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20 Proteinous Foods in Nigeria

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Proteinous foods play many vital roles in the body; they are required for the proper functioning, structure, and regulation of organs and tissues in the body. Simply put, proteins are body-building food; they help regenerate new cells and maintain the function of the cells. 

However, as you may already know, Nigeria has a wide variety of nutritious foods, and many people can easily list many carbohydrate foods they know because they are prevalent. However, the narrative will be different for proteinous foods. So if you are looking for proteinous foods in Nigeria, look no further because this guide has a list of 20 protein-rich foods you can easily get in Nigeria.

See also: 14 Incredible Health Benefits Of Coconut

20 Proteinous Foods in Nigeria

1. Beef

Beef is one of the most delicious and common proteinous foods in Nigeria; it has so many nutritional benefits. However, you will get more protein content from lean beef than from fatty cuts of meat. Three ounces (85g) of cooked beef with 10% fat has approximately 184 calories with 22 grams of proteins which means the protein content is 53% of the total calories. 

Proteinous foods

2. Egg

Eggs are very nutritious and high in protein because they contain all the amino acids needed in the body. Eggs have 35% protein, and it is essential to know that the egg white contains about 60% of its protein while the yolk contains most of the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. 

3. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is another excellent protein-rich food; the reason is that most of the calories in chicken breast are undiluted protein, making up about 80% of it. Grilled chicken breast without its skin comprises 248 calories and has 50 grams of protein. 

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4. Milk

If you are looking for one of the proteinous foods in Nigeria that is very easy to acquire, milk would be the perfect option. Milk contains a small amount of every nutrient the human body needs, and its protein content is up to 21% of its total calories. So you can get 8 grams of protein from 1 cup of whole milk, which contains about 149 calories.

5. Ewedu

Ewedu is usually eaten with gbegiri (bean soup) in the western part of Nigeria; it is one of the few vegetables with a reasonable amount of protein, and its protein content increases when paired with bean soup. 

6. Tofu

Tofu is a plant-based protein made from soybean; it is a protein-rich food with several nutrients. A 100g of tofu has about 70 calories with 8g of proteins and other valuable nutrients. It is also called ‘Soya wara’ or ‘beske’ in some regions and is much like wara.

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7. Cottage Cheese

There are different types of cheese with unique nutritional benefits, but cottage cheese is one of the protein-rich foods you can try in Nigeria. It has a very high protein content which is about 59% of its total calories, and it is also low in fat and calories. Cottage cheese of 194 calories contains 27 grams of protein. 

8. Fish

Fish is filled with various nutrients that are beneficial for the body, and it is very delicious. It is one of the most popular proteinous foods in Nigeria. Aside from protein, fish contains selenium, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, and much more. The amount of protein in fish depends on the type of fish, but they are all protein-rich foods.

9. Okra

Okra is another popular protein-rich food in Nigeria that is both nutritious and low in calories. They have a relatively high protein content compared to other vegetables, so much so that 100 grams of okra contains 33 calories and 1.9g of protein.

Proteinous foods

10. Beans/ Moimoi/ Gbegiri/ Akara

Beans come in different types and delicacies, all of which are proteinous foods filled with high fiber content. You can get at least 20% of your required daily protein intake from just 1 cup of beans. So if you are looking for a healthy replacement for meat, beans can come in handy.

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11. Almonds

Almonds are one of the most nutritious proteinous foods in Nigeria; they have the highest amount of protein amongst other nuts. Aside from the high protein content, they are also loaded with many key nutrients like manganese, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. Almonds’ protein content is about 13% of their total calories; 28g of almonds has 161 calories and contains 6 grams of protein. 

12. Snail

Snails are delicious and rich in protein and other crucial nutrients, including iron, selenium, and vitamin B12, to name a few. They are very low in calories; 100g of snail serving contains 90 calories and 16.5 grams of protein. 

13. Crayfish

Crayfish is one of Nigeria’s healthiest and most delicious proteinous foods; it is packed with proteins and many other nutrients. The best part is that they do not just add proteins to your diet; they also have one of the best flavours that can enrich the taste of your meals. 100 grams of crayfish contains 18g of proteins and 87 calories.

14. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small but mighty and have numerous benefits; they are packed with a lot of nutritional punch and a high protein content compared to other plants. You can get 4 grams of protein and 137 calories from just two tablespoons of chia seeds. They can be added to your meals and smoothies to increase the protein content in your diet. 

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Groundnut / Peanuts / Peanut Butter

Groundnut, peanuts, or peanut butter is delicious and one of the best proteinous foods in Nigeria; it is very high in fibre and other valuable nutrients. 28 grams of groundnut has approximately 7 grams of protein with 159 calories. 


Sardine is also very common in Nigeria; it is rich in protein and also a significant source of natural calcium. 92 grams of sardine has about 23 grams of absorbable protein and is a host of beneficial nutrients like vitamins B12 and D. 

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Quinoa is one of Nigeria’s oldest and most popular proteinous foods; the grain is high in protein, fibre, and other crucial minerals and vitamins. 185 grams of cooked quinoa has 222 calories ad 8 grams of protein, about 15% of its total calories. 

Proteinous foods

Egusi/ Melon Seed

Egusi is one of the most popular soups in Nigeria; it is made from protein-rich melon seeds with plenty of other vitamins and health benefits. The protein content in melon seeds is about 12% of their total calories. 


Tuna is a type of fish that is low in calories and fat. It is a pure source of protein, and like other types of fish, it contains an ample amount of omega-3 fatty acids and other vital nutrients. 154g of canned tuna has about 179 calories and 39 grams of protein. 


Shrimp is a fantastic seafood rich in protein and contains various nutrients like vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. 85g of cooked shrimp has 18 grams of proteins and 84 calories. Protein occupies 82% of the total calories in shrimp. 

See also: 20 Foods High In Zinc

The importance of proteinous foods in our diet cannot be over-emphasized. Aside from their essential functions in the body, it is also necessary for other purposes like weight loss and muscle building. It may also interest you to know that your nails, skin, muscles, bones, hair, and some hormones are made up of proteins, so the body can not function well without them.

If you have not been consuming enough proteins, this is the best time to change your diet, and this guide has given you the best ideas for protein-rich foods in Nigeria for a better and healthier life. 


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