Just like all other nutrients, proteins are one of the essential nutrients that you will need for a fit body. They are the building blocks for the muscles. Just like fats and carbohydrates, proteins are also a part of macronutrients that we need. A lot of people try their best to get fit bodies. They work-out more, they control their diet and try to eat as clean as possible. But, another factor that is responsible for a stronger body is to gain good protein content in your body. Have you ever thought, why all the gym enthusiasts and weight-lifters keep looking for foods and supplements rich in proteins? That is because it is the most important nutrients that can help you achieve your weight loss or weight gain goals.
So, if you are in the same boat, then you will also be looking for all the foods that are rich in proteins. If your food preferences include non-vegetarian diet and you can feed on eggs and meat, then you have very easy and abundant choices for a protein-rich diet. But, the same thing becomes a bit challenging when you are a vegetarian and struggle for easy and rich protein. That is why we thought of preparing a go-to guide for foods for high vegetarian proteins, other than just pulses. Let’s begin by accounting some basic information about proteins and their importance in our body.
What is Protein? Why is it Important?
As we discussed above, it is one of the three most important macronutrients (Fats, carb and proteins) in our body. Proteins are made-up of amino-acids that are most commonly found molecules in cells.
Our body naturally produces some of the amino acids apart from the nine essential amino acids that we need to take in the form of food.
Proteins that are made with a combination of these amino-acids, plays a great role in balancing the body. It builds our muscles, bones, hair, nails and skin. Not just that it creates the necessary immune response in our body that is required to safeguard our system from the toxins and foreign bodies. It provides energy, helps in tissue, cell repair and makes you able to work efficiently for long hours.
So, now you know that protein is not just any nutrient, but a very essential one.
Best Vegetarian Source of Proteins
If you are someone who struggles for easy protein source being a vegetarian, then what you need to know about is the best options for a quick and effective vegetarian source of proteins. Indian households abundantly use dal/pulses as a source of protein. But, very less of the vegetarians know that pulses might be a good source of protein, but they are not enough. You cannot put meat and eggs on your plate for various reasons and we understand that.
That is why we are here with the top 5 high vegetarian protein sources. Let’s begin with the list.
- Paneer/ Cottage cheese
Beginning with the very common one of all. Paneer or cottage is a pioneer in the vegetarian protein-rich foods. Us Indian love eating paneer n various forms. And the great thing is that it is full of nutrition. The right amount of fat, calcium and of course protein. Try to add paneer in your daily diet. Eat a small amount of 25g if you are focusing on protein gains.
You can also make your food with paneer every second or third day. Cook paneer bhurji, paneer sandwiches or anything that suits you.
- Nuts & Seeds
Remember how your mother would feed you almonds for the sake sharp memory when you were little? Amazingly, not just that but the popular Indian nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios can also be a very generous source of protein. Soak 2-3 almonds, walnuts and cashews overnight and eat them with your breakfast or post-breakfast.
Also, there are seeds in the option. Seeds like chia seeds, sesame seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein. You can sprinkle them on your cereal, muesli, porridge or salad. They give the food a nutty flavour and tastes amazing.
- Regional Grains
Grains are usually known to be rich in carbs and fibre only. But they can also be protein-rich. Grains like bajra, oats, amaranth etc. are good for your protein intake and you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner as per your preference. You can make amaranth laddoos for winters with a generous amount of jaggery with it.
It would be even more beneficial if you mix these grain flours into your regular flour to make Roti or parathas.
- Green Peas
This one is an option for the ones following a plant-based diet and does not want to take protein via milk, cheese and paneer. Green peas can be enjoyed as normal as any other vegetable with tadka. Put them in your poha. Upma or pulao. Being a versatile veggie, peas can be used as per one’s interest. They taste delicious and provides you with a decent amount of protein content.
- Soy Milk
This last alternative is for all our ‘vegan’ fellows. Soy milk is extracted from soybeans and fortified with vitamin and minerals. One cup of soy milk contains 7g of protein. Which means it can be added to your regular diet as a part of a nutritious diet.
Protein is a part of a wholesome nutritious diet. You can add all of the above or opt for the ones of your choice. Interestingly, a homely diet is the best of all the diets. You can prepare your meals at home and mend them according to your needs. Abundant protein in your body will make you fit, energetic, make your skin glow.