9 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Pack Your Diet Full Of Protein

Protein. You've probably heard of it.

It's good for your heart, it helps you lose weight by curbing hunger and it provides you with lasting energy.

Women need about 46 grams of it per day while men need about 56.

We know you're probably thinking you should just grill up a steak or two for dinner.

But lean protein is generally the way to go if you want to reap all of protein's benefits without the added risk that comes with eating too much red meat.

Behold, nine ways to get more protein. Prepare to be shocked.

Blend almond butter into your smoothie.

Getty Images

Forget chemical-packed protein powders.

Pick up a jar of almond butter and spoon some into your morning smoothie -- two tablespoons has 8 grams of protein. Talk about starting your morning off right!

Split pea soup, anyone?

Getty Images

Did you know one cup of peas has eight grams of protein in it? So make some soup! Or maybe just feel a little less guilty about all the fried rice you just ate.

Eat crickets.

Getty Images

This might make your skin crawl, but there are 12.9 grams of protein in 100 grams of cricket.

Yep, those chirping little bugs are actually really good for you. But you don't have to munch on the actual insects -- pick up a cricket flour protein bar.

Have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

Getty Images

The anti-carbers of the world may have told you that pasta is the enemy, but one cup of whole wheat pasta elbows has a surprising amount of protein in it -- 7.5 grams, to be exact.

Quinoa everything.

Getty Images

You might not know how to pronounce it, but you've probably heard of this miracle grain (for the record, it's pronounced keen-wah).

One cup of uncooked quinoa has 24 grams of protein in it. It expands when it cooks and makes a lot of quinoa, so here are some ideas for how you can cook with it.

Eat lots of oatmeal.

Getty Images

Just one cup of cooked oatmeal has six grams of protein in it, and the instant stuff only takes a minute to make.

Now you have zero excuses for not having a protein-packed breakfast.

Say cheese!

Getty Images

Yes, you read that right. If you want protein, cheese is a great option -- one slice of cheddar cheese has seven grams of protein in it.

From mac and cheese to grilled cheese, the possibilities are endless.


Getty Images

Asparagus gets a weird rep. But as veggies go, this one is protein packed. You only have to eat eight spears for 3.08 grams of protein. Just imagine if you ate 16!

Bake a potato.

Getty Images

One medium baked potato has 4.3 grams of protein in it. Load some cheddar cheese on top and you're basically golden.