Protein Rich Diet for Vegetarians
Protein is one of the necessary building blocks of our bodies. It gives our muscles strength, forms the skin, hairs, and many other vital parts and organs of our bodies. It also helps in the growth whether it be muscle growth, cell growth, or growth of other vital tissues. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are essential for growth throughout our lifetime. Less consumption of protein can lead to weaker muscles and loss of muscle mass which can make our whole body weak.
In India, a vegetarian diet is widely followed. And vegetarian diet is a very healthy diet, however, it has been learned through clinical practices that vegetarian suffers lack of vitamin B-12 and protein.
So, here is a list of protein-rich food for vegetarians that will help you overcome the lack of protein. After all, we can only consume the right food if we know about it.
Nuts, Lentils and Legumes
- Lentils (Daal) – Lentils or “Daal” as it is more commonly known is a very popular everyday meal in India. Lentils are highly concentrated in proteins which makes them a great protein source. You can make lentils soup or eat it with roti and rice. Apart from protein, lentils are rich in fibers too which helps in maintaining healthy bacteria within the gut. Everyday consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Lentils are also a well-proven source of antioxidants and numerous other minerals that help in cell protection.
- Legumes (Phaliyan)- Legumes include a wide variety of beans, like, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, green peas, etc. All these beans are said to be a powerhouse of proteins. Other than protein, legumes have minerals and other elements that can keep you healthy and fit and strengthen your muscles. Clinical studies also show that legumes can help keep cholesterol levels low.
- Nuts – Nuts are another good veg protein diet and are strongly recommended to be added to your daily diet. Having 20-25 whole almonds every day gets you 6 grams of protein. But this is a lot to consume, so, you can eat a handful of mixed nuts and you will get the protein your body requires and apart from protein, your body will also get a good quantity of dietary fibers and Vitamin E. And nuts are also a heart-healthy snack and make a good choice for vegetarians. However, you need to make sure to avoid eating salted nuts to keep your salt intake low.
- Green Peas – Green peas are highly nutritious. A cup full of green peas can give you 9 grams of protein and that’s not it. In addition, they also give you vitamins A, K, and C and also many other minerals, and a high quantity of fibers. So, adding this to your daily diet can get you extra minerals other than protein too.
- Soy Milk – Many people are lactose intolerant and they need an alternative source of protein, this is where soy milk comes in. Soy milk is a rich source of protein, containing about 7 grams of protein every cup. It is not just protein-rich but also a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, and D. However, the vitamins are usually present in fortified soy milk. You can add it to your tea or coffee or just drink it directly. However, you should avoid sweetened soy milk because it will increase your sugar intake and weight and will nullify the healthy effects.
Seeds, Oats, and High Protein Vegetables
- Oats – Oats are considered a very healthy food. They are high in protein and soluble fibers. Oats are clinically proven to be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering cholesterol. A small cup of oats can give you 6 grams of protein. But you should avoid masala oats and ready-to-eat oats because they contain higher salt levels and won’t be a healthy start for your day. You should buy normal oats and eat them with milk, nuts, honey, and some fruit sprinkled on top.
- Chia Seeds – Seeds are great sources of fiber and veg protein.There are Different types of Seeds however Chia seeds are amazingly healthy. A serving of 35 grams contains 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fibers in addition to calcium, magnesium, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous antioxidants. Everyday consumption will keep you very fit and healthy. It is also easy to use but often confused with basil seeds. So, be aware that you don’t consume basil seeds under the impression of Chia seeds.
- High Protein Vegetables – Vegetables are considered to contain vitamins and minerals with a small number of carbohydrates and proteins. But there are some vegetables that contain a greater quantity of protein, like, spinach, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and sweet potato. While the quantity of protein these vegetables offer is nothing compared to non-vegetarian food but still it is quite a decent value of around 5 grams per full cup of cooked veggies.
- Fruits – Fruits don’t contain many proteins compared to other vegetarian sources and are said to be a poorer source of protein. Still, they contain a fair amount, and also there are other health benefits to fruits too. Fruits like banana, guava, and some certain berries have a decent amount of protein.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is becoming famous in India as a rich protein source. It contains about 9 grams of protein in each cup and is an excellent choice for diabetes patients. They also contain a high quantity of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibers, and many other minerals.