This article by Chilly Flake is about Why Protein is important to eat and Protein-rich foods for vegetarians.
What we eat is to keep our body healthy and working, we need to eat a balanced diet to ensure our body gets everything it needs to carry out its activities.
Protein is important for all but sometimes it’s a tough task for vegetarians. This article is all about protein-rich foods for vegetarians.
A diet should include fatty acids or lipids, carbohydrates, proteins or amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.
So let’s know about the role of protein in our diet and what happens when enough or we don’t have the right mixture of protein in our diet.
Proteins are well known as the building blocks of life, every single cell in the body contains protein. Proteins are made up of amino acids and can be sourced from meat or fish, eggs, dairy products and nuts, beans, pulses, and mushrooms.
The recommended intake of protein for healthy adults is 10% to 35% of the calories needs and children and pregnant women need even more protein in their diet. Because they need the amino acids for growth or for fetal development.
When these foods are digested they are broken down in their amino acid building blocks which are in turn used in the cells in our body to make new proteins that they need to carry out their work.
The new proteins might be used for growth and repair, for energy, for enzymes, and for antibodies to fight against infections or create hormones. So, proteins with their amino acid building blocks are extremely important for our bodies to function properly.
List of Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians:
Vegetarians are always worried that how they complete their protein intake portion because they think all proteins are present in eggs and chickens. But that’s not the whole truth. There are various plants or dairy-based products that are rich in protein. Protein-rich foods for vegetarians are simple to find.
Amino acids are essential or non-essential, the nine essential amino acids are supplied to our body by food whereas the 11 non-essential can be made up by our body from the essential amino acids. Our bodies then use these amino acid building blocks to make the proteins that we need.
Here is a list of Protein-rich foods for vegetarians, so that your body can get all 9 essential amino acids to function properly.
1. Pulses, Lentils, Dal-Richest Source of Protein:
Pulses are a must in Indian kitchens. Pulses are a rich source of plant-based protein. They are affordable to consider in your diet. Pulses have 2-3 times high levels of protein in comparison to wheat, rice, and oats.
Pulses are an excellent source of dietary fiber and other complex carbohydrates.
The best way to consume is to properly cook the pulses.
Protein Content: 1cup(198g) of boiled pulses has 18 gm of protein, and 16 gm of fibers. (Source-USDA)
2. Cottage Cheese or Paneer is Protein-Rich Food:
Cottage Cheese is also known as Paneer in India. Most of us love eating Paneer. It is a dairy product that is high in casein and has slow-digesting dairy protein. It is also a good source of calcium and keeps you feel satiated for a longer time.
You can eat consume Paneer anytime, before one hour of sleep. The best way to consume is to saute paneer cubes, sprinkle some salt and pepper, and you can enjoy it now.
Protein Content: A serving of 100gm of Paneer contains around 14 gm of proteins.
3. Quinoa as Source of Protein:
Quinoa is basically a seed, that has various nutrients including protein. It has Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Folate, and Thiamine(Vitamin B1).
Quinoa is a complete protein food that has all 9 essential amino acids that the body can not make itself.
Quinoa is gluten-free, so the persons who want or need gluten-free food with protein content can add quinoa to their diet.
Protein Content: One cup of cooked Quinoa has 8 gm of protein and 5 gm of fiber.
4. Soya Chunks-The Best Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians:
Soya chunks are full of nutrients. They contain protein, fiber, carbohydrates, and also calcium, and iron. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Soya chunks are easy to buy and it’s affordable.
You can soak a handful of soya chunks in water overnight and eat them, or you can stir fry those soaked soya chunks by putting some oil in a pan, and sprinkling some salt to enhance the flavor.
Protein Content: 100gm uncooked soya chunks have around 35 gm of protein, 13 gm of dietary fiber, and 33 gm of carbohydrates.
5. Chickpeas as Protein Intake:
Chickpeas are low in calories and high in protein and fiber. “Chole” is a very popular cuisine in India, mostly in North India, and they are made from chickpeas.
You can soak them overnight and boil them, add them to your salads, or add them to poha, or tikkis.
Protein Content: 100 gm of chickpeas contains 19gm of protein and 17 gm of dietary fiber.
6. Rajma or Kidney Beans are a Protein-Rich Food:
Rajma or kidney beans have a good amount of protein along with carbohydrates and fibers.
You can add them to your diet for protein intake, it is a portion of healthy and inexpensive food.
It helps to lower cholesterol levels, is helpful for diabetic patients, and boosts our energy levels due to manganese content in them.
Protein Content: 100 gm boiled rajma or kidney beans has 24 gm of protein, 23 gm of carbohydrates, and 6 gm of fiber.
7. Green Peas or Matar is also a Good Source of Protein:
Green peas are winter season vegetables and they are a rich source of protein. You can also use frozen peas, they have protein and fiber too.
But before using frozen peas, check the packet how they are frozen, if you feel they are good, then use them.
Protein Content: 100 gm of green peas contains 5 gm of protein.
These are some simple and affordable food ingredients that are protein-rich foods for vegetarians.
If you have serious issues or any other health problems consult your doctor.
But What Happens When You are Protein Deficient?
Symptoms of protein deficiency include low energy levels, muscle-burning, joint pain, slow wounds and cuts healing, and low immunity.
Did you know?
You can eat enough calories a day but not take enough protein this means you are eating too many carbohydrates or fats.
If a diet is severely protein-deficient, a malnutrition condition called Kwashiorkor can develop.
The main sign of kwashiorkor is too much fluid in the body’s tissue which causes severe swelling under the skin, particularly in the gut. The swelling is also known as Edema proteins that help to retain salt and water inside the blood vessels rather than leaking out into the tissues.
So, if you do not have sufficient protein in your diet, the fluid can leak out, and other symptoms can also include a change of hair color and hair loss, increased risk of infection, and failure to grow.
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