We all like to snack. Sometimes it’s out of necessity with our busy lives, sometimes it’s because we’re not eating enough or the right nutrients so our body craves at different times, and sometimes it’s because we’re just lazy.
Regardless of your snacking habits, understanding the benefits can make the difference between filling up, and properly fueling your body.
Protein is one of the essential building blocks our body needs. From strengthening muscle, to repairing damaged tissues, to giving us the energy to workout and move, we need to consume a good amount of it each day.
That goes beyond a post-workout protein shake—it’s the little, conscious choices we make each day.
Whether you’re on the go or hanging at home, here are five high-power protein snacks to add to your grocery list.
1. Nuts, nuts and more nuts.
Read anything online related to protein, and you’ll see nuts grace the top of every list. Nuts, like peanuts, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, pecans, and even cashews and pistachios boast high protein content.
Do a simple Google search, and you’ll even see a drop down where you can add the type of nut you’re interested in and see what amount of protein there is per quantity!
These are also great because you can toss them into any purse, gym bag, or even a little container in your car. Even though they’re small, they’ll fill you up.
2. Nutrient-packed smoothie.
It goes without saying that post-workout protein shakes can make a world of a difference for your muscle recovery.
If you’re looking for a snack outside of that post-workout window, or if you’re just looking to intake more protein throughout the day, a great way to fill your body (with the right things!) is to create a nutritiously dense smoothie!
Here are some sample ingredients: flaxseed, oatmeal (natural, no sugar!), peanut butter, milk (or almond milk), avocado, fruit, etc.
You can make your smoothie like a traditional one, or you can shift it into an ‘overnight oats’ style, where the ingredients are similar to oatmeal and it’s tossed in the refrigerator overnight and ready to!
Read other breakfast alternatives right here.
3. Hard boiled eggs.
Or any type of eggs, really. Eggs are a great and easy way to get protein into your diet.
Although scrambled may be harder to bring on the go, you can create a scrambled egg bake in a sheet pan in the oven. Mix eggs with your favorite vegetables and meats, cook, then take a ‘slice’ each day with you!
4. Chickpea and avocado salad.
Chickpeas are a great source of protein, and avocado is too, especially for both fats and protein! Make a salad that combines both ingredients, plus spinach, green pepper, carrot, and even hard boiled eggs if you’re feeling ambitious!
Spice up the mix with crispy tortilla strips and a zesty dressing, too, for more flavor.
Another option for chickpeas is hummus! There are so many types of hummus and each of them adds a fun flavor to sandwiches, chips, or even as a standalone dip!
5. Pre-cooked red meat or natural beef jerky.
For the meat-eaters, it’s important to grab beef jerky that’s as natural as possible. Many companies add salts and other strange preservatives that aren’t necessary!
Be on the lookout for monosodium glutamate (MSG). This is a big no-no!
If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even make your own beef jerky, or pre-cook strips of meat to toss into salads, mix with your hard boiled eggs, or warm up to eat by themselves!
Now, snack smart!
Snacking is a great way to cut cravings and increase your protein intake in a safe and productive way. There’s nothing wrong with snacking, but it’s about swapping out unhealthy options for good ones and learning to snack smart!