Foods made from whole soybeans, like tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and soy nuts, are low in saturated fat and high in protein, with 22 to 40 grams in every cup. Studies show soy protein can help build muscle almost as effectively as the protein found in animal foods and dairy, but unlike red meat, soy provides high levels of all nine essential amino acids, giving it a higher score.
Choose extra-firm tofu, ideal for stir-fries, chili, or baking with barbecue sauce. Extra-firm tofu has the most protein of all soy foods, with 40 grams per cup, but soft tofu – a non-dairy alternative in smoothies – still delivers a good amount with 32 grams per cup.
Soy also fights cancer: Studies show that eating more of the antioxidant genistein, found in soy, may lower your risk of prostate cancer. Protein power: Excellent.