Well, we all know how essential is the protein for all of us. It is an important building block of muscle, bones, blood, skin, and many other key tissues in the body. Also, the human body uses protein in many other ways including to build and repair cell tissues, aid the immune system, serve as hormones and so on. Daily supply of due protein is imperative for a health life, it is even more important for bodybuilders. But the availability of protein in the foods is limited; it is even scarce for vegetarians as main sources of protein are the meats. Still, not all is lost, there are few protein sources which are fully vegetarian.
Let’s examine the top 6 protein sources for vegetarians.
Tofu is a good protein sources. It is alternative to our paneer, which is also referred to as cottage cheese. It is made from soy milk and contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein source. 100 gms serving of Tofu contains as many as 8 gms of protein. Studies have been found out that Tofu is effective in reducing the LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Quinoa is a superfood for the protein it carries. It is the best cereal for breakfast. One cup of cooked quinoa contains a total of 222 calories including nearly 5 gms of protein. Quinoa is also a rich source of fibre. Try incorporating it in your breakfast to meet your daily protein requirements.
Lentils and pulses
A survey by Harvard Health School declared that a cup of lentils provides nearly 20 gms protein and no less than 15 gms of fibre. It is conventional wisdom in India, pulses are believed to be a rich source of proteins and we make dal a part of our diet, but the way we prepare dals make it lose more than of the nutri-value.
Chickpeas are one of the best vegetarian protein sources which are greatly underutilised and undermined as a protein source. It is not only a good protein source but also full of fibre and complex carbohydrates which are essential to the body. Chickpeas are also a rich source of folate and iron. Needless to say, it goes well with Indian staple foods, whether it is the roti or rice.
Millets like jowar, ragi and bajra are dense in protein. India is the largest producer of millets since ancient times millets were a staple diet in many regions in India. These can be used as replacements for rice and wheat in the dietary system. Millet cereals are sturdy and look bit coarse even after cooking, but adds a new texture to the diet. For those who are looking for vegetarian proteins protein sources yet don’t want to consume too many carbohydrates, millets are the best option.
Nuts like Almonds, walnut, cashew, pistachios and our own peanuts are usually avoided thinking that they are fatty. But the truth is, yes, they are calorie-dense foods but also contains high amount proteins and are full of unsaturated fats, which are required for good health. Limited servings of nuts a week help you to stabilise your blood sugars. Also, these make one fuller easier helping them to curb the cravings and restrict to healthy eatery habits. Either you can top your breakfast cereal with a few nuts or you can eat them as a standalone snack between the meals. But many are allergic to nuts. The best you to consume nuts is to soak overnight in water and adding a pinch of sea salt to it.
Even if you are a vegetarian, you can manage your protein requirements form the vegetarian foods easily. Just make those foods in your daily food intake in required amounts.