Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Load up on the muscle-building nutrient with these five foods:
Dried Spirulina. Fish aren't the only ocean fare packed with protein: Just two tablespoons of this dried seaweed contain an amazing eight grams of protein—all for just 40 calories. Hint: Try sprinkling spirulina over a salad, or use it to season roasted vegetables.
Roasted Soybeans. A quarter cup of this snack houses 15 grams of protein, along with a sizable dose of fiber and potassium. It's the perfect ingredient to include in a homemade trail mix.
Greek Yogurt. When it comes to protein, plain nonfat Greek yogurt knocks it out of the park: Those little plastic cups contain 17 grams of protein for only 100 calories.
Gruyere Cheese. An ounce of gruyere—a deliciously rich variety of Swiss cheese—has more than eight grams of protein. Just watch your portions, though: While a one-ounce serving contains a reasonable 117 calories, it can be easy to consume several portions if you aren't careful.
Dried Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds may be best known for their magnesium, but they're also a rich source of protein: 10 grams per quarter cup.