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What do we need protein for and which foods are rich in protein?

Proteins are important building blocks for our body. As the body's cells are being constantly renewed, proteins should not be missing from our diet. However, protein requirements should not be overestimated – most of us consume more protein than we need.
But which foods have a lot of protein? Particularly protein-rich foods include animal products such as:
  • milk and dairy products,
  • eggs,
  • meat and fish.
Our body can utilize animal-derived proteins especially well because they contain many essential protein building blocks. But pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and soya products (e.g. tofu and soya milk) also contain valuable proteins. Nuts, seeds and kernels, as well as cereal and cereal products (e.g. bread, pasta and oats) also contain proteins.

Do we need animal proteins to cover our protein requirements?

Person cutting tofu on a wooden board
It is possible to meet our protein requirements solely via plant-based sources of protein. In addition to protein, these plant-based protein sources also supply us with other valuable nutrients such as dietary fibre, secondary plant constituents, vitamins and minerals.

Why high-protein products are so popular

Foods with a high protein content, known as high-protein products, are very popular for many different reasons: high levels of physical activity, pregnancy or breastfeeding all lead to an increased protein requirement. People who consume a vegan diet also rely on protein-rich plant-based foods. High-protein products are also popular with people on low-carb diets. Take a look at our guides, too – you will find plenty of interesting articles about high-protein foods there.