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18 Of The Whole Grains Highest In Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient for human health. This list of grains high in protein can certainly help you reach your daily goals.

Whole grains are unprocessed, small, hard, dry seeds with a hull. In turn, whole grains are divided into the subcategories cereals and legumes. There are also “pseudocereals” which are foods that are technically seeds but used as whole grains. This article will focus on the cereals and pseudocereals groups.

Botanically speaking legumes count as grains but this list will not include them and thus stick to “cereals” and “pseudocereals”.

Protein is used, among other things, to build and repair muscle and other tissues. You literally can’t survive if you don’t consume enough of this nutrient. Besides other nutrients, grains also generally contain a nice amount of protein.

Are grains a good source of protein?

The amounts of protein in grains per 100 grams vary a lot from type of grain to type of grain. In general, grains are more known as a source of carbs but they contain a decent amount of protein for a plant-based food source.

These nutritional values in this list are for the raw grains. When you cook a grain like rice the protein content per 100 grams goes down because it absorbs water weight.

Grains contain a decent amount of protein but you will certainly need other protein sources as well. Certain other plant-based food groups like nuts and beans and other food sources like meat generally contain more protein per 100 grams than grains.

You also have to keep in mind that plant-based protein is generally not as easy to absorb as animal-based protein (1, 2).

Something else is that not all protein is the same, it can be made of different amino acids. These are smaller building blocks of protein with varying effects. In general it is a good idea to get nutrients like protein from a variety of food groups.

Below you can find a list of grainss ranked from highest to lowest in protein per 100 grams. This ranking does not take into account total calories. If you are interested in a ranking like that you can check out the list of the best whole grains for weight loss.

Keep in mind that overdoing with protein isn’t optimal either.

1. Oats

Oats are one of the most popular whole grains in weight loss and health communities. One of the main reasons why is because oats can keep you full for a long time while providing you with important nutrients like magnesium.

Part of why oats are so filling is their relatively high protein content, the highest amount of protein of all the whole grains on this list. This is helpful for building and preserving muscle.

100 grams of raw oats contains (1):

  • Protein: 16.9 grams
  • Calories: 389
  • Carbs: 66.3 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.6 grams
  • Fat: 6.9 grams
  • Manganese: 246% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 52% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 51% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 44% of the DV
  • Copper: 31% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One of the amazing aspects of oatmeal is that it combines great with other healthy ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, and even some vegetables.

2. Einkorn

If you don’t count sweet corn as an actual whole grain, einkorn is the lowest calorie grain on this list. Einkorn grain is rather low in fiber compared to the other options in this list. Depending on your goals this can be either good or bad.

100 grams of raw einkorn contains (2):

  • Protein: 16.7 grams
  • Calories: 333
  • Carbs: 65 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.2 grams
  • Fat: 2.1 grams
  • Iron: 19% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Calcium: 13% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

3. Rye

Rye is a whole grain that is mainly grown in Europe but available around the world.

100 grams of raw rye contains (3):

  • Protein: 14.8 grams
  • Calories: 335
  • Carbs: 69.8 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 14.6 grams
  • Fat: 2.5 grams
  • Manganese: 134% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 37% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 30% of the DV
  • Zinc: 25% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Rye is used to make flour, rye whiskey, and rye beer. If your goal with consuming more protein is losing weight or optimal health you generally want to avoid rye prepared these ways.

4. Kamut

Kamut is not a very popular type of whole grain but seeing its nutrition values may persuade you to give it a try anyway.

100 grams of raw kamut contains (4):

  • Protein: 14.7 grams
  • Calories: 337
  • Carbs: 70.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 9.1 grams
  • Fat: 2.2 grams
  • Manganese: 143% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 99% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 39% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 39% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 34% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

5. Spelt

Spelt is not the most popular grain on this list but it does have the ability to help you consume more protein and provide you with some important nutrients.

100 grams of raw spelt contains (5):

  • Protein: 14.6 grams
  • Calories: 338
  • Carbs: 71.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10.7 grams
  • Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Manganese: 149% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 40% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 34% of the DV
  • Copper: 26% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is botanically not a whole grain but described like one anyway due to how it is used. In the health and weight loss world, quinoa is quickly rising in popularity. When you boil quinoa it absorbs a lot of water. This changes the nutritional values per 100 grams considerably.

100 grams of raw quinoa contains (6):

  • Protein: 14.1 grams
  • Calories: 368
  • Carbs: 64.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 7 grams
  • Fat: 6.1 grams
  • Manganese: 102% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 49% of the DV
  • Folate: 46% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 46% of the DV
  • Copper: 30% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Boiled quinoa is a very versatile ingredient. As an example boiled quinoa is a great addition to salads.

7. Amaranth

Amaranth is a type of grain found all around the world. This whole-grain option is not that high in fiber but it can definitely provide you with a nice amount of protein.

