Protein is one of the nutrients needed by your body in large quantities for the formation and maintenance of muscle and for countless other bodily functions. However, whether you are vegetarian or a meat-eater, getting clean protein can be challenging, since so many sources have been contaminated with pollutants like heavy metals, pesticides, and antibiotics, just to name a few. Buying grass-fed, organic, free range meat is one option but it can be expensive and hard to find. Below are some other alternatives.
This ancient grain, a native to South American, is becoming an increasingly important part of the American diet and is a great vegetarian source of complete proteins and amino acids. It is simple to make and you can prepare and use it the same way you would rice.
Hemp seeds are completely legal to purchase and are an excellent protein source (about 30 percent of the calories are protein-based). Even better, its protein comes in the form of edestin, which is easily digested and used by the body.
It is no wonder that chia seed have grown in popularity – they are not only a great source of protein but also of fiber and minerals like calcium and manganese. They have the added benefit of possessing strong anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Almonds, like chia seeds, are gaining in popularity. This is because they are not only an excellent source of protein but also of healthy fats and fiber. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory properties which also are good for overall health.
Though this superfood is actually a kind of algae, about 70% of its calories come from complete protein. It is important, though, to source this carefully and make sure it has been harvested from uncontaminated waters.
Dried peas, beans, lentils and anything else in the leguminous family are also great sources of clean protein and they are versatile enough that you can have them in any number of soups, salads, stews or casseroles and never get bored!
Wild Caught Fish
While farmed fish has the potential to contain high amounts of pesticides and antibiotics, wild-caught fish is actually a very clean protein and in addition, many of these fish such as salmon or tuna are also great sources for Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are buying eggs that are free range and organic, you are not only supporting a more human form of agriculture, you are also getting a product with complete protein as well as B vitamins, folic acid, thiamine and phosphorous, which can be hard to work into the diet.
Be sure to buy whey powder that comes from organic milk produced by grass-fed, hormone-free cows. This powder is an excellent source of complete proteins as well.
Again, source your chicken carefully: if it is organic and free range, this will not only be better for the chicken but for your own body as well and is a great source of protein and a wealth of other nutrients.
So if you are looking for clean protein to build and maintain your muscles and keep your body healthy, consider some of the sources listed above, that will give you the nutrients you need without the contaminants you don’t.