Getting enough protein on restrictive diets, especially vegan diets, can be challenging.
Obviously you want to focus on high protein foods, but even getting a bit extra from fruit can help.
Unfortunately, fruit is so low in protein that your choice in fruit doesn’t actually matter that much. We’ll take a quick look at how much protein is in a wide variety of fruits in this short post.
Table of Contents
How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?
You can see my full guide to vegan protein if you’d like more detail, but the gist of how much protein you need is that the optimal amount for an athlete is about 1.8g/kg (0.82g/lb).
Sedentary people need even less.
In other words, a 160 lb athlete ideally should get about 130 grams of protein, although it’s not like they’ll completely waste away with less.
How Much Protein is In Fruit?
Now that we have a reference, we can look at the amount of protein in 100 grams of fruit.
All this data is from the USDA’s nutrition database.
Most fruits have around 1 gram of protein, which clearly is quite low. Fruits are very high in carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) instead.
Putting it another way, there is 24.5 grams of protein in 2000 calories of bananas, which is very insufficient for anybody.
Which Fruits Have the Most Protein?
While it’s not a ton of protein still, there are a handful of fruits with more than 1 gram of protein per 100 gram serving.
- Jackfruit – 1.72 g
- Durian – 1.47 g
- Apricot – 1.40 g
- Blackberry – 1.39 g
- Plantain – 1.30 g
- Banana – 1.09 g
- Cherry – 1.06 g
- Nectarine – 1.06 g
If you’re just looking for an extra 5-10 grams of protein per day, it may be useful to start eating these fruits instead of low protein ones like apples.
Which Alternatives to Fruit Have More Protein?
Let’s say you’re on a restrictive diet where meat and eggs are not options for you.
At that point, the next best sources of protein are:
- Vital wheat gluten
- Protein powder (usually pea or rice)
- Legumes (beans, lentils)
- Seeds (hemp, pumpkin, flax, etc.)
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds)
Leafy greens and certain other vegetables are also decent protein sources. They don’t have much protein in them, but are also very low in calories. For example, if you could somehow eat 2,000 calories of spinach, you’d get about 220 grams of protein.
Obviously that’s not practical, but they’re very healthy and can certainly make up a chunk of your protein intake.