many other reasons too, though, and you’ll find that a fruit-rich diet is fantastic for keeping healthy and fresh!
Why not bookmark our guide to the best high protein fruits, so you can enjoy a healthy, balanced diet?