By Vinny Russo | Published on August 14, 2017
If you’re in a rush and have no fresh,Â high-protein produce in the house, long-life foods can be a godsend as they enable you to rustle up a quick meal while still staying on top of your macros.
The following are easy, cheap protein sources that every person can incorporate into their diet plan. The best part about these three foods is that you donâ€™t need to buy them and use them right away; you can save them for a later date, if needs be, as they have a naturally long shelf life.
1. Organic/ Natural Peanut Butter
The thought of peanut butter not only gets me salivating but it brings that childhood smile to my face. Fueled with protein (7g of protein per 2 tablespoons or 32g of peanut butter), this delight is packed with healthy fats, fiber, potassium, magnesium, sodium and antioxidants.
Hereâ€™s the catch: you should use the peanut butter that you see sitting on the shelf with the layer of oil sitting atop the spread. This oil comes naturally from the peanuts which is how you can tell it is natural (as commercial brands usually use emulsifiers to keep the oil from separating).
You also want to check out the food label and notice the ingredients. Peanuts should really be the only ingredient you see; if you see cane/agave syrup, sugar, hydrogenated oils or added oils you should stay away. My number one go-to peanut butter is Smuckerâ€™s Natural Creamy, as its only ingredient are peanuts and salt and the sugar content per serving is just 1g!
Tip:Â In order to avoid the spillage of oil when stirring all natural peanut butter, store the PB upside down in the cupboard so the oil will rise to the top (the bottom of the jar), this way, when you flip it over to use, it is already mixed!
â€“ RELATED:Â Nuts About Nuts! The Ultimate Peanut Butter Taste Test â€“
Beans are full of protein, fiber and water. In fact, the amount of protein available can even be compared to the amount in meats. The major difference, though, is that beans contain phytochemicals like antioxidants that help the body against free radicals.
The large amount of fiber in the beans allows the bean to digest more slowly, which will keep you feeling fuller longer and help with any satiety issues. The indigestible fraction of beans, the part of the bean that is not digested and just gets passed, allows bacteria to help the lower GI tract function properly. There have also been multiple studies that show beans help with blood sugar regulation as well as cardiovascular health.
Did you know? One cup of black beans has 15g of fiber and 15g of protein.
3. Canned fish
Canned fish is a quick way to get high quality protein with some good healthy omegas at the same time. The reason for including canned fish in this list, rather than fresh, is due to the fact that the former can be stored away for a rainy day as it has a much longer shelf life. Health-wise, however, both canned and fresh caught fish provide the same content of omegas and both are equally good for you.
My two go-to canned fish recommendations are sardines and either pink or red salmon. Canned salmon is most likely wild-caught (be sure to check on the label) and can contain ample amounts of calciumÂ if you eat the tiny bones. Â Sardines are said to have the least amount of mercury content amongst the canned fish.
Although tuna is a highly popular canned fish â€“ and trust me, I love it â€“ in terms of what’s most beneficial for your health, the mercury content found in tuna moves this fishy delight to number three on my go-to canned list.
To find out more advice from Vinny, visit his website.Â
Vinny is a Bodybuilding.com and Grenade sponsored team athlete, trainer and nutrition coach. He is also owner of Team Vinny Russo LLC.