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Protein is a vital nutrient that the body uses to build and repair tissues and boost immunity. While meat is a common source of protein, many other delicious foods are also high in this nutrient. Here are six protein-packed foods to add to your meals.

1. Beans

Beans are a delicious and versatile food you can incorporate into many meals. They are a rich source of protein, providing all the vital amino acids your body requires. In addition, beans are high in fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. This combination of nutrients makes them an excellent food for overall health.

2. Chickpeas

Chickpeas—also known as garbanzo beans—are a great source of plant-based protein and can be used in a variety of meals. They are an excellent meatless choice for vegetarians and vegans, as they provide a substantial amount of essential nutrients. Chickpeas are also high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a healthy protein alternative. Additionally, chickpeas can be cooked in a variety of ways such as roasted chickpeas, hummus or falafel.

3. Quinoa

Quinoa is a delicious and nutritious grain. Quinoa can be cooked and eaten like rice or other grains. Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients, making it a great addition to any meal. You can use it in sweet or savory dishes.

4. Lentils

Lentils are a type of legume often overlooked as a source of protein. However, they are an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing 18 grams per cooked cup. Lentils are also a good source of fiber, iron, and folate. They can be incorporated into various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and veggie burgers. Lentils are relatively easy to cook and can be a great addition to any meal.

5. Eggs

While often associated with breakfast, eggs are a versatile food you can enjoy anytime. Packed with protein and other nutrients, they make an excellent addition to any meal. You can enjoy eggs by hard-boiling them and adding them to salads or sandwiches, or frying them to add on top of rice bowls or noodles. Another option is to create a healthy frittata or quiche for a satisfying lunch or dinner. Or, try scrambling some eggs and adding some chopped veggies for a quick and easy snack. No matter how you prepare them, eggs are a delicious and nutritious way to fuel your body.

6. Nuts

Nuts are not only a delicious and satisfying snack, but they’re also packed with protein. With various flavors and textures, you can easily incorporate nuts into your meals. Add a handful of nuts to your morning oatmeal or yogurt for a quick and easy protein-packed meal. You can also use them to top salads or roasted vegetables. For a more substantial meal, try making a nut-based sauce or pesto to accompany pasta or chicken.

With so many delicious and nutritious options available, there is no excuse not to include more protein in your diet. So next time you plan a meal, include some of these protein-packed powerhouse foods.