Protein is a key component of a healthy diet and ensuring your daily meals include an ample amount should be a key focus if you’re looking to improve your health or levels of fitness. However, this can be made more difficult if you want to avoid gluten – itself a mixture of proteins.
But whether you want to avoid it as part of your diet, or need to because you have celiac disease or an allergy, there are a good range of protein-rich foods available that don’t contain gluten. Here are five protein-rich foods that are gluten free.
The development of protein bars over the years has seen them become a snack designed with allergies and diets in mind, such as being gluten free. This includes bars aimed at people following a plant-based diet, like Nutree Life vegan protein bars. Protein bars also pack in a great amount of the macronutrient, with some providing as much as 33g per 100g. The bars are also quick and easy to eat, meaning you can get a good dose of protein into your system fast, which is ideal for a pre and post-exercise energy snack.
These healthy foods come in many varieties, each containing a good amount of protein. Good examples of protein-rich nuts include almonds, walnut and pistachios, as well as unsalted peanuts and cashews. While you can get around 4.3g of protein from an ounce of walnuts, you can find an impressive 5.9g of the macronutrient in an ounce of almonds. For those looking to source protein for muscle-building purposes, nuts contain a good range of healthy nutrients, including magnesium and healthy fats. They can also be nibbled on as snacks or added to other nutritious foods, like mixed berries and gluten-free yoghurt, to enhance health benefits, as well as texture and taste.
Filled with nutritious value, seeds are super healthy and protein rich. Examples include chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well as flax and sesame seeds. While pumpkin and sunflower seeds will each yield about 2g of protein per table spoon, chia will provide 3g of the macronutrient. These nutritional powerhouses are also filled with a range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, essential for any healthy diet. This includes high amounts of fibre in chia seeds, magnesium in pumpkin, and omega-6 fats in sesame and sunflower seeds. Like nuts, seeds can also make good snacks to nibble on, can be mixed with other snacks, such as fruit and nuts, or be added to meals.
Providing a myriad of health benefits, beans are full of protein, and including a good range in your diet can help meet your daily protein needs. Kidney and soybeans, as well as black beans and pinto beans are all good examples of protein-rich beans. You can yield about 7g of protein from half a cup of canned kidney beans – the equivalent of an ounce of chicken or fish – while half a cup of boiled soybeans will give you an impressive 14g of the macronutrient. In addition to this, beans contain a good range of nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This includes copper, folate and iron, as well as magnesium, potassium and zinc.
These are known for being super healthy, but they’re often mainly associated with vitamins and minerals. However, the amount of protein they contain shouldn’t be overlooked. Great examples of greens include spinach, kale and broccoli, as well as asparagus, green peas, green beans and Brussels sprouts. 100g of green peas, for instance, will give you about 5g of protein, while almost one third of the calories in broccoli are protein based. It’s worth pointing out that while vegetables like spinach and kale don’t carry as much protein as foods like nuts and beans, if several servings are eaten daily, they can effectively contribute to a protein-rich diet.