Are you a wholesome vegetarian? Do you think you will be left behind when it comes to completing your daily dose of protein just because you are vegetarian? Well, the answer is no, you can keep your hopes high as vegetarian foods too can help you meet your protein intake.
Be it hairs, fingernails, or muscles, protein acts as a glue that holds your every body cell and builds antibodies to fight against several diseases, which is why getting enough protein is essential to stay healthy. The next question that arises is, how much protein do I need to eat every day? The guidelines recommend adults 19 + years can consume 10 to 35% of their daily calories from protein. That’s about 200 to 700 calories from protein for a 2,000-calorie diet. Alternatively, one can multiply 0.8 grams of protein per kg of your body weight to identify the daily requirements.
Let’s see what vegetarian foods can meet this daily protein requirement of your body:
- Lentils or Dals
Dals or lentils are an incredible source of protein. A cup of boiled dal contains more protein than one boiled egg. Moreover, the dals come in various types and tastes like Moong Dal (Green Gram), Arhar Dal (Pigeon Peas), Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), Urad Dal (Split Black Gram), and Horsegram (Kulthi). Besides protein, this superfood is loaded with carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals too. This makes it a revolutionary food that can feed proteins to vegetarians.
Did you know? A lentil soaked for a few hours or overnight can increase its benefits manifolds and avoid bloating, lower cholesterol, and remove tannins from it that affect protein digestibility.
A cup of boiled soybean is another excellent source that provides more protein than 150 gms of chicken. They contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that are essential for good health and comes with high fiber, that keeps your gut happy. This superfood is known to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer, alleviate menopause symptoms, improve bone health, and much more. Truly, superfood! Isn’t it?
Did you know? Sprouted soybeans are considered the best source of meeting protein requirements.
- Cottage Cheese/Paneer
Apart from bringing that perfect smile on your face when you call ‘Paneer’, this vegetarian protein source can give you about 23 gms of protein from 100 gms of paneer. It is a powerhouse of all essential amino acids and is a nutrient-dense food. So more reasons to include in your diet.
Did you know? When vegetables are combined with paneer the satiety value increases.
- Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt is protein-dense food that has live bacteria (the good ones) that improves the digestibility of proteins. This fermented food provides ~20 gms of protein per 200 gms serving. This means it can meet about 30% daily protein requirement of an adult.
Did you Know? Yogurt in your breakfast can be a great way of having a nutritious meal that is easily digested and one can avoid morning snack cravings.
- Chickpeas and beans
The creamy, nutty light-brown legumes offer a good alternative source of protein. A cup of cooked chickpeas gives you about 16 grams of protein. You must have read the warning that chickpeas don’t provide complete protein; however, don’t let it scare you, as when it is accompanied by other sources can meet your daily protein requirements.
Did you know? Combining chickpea flour with regular wheat flour can help you enjoy more benefits than simply increasing the fiber and protein content.
For a long it’s been assumed that only non-vegetarian foods are protein-rich; however, here we have debunked it. A vegetarian too can meet his/her daily protein requirements as long as they include a variety of plant sources and seeds in their daily diet.
To stimulate muscle protein synthesis, a good diet must be accompanied by a proper workout. So let’s start making your body stronger and healthier together.