Are you getting enough protein? Most sources suggest it should make up about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories. If you’re active and athletic, you might want to aim for the higher end, since protein is essential for repairing muscles. So what are the best ways to bump up your intake?

Lean meats like chicken and turkey breast, fish, pork and beef are all great sources, and protein powder is another way to increase your haul, but the good news is that if you know what foods provide the most punch, you can pump up your protein without much hassle. Here’s how.

Put an egg on it

One of the simplest ways to pack more protein is by adding an egg or two to your meal. A large egg has about 6 grams of protein. Next time you make a simple salad, add a hard-boiled egg on the side, or poach an egg and add it to your ramen or soup. Or try this recipe using our Mighty Masala.

Go tofu

At around 1 gram of protein per 7.4 calories, tofu is an efficient source. Also, it doesn’t really have a taste, so you can add it to almost anything—stir fries, soup, omelets—and you won’t even know it’s there, though your mitochondria will.

Dairy does it

Some types of dairy make great sources, and when you pick a lower fat option you’re getting a solid protein to calorie ratio. Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt cheese are among the best. Why not sub them in for sour cream or other fatty sauces on your burritos or nacho dip? Skim milk is also a good source, with 8 grams of protein per cup. And low-fat mozzarella—add it to a sandwich and life is instantly better.

It’s better with beans and legumes

Good news for vegans and vegetarians: beans and legumes have plenty of protein. Next time you make soup, tacos or salad, add a few hundred grams of black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, white beans or lentils to the mix. Here’s my favourite soup ever, featuring lentils of the red variety.

Eat beef jerky

This one’s easy! Go for a natural, low-sodium version or make your own!

Go nuts (and seeds)

Adding a handful of nuts or seeds is a solid source of protein. Do you like porridge? It’s even better with toasted almonds or walnuts tossed in. Pumpkin seeds are another surprising source, with 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of seeds. Or sprinkle sunflower seeds or peanuts on your salad and give your body a boost.

Which are you going to try first? Share with us in the comments below!
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