The 10 Grains with the Highest Protein Content

The Beet

Don’t let their small size fool you, grains are rich in iron, calcium and B vitamins but also high in protein! Grains are a vital addition to any breakfast, lunch or dinner recipe, to fill you up and satisfy you. Start your day with oatmeal (it packs the highest protein per ounce of any grain on the planet) or cornmeal pancakes or try making popped sorghum instead of popcorn for your next movie night. Read on for more on how to become a great grain lover.

The average woman needs about 45 to 50 grams of protein a day and the average man requires 10 grams more than that. To calculate how much protein you need in your daily diet, do this simple equation: Calculate 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound woman, that’s about 55 grams of protein per day. For a 170-pound man, the RDA would be 61 grams of protein per day. Athletes may need up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, so if you are training hard for something you could double that number.

The 10 Highest Protein Grains to Add to Your Diet

Oats have 26.4 grams of protein per cup or 4.7 grams per ounce.

1. Oats

Oats can be used in much more than oatmeal. Make protein oat muffins with oat flower. In Great Britain, Beer is actually made from oats.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 26.4g
  • Calories – 607
  • Carbs – 103g
  • Calcium – 84.3mg

Buckwheat has 22.5 grams of protein per cup or 3.7 grams per ounce.

2. Buckwheat

Although buckwheat is prepared like a grain, it is technically a seed. You might think buckwheat is off limits if you are gluten-free, but don’t let the name fool you. It is completely gluten-free!. Buckwheat noodles make a great base for an asian salad.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 22.5g
  • Calories – 583
  • Carbs – 122g
  • Calcium – 30.6mg

Cornmeal has 22.5 grams of protein per cup or 3.7 grams per ounce.

3. Cornmeal

Cornmeal is famously known to be the star ingredient in cornbread, but it can also be used in pancakes. Check out the Minimalist Baker recipe for Vegan Cornmeal Pancakes for your next breakfast.

1 cup (whole-grain, yellow) equals

  • Protein – 9.9g
  • Calories – 442
  • Carbs – 93.8g
  • Calcium – 7.3mg

Sorghum has 21.7 grams of protein per cup or 3.2 per ounce.

4. Sorghum

Sorghum can be popped just like corn. The process is simple and the product is healthy. To pop: Heat a pan and throw in the tiny sorghum grains. You don’t need to put any oil in the pan but olive oil or avocado oil are tasty choices.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 21.7g
  • Calories – 651
  • Carbs – 143g
  • Calcium – 53.8mg

Teff has 9.8 grams of protein per cup or 1.1 grams per ounce.

5. Teff

Teff was originally a grass grown in northern Africa, but now you can buy it everywhere. One cup of cooked Teff has 123 mg of calcium, which is the same amount as a 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach. Teff is great in porridge and desserts. Sneak in some protein to your next Vegan Banana Bread recipe with teff flour.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 9.8g
  • Calories – 255
  • Carbs – 50.0g

Amaranth has 9.3 grams of protein per cup or 1.1 grams per ounce.

6. Amaranth

Amaranth is actually a seed but is categorized as a grain for it’s starchy consistency. Use it instead of hot cereal or as a warm grain in your salad bowl.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 9.3g
  • Calories – 251
  • Carbs – 46.0g
  • Calcium – 116mg

Quinoa has 8.1 grams of protein per cup or 1.2 grams per ounce.

7. Quinoa

Quinoa belongs to the same family as spinach and beets. The quinoa you grab at the grocery store is actually the seeds from the quinoa plant. Order it in your salad to add fiber, protein and filling grain to your plate.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 8.1g
  • Calories – 222
  • Carbs – 39.4g
  • Calcium – 31.5mg

Wild Rice has 6.5 grams of protein per cup or 1.1 grams per ounce.

8. Wild Rice

Wild rice is a food to always keep on hand since it doesn’t expire if properly stored in a cool, dry place. Once cooked, wild rice can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for six months.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 6.5g
  • Calories – 166
  • Carbs – 35 g
  • Calcium – 4.9 mg

Couscous has 5.9 grams of protein per cup or just under 1.1 grams per ounce.

9. Couscous

Couscous is technically pasta (who knew?) but is often associated with grains because of its small size. Couscous was traditionally shaped by hand and you can still buy the hand made ones, which are more interesting than the processed shaped ones.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 5.9g
  • Calories – 176
  • Carbs – 36.5g
  • Calcium – 12.6mg

Kamut has 4 grams of protein per cup or 1.8 grams per ounce.

10. Kamut

Kamut, or Oreintal wheat, is an ancient grain that first came from the area that is now Afghanistan. It has a rich nutty and buttery taste. If you’re planning on serving kamut for dinner, make sure you plan ahead, since you need to soak this grain for at least 12 hours, or overnight, before cooking.

1 cup equals

  • Protein – 11.1 g
  • Calories – 251
  • Carbs – 52.4g

Read More: The 10 Highest Protein Grains to Add to Your Diet |