Protein is one of the several significant sources for building human body blocks. The body requires protein-enriched food to account for the daily muscles wearing, for speeding up the recovery and gaining enough strength. One pre and post-workout meal need to include a protein meal due to rapid body recovery. Some proteins are created by the body, and some require to be consumed. There are numerous types of amino acids that the body needs.
A non-vegetarian meal-consuming person will have no problem consuming this protein as the meat already contains enough protein or amino acids. But a Jain, vegan, or vegetarian requires absorbing different foods to get complete advantage. Numerous protein-rich plant-based foods are available in the market.
Proteins are significant for the body as they perform different tasks, including proper functioning and growth of the human body, production of new cells, and cellular maintenance. Constant protein supply is essential to avoid any breakdown or deficiency of the body cells. Protein nearly consists of 17% of the body weight.
What can a vegetarian eat for protein?
There is a misconception among the eaters that except eggs, fish, and meat, one cannot consume enough protein in a vegetarian meal. Although most vegan or vegetarian people consume protein powder as their primary protein nutrient source, we have tried to compile a list that consists of the names of the high protein-rich vegetarian foods in India 2023 .
1. Chana or Chickpeas:
Chana or chickpeas are high in fiber and protein and lower in calories. You can toss them into salads, turn them into a snack by boiling them or make a puree for a yummy hummus. It consists of 7.3 grams of protein for a half cup of serving.
Most of us drink milk frequently. Apart from one of the best whey protein sources, milk is also rich in calcium and makes sure that you have good health, and immunity system, glowing skin, and healthy teeth. You can avoid a full-fat alternative if you want to reduce fat and intake skimmed versions that come with Vitamin D. It contains 8 grams of protein in one cup serving.
3. Dal or Lentils:
Indians cannot eat without their dals, be it Moog, masoor, or urad. Lentils or dals are undoubtedly one of the most inexpensive and easy ways for enhancing your protein, essential minerals, and fiber intake. You can consume a small bowl of dal with roti or rice for a complete healthy meal plan. Lentils consist of 9 grams of protein for every half-cup serving