Proteins are the building blocks of our body and a very vital cog in the human machine.A balanced diet should include a daily intake of around 0.8 grams of protein for every kilo of body weight .There are misconceptions that vegetarian diets lack protein but in general plant protein is more beneficial as it has reduced saturated fat compared to meat proteins.
A diet high in protein is necessary for cell regeneration and growth and also to build muscle mass. Proteins also manage our metabolism and body processes. Fortunately for vegetarians there are several foods that contain adequate amounts of protein and amino-acids.
Quinoa is one of the most popular foods for weight loss. It contains all the 9 essential amino acids so its is a complete protein. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. It is a gluten free grain and contains 8 grams of protein per 180 grams. They are also rich in several minerals like magnesium ,iron zinc and is also rich in flavonoids that halt the aging process. It has numerous other health benefits so can be incorporated in the daily diet easily.
2- Paneer and tofu
Paneer and tofu are made from milk and soyabean milk respectively. Both are excellent sources of protein. 100 grams of paneer yields about 18 grams of protein and is good for people who weight train as they need protein for muscle building and repair. Paneer releases energy at a slow pace which means it does not cause a spike in one’s blood sugar levels and so it does not give an instant boost which drops quickly. It kills hunger pangs because it keeps you satiated for longer periods.
Paneer and tofu have good amounts of calcium too and that means good bone health too. Paneer is low in carbs too. It is a must have for vegetarians and as it is good for metabolic health and general well-being
Chia seeds provide insoluble fibre and also contain healthy fats ,proteins and cell protecting anti-oxidants Chia seeds are also rich in calcium , iron ,zinc, copper etc.You can use chia seeds with a variety of foods and beverages. They can be added to smoothies, puddings ,granola bars , salads etc. Chia seeds are an excellent source of energy and so deserve to be on any superfood list.
Lentils consist of over 25% proteins. They are also a great source of iron, vitamin B -6 ,magnesium and phosphorus. They are plant based proteins so contain high quantities of fibre so essential for digestion. Lentils also contain large quantities of polyphenols which help in cell regeneration and regrowth.
One can eat lentils in many forms. Lentils are a staple in India and Middle- Eastern countries. They are easy to cook and unlike other legumes do not require pre-soaking. Two helpings of lentils are enough to meet your daily requirement of proteins.
Oats are an easy and convenient way to add protein to any diet. Half a cup of dry oats provides you with 6 grams of protein. Oats contain higher quality of protein than commonly eaten grains like rice and wheat.They can be incorporated into any vegan or vegetarian diet easily. They can be cooked with any type of veggies as they are very versatile.Oats can be had for breakfast ,lunch or dinner. They are also rich in antioxidants. Oats have unlimited benefits and so are considered wonder grains.
So it is absolutely possible to have adequate amounts of protein in a well planned vegetarian diet. Plant proteins have more health benefits than animal protein diet and can promote muscle strength and satiety too. It is important to identify the best natural foods rich in protein so that we gain the maximum benefits and lead a healthy life.
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