Hungry? You Should Always Have These 26 Protein-Rich Foods In Your Kitchen

They say that if it’s in front of us (or hiding in our cupboard in a not-very-good hiding spot), we’ll eat it: chocolate, potato chips, and other snacks that aren’t the healthiest.

After all, when’s the last time our doctor told us to increase our daily dose of Fritos? If your doctor did give you a list of healthy foods he or she thought you should have on hand, what would they be?

Well, great news—I did the research in case you haven’t made it to your nutritionist lately. Here are 26 of the healthiest foods you should try to keep on hand in case of a low-blood-sugar-and-must-eat-something-right-now emergency (as well as to satiate everyday hunger without feeling guilty for binging on carrots versus those aforementioned potato chips).

1. Baby Carrots

Yes, your parents probably raised you by saying carrots are good for your eyes and skin, and they were right. They also have lots of other benefits, including vitamins C and K, potassium, and fiber. Plus, they’re naturally sweet. So put that candy away and buy some carrots instead!

2. Olives

Yes, having a jar or can on hand can help your heart, since they’re good for it since they contain monounsaturated fats



3. Avocados

Yes, they have fat… but the good kind! Plus, they have fiber and are filling. You can get 20 percent of your daily fiber in just a ½ cup serving.

4. Mushrooms

Some people use them as a substitute for beef (since they have substance and way less calories than meat), not to mention they’re full of nutrients like niacin, vitamin D, and potassium.

5. Fresh Herbs

Herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, etc are not only great accents for other dishes, but you can snack on them plain, add to salads and more – get creative!

6. Kale & Spinach

Kale has tons of vitamins (A, C, K, B6) and spinach has lots of phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamin B, so no matter which you choose, you’re body is in great hands.

7. Beans

Grab a can (kidney beans or chickpeas, for instance) and the protein is guaranteed to make you full. You can add the beans to anything: salads, season them and make them into a side dish, sprinkle them on a main course (like chicken)… The possibilities are endless!

8. Lentils & Barley

Like beans, if fiber and protein is what you’re after, look no further than lentils!

9. Quinoa

Protein central… and you can add it to fruit to make it sweeter, versus just serving it as a typical savory side dish.

10. Whole-Grain Pasta

Why have non-whole-grain pasta when this is such an easy way to add more grains to your life?

11. Chia Seeds

Yep, chia seeds are all the rage lately, and their antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids are a bonus.

12. Tumeric

Some people add it to milk when they are sick, and it makes great sense. Tumeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory and said to have many medicinal purposes.

13. Sardines, Salmon, & Tuna

Hail the fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may also help reduce anxiety.

14. Chicken

If you’re not a fish fan, have no fear… chicken’s here -and has lots of protein!

15. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVVO)

Lots of monounsaturated fat can be found in EVOO and it comes in all kinds of fun flavors these days, too! I personally love the blood orange.


16. Coconut Oil

This anti-inflammatory seems to be everywhere lately, on store shelves, in recipes, you name it. It also helps boost your metabolism. A friend recently made chocolate chip cookies with it instead of shortening and—yum, the coconut/chocolate chip combo!

17. Nuts

Walnuts and almonds are both excellent sources of protein and fiber; walnuts have the omega-3 fatty acids and are good for your heart, while almonds have magnesium, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin E, to name a few.

18. Nuts… In Butter Form!

Yes, peanut and almond butter are a fun way to get some protein and fiber, even just a spoonful!

19. Apples

We’re getting into perfect apple-picking season, with Halloween right around the corner and people bobbing for apples. What a great way to get in some fiber and vitamin C.

20. Bananas

Not only do they have potassium, but they’re also rich in fiber and vitamins B6 and C.

21. Oranges

Yes, get your daily dose of vitamin C from a tasty orange vs. sugary, artificial orange-flavored juices and snacks.

22. Eggs

Maybe you grew up having your family make you eggs each morning, or maybe you make your own family some now. In any case, you can’t go wrong with the protein.

23. Oatmeal

Of course, you may not want eggs every day, so that’s where oatmeal comes in. Yes, it has the soluble fiber we need. Plus, it’ll help keep our hearts healthy!

24. Coffee & Green Tea

Not only will coffee and green tea help wake you up in the morning, but their antioxidants are great for you.

green tea photo
Photo by Dano

25. Greek Yogurt

It seems there’s more Greek yogurt on store shelves these days than the old-fashioned, non-Greek kind… and for good reason. Not only is it creamy and delicious, but it provides lots of probiotics, protein, and calcium. You can substitute fatty things, like sour cream, with Greek yogurt and even make your own.

26. Milk

Just like when you were growing up, milk does do a body good! Besides, who can forget the catchy ad campaigns from the ’80s?

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