The Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Protein Sources

The Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Protein Sources

Introduction:

Protein is an essential nutrient that plays crucial role in various bodily functions, including muscle growth, repair, and overall health. When following a plant-based diet, it is important ensure you are meeting your protein requirements through a variety of sources. In this blog post, we will explore the world of plant-based protein and debunk common myths surrounding it, enlightening you on the benefits of choosing plant-based protein sources.

Legumes:

Legumes

 

Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are a staple in many plant-based diets due to their high protein content and versatility in cooking.

Creative Ways to Incorporate Legumes into Your Meals:

From hearty soups and stews to flavourful curries, hummus, pasta, salads and dips, legumes can be used in a multitude of dishes. Try adding chickpeas to your hummus, black beans to your tacos, or lentils to your veggie burgers for an extra boost of protein.

Protein in Chana – 7.3 gm per 1/2 cup serving

Protein in Rajma – 7.5 gm per 1/2 cup serving

Protein in Lentils – 9 gm per 1/2 cup serving

 

Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and Seeds

 

Nuts and seeds are not only delicious but also packed with protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. They make for convenient snacks and can be easily incorporated into meals for an added protein punch.

Almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are among the top nuts and seeds known for their protein content. Just a handful of these nutrient-dense foods can contribute significantly to your daily protein intake.

Protein in Seeds – 5-7.3 gm per quarter-cup serving

On average, eating about 20 to 25 whole almonds every day can give you about 6 g of protein. However, this can be quite a lot to eat in one go and just having a handful of mixed nuts every day can give you the protein boost your body requires.

 

Green Peas (Matar):

Green Peas

 

Not many vegetables are as rich in protein as this winter staple. You get the protein and fibre from frozen green peas too, so go ahead and stash a bag in your freezer.

Creative Ways to Incorporate Matar into Your Meals:

Try Matar Paneer to boost your protein intake, matar hummus, you can also add your peas to your chilla, snacks like matar kachori – air fry, stir fry with some paneer, add it to soup, make innovative recipes like pea waffles, pasta etc.

Protein in Matar – 7 gm per 1 cup serving

 

Delicious Recipes Using Nuts and Seeds for Protein:

From homemade granola bars and nut butter to seed-crusted tofu and chia pudding, there are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with nuts and seeds. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different recipes to find your favourites.

 

Milk:

Milk

 

Drink milk regularly? If you do, you’re sure to do well on your protein test. Apart from being a rich source of protein, milk is rich in calcium and ensures good bone health, strong teeth, a healthy immune system, and glowing skin.

Avoid full-fat versions; look for skimmed options that have been fortified with vitamin D, and make the best of the protein in milk.

There are many individuals who are intolerant to lactose who require an alternative source of protein, and soy milk is a great one, But it is not just the protein that makes soy milk an excellent food; it is also a good source of calcium, vitamin d & b12 too. However, the latter vitamins are usually present in soy milk that has been fortified.

 

Protein in Full Fat Milk – 3.4 gm per 1 cup serving (100 ml)

Soy Milk - 7 g of protein per cup

 

Oats:

Oats

 

There is no doubt that oats are superfoods. Not only are they high in protein but they are a powerhouse of soluble fiber and clinically proven to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and to lower cholesterol.

Add your oats to smoothies, chiila, pattie, subji, roti, frankie, and what not, it is very versatile in nature.

A small cup of oats can provide you with nearly 6 g of protein and a quarter of your daily requirement of fibre.

 

Quinoa:

Quinoa

 

Quinoa is gradually catching on in India as a food that is healthy, low in fat and high in protein. Each cup of quinoa can provide around 9 grams of protein and is excellent for those who suffer from diabetes. They are rich in dietary fibre, which can help in keeping the blood sugar levels under control. Their glycemic index (GI) is 53. Keeping in mind that GI of 55 or below is considered low, quinoa is an ideal food that can be included in a diabetic diet plan. You may refer to the Glycemic Index Food Chart to find out the GI of other foods. Besides these, quinoa also contains a high quantity of complex carbohydrates and numerous minerals. Quinoa is definitely one for the protein foods veg list.

 

One cup of cooked quinoa without any salt and spices contains over 8 grams of protein

Millets are termed as “yesterday’s coarse grains and today’s nutri-cereals.” As mentioned in NCBI .

Millets are a highly nutritious crop and contain considerable amounts of vitamins and minerals. Millets are a good source of energy, dietary fiber, slowly digestible starch, and resistant starch, and thus provide sustained release of glucose and thereby satiety [5,6]. Compared to cereals, millets are a good source of protein- and sulphur-containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine) and have a better fatty acid profile. sprouting millets increases their nutrient value, protein availability, digestibility, lowers the glycaemic index, enhances the flavour, and decreases the cooking time.

 (per 100 g values)

Sorgum contains 10.4 g protein

Pearl Millet contains 11.6 g protein

Finger Millet contains – 7.3 g protein

Proso Millet contains 12.5 g protein

Fox tail Millet contains 12.3 g protein

Kodo millet contains – 8.3 g protein

Little Millet contains – 8.7 g protein

Barnyard Millet contains – 11.6 g protein

 

Ref-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8871339/

 

Cottage Cheese (Paneer)-

One of the most popular high-protein veg foods in India is cottage cheese. It is high in casein, a slow-digesting dairy protein, paneer also offers you a good amount of calcium, keeps you fuller for longer, and helps burn more fat. It can be used to make curries, dips, salads, snacks, and much more.

Half a cup of cottage cheese contains around 14 grams of protein

 

Edamame:

Edamame

 

Edamame is soybeans that have not been fully matured, typically eaten as a side dish in the eastern countries of Asia. Edamame may be found in popular dishes like sushi or can be consumed as a standalone snack/meal. This form of soybean may be cooked and eaten either in the pods or as beans. Due to its simplistic preparation, edamame is a protein-rich vegetarian food that can be easily added to any diet.

Edamame has about 12g of protein per 100g of beans.

 

Diversify your protein sources to ensure you are getting all essential amino acids. Experiment with new recipes and cooking methods to keep your meals exciting and yummy. Prioritize whole, minimally processed plant foods for optimal health and wellbeing.

 As more people embrace plant-based eating for health, ethical, and environmental reasons, the demand for plant-based protein sources continues to grow. With innovative products and recipes constantly emerging, the future of plant-based protein consumption looks bright and promising.

 

Most common question we get asked daily is, Is It Possible to Meet Protein Requirements Solely through Plant-Based Sources?

 

Yes, it is entirely possible to meet your protein requirements through plant-based sources by consuming a diverse range of protein-rich foods throughout the day. Plant-based diets can provide all essential amino acids when properly planned. By incorporating a variety of plant-based protein sources, you can ensure you are getting all essential amino acids necessary for optimal health. Combining complementary proteins, such as beans and rice or hummus and whole grain bread, can help create a complete amino acid profile.

 

In conclusion, plant-based protein sources offer a wealth of benefits for your health, the planet, and animal welfare. By exploring the diverse world of legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and plant-based protein powders, you can discover delicious and nutritious ways to fuel your body while supporting a sustainable lifestyle. Start incorporating more plant-based protein into your diet today and experience the many rewards of a plant-powered journey.

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