100 grams of raw amaranth contains (7):

  • Protein: 13.6 grams
  • Calories: 371
  • Carbs: 65.7 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.7 grams
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Manganese: 167% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 62% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 56% of the DV
  • Iron: 42% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 30% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

8. Kaniwa

If you’re looking to increase your fiber intake on top of your protein intake kaniwa may be the right choice for you. Just make sure to keep an eye on the calories in kaniwa if you’re trying to lose some pounds.

100 grams of raw kaniwa contains (8):

  • Protein: 13.4 grams
  • Calories: 379
  • Carbs: 65.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 13.8 grams
  • Fat: 6.9 grams
  • Calcium: 14% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 7% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

9. Teff

Teff is one of the least popular grains on this list so it may be a challenge to get your hands on it.

100 grams of raw teff contains (9):

  • Protein: 13.3 grams
  • Calories: 367
  • Carbs: 73.1 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8 grams
  • Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Manganese: 462% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 46% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 43% of the DV
  • Iron: 42% of the DV
  • Copper: 41% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a pseudocereal which makes it naturally gluten-free but it’s always smart to check the packaging to make sure it didn’t come into contact with foods containing gluten.

100 grams of raw buckwheat contains (10):

  • Protein: 13.2 grams
  • Calories: 343
  • Carbs: 71.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 10 grams
  • Fat: 3.4 grams
  • Manganese: 65% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 58% of the DV
  • Copper: 55% of the DV
  • Niacin: 35% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 35% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Buckwheat is one of the most common grain options to make noodles in East-Asia. You can also use buckwheat to make pasta.

11. Barley

Barley is one of the more widely cultivated whole grains on this list. One explanation for this may be that barley is commonly used to make beer, whiskey, and bread.

100 grams of raw barley contains (11):

  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Calories: 354
  • Carbs: 73.5 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 17.3 grams
  • Fat: 2.3 grams
  • Manganese: 97% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 54% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 43% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 33% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

12. Freekeh

Although freekeh is not the most popular whole grain, you can likely order it online if you want to try it out.

100 grams of raw freekeh contains (12):

  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Calories: 352
  • Carbs: 60 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 11.2 grams
  • Fat: 4.5 grams
  • Manganese: 150% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 50% of the DV
  • Niacin: 35% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 35% of the DV
  • Copper: 28% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

13. Bulgur

Bulgur may not be the most popular whole grain but it can be helpful if you are trying to consume more protein.

One nutritional detail of bulgur that really stands out is its amazing fiber content. Bulgur actually contains the highest amount of fiber per 100 grams of the whole grains on this list.

100 grams of raw bulgur contains (13):

  • Protein: 12.3 grams
  • Calories: 342
  • Carbs: 75.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 18.3 grams
  • Fat: 1.3 grams
  • Manganese: 152% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 41% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 30% of the DV
  • Niacin: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

14. Sorghum

Sorghum is often used as livestock feed but like most whole grains it is suited for human consumption too.

100 grams of raw sorghum contains (14):

  • Protein: 11.3 grams
  • Calories: 339
  • Carbs: 74.6 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 6.3 grams
  • Fat: 3.3 grams
  • Phosphorus: 29% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Iron: 24% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 16% of the DV
  • Niacin: 15% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

15. Millet

Compared to many other whole-grain options millet doesn’t contain that much fiber and protein. Even with that in mind millet can still be a nutritious addition to your diet.

100 grams of raw millet contains (15):

  • Protein: 11 grams
  • Calories: 378
  • Carbs: 72.9 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 8.5 grams
  • Fat: 4.2 grams
  • Manganese: 82% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Copper: 37% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 29% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 28% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 28% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

16. Whole wheat

Wheat is another very popular whole grain and a big ingredient in foods like bread, crackers, pancakes, pasta, muffins, bagels, and so on… If your goal is weight loss and health you generally want to stick to whole wheat instead of these types of foods.

100 grams of raw soft whole wheat contains (16):

  • Protein: 10.7 grams
  • Calories: 340
  • Carbs: 75.4 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 12.7 grams
  • Fat: 2 grams
  • Manganese: 170% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Phosphorus: 40% of the DV
  • Iron: 30% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 27% of the DV
  • Niacin: 24% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

17. Brown rice

Rice is one of the most popular whole grains around the world. Unfortunately, rice is not very high in protein.

If your goal is something like weight loss you want to stay away from white rice. White rice contains a lot less fiber which is arguably one of the most helpful nutrients for weight loss.

100 grams of raw long-grain brown rice contains (17):

  • Protein: 7.9 grams
  • Calories: 370
  • Carbs: 77.2 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 2.9 grams
  • Manganese: 187% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Magnesium: 36% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the DV
  • Selenium: 33% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 27% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

18. Sweet corn

There are actually two types of corn, sweet corn, and maize. Sweet corn is the one most often consumed by humans. Sweet corn is by far the lowest calorie whole grain on this list which likely makes it the best for weight loss.

100 grams of raw yellow sweet corn contains (18):

  • Protein: 3.2 grams
  • Calories: 86
  • Carbs: 19 grams
  • Part of the carbs that is fiber: 2.7 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Thiamin: 13% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 11% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 9% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 9% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

A very popular way to eat corn is popcorn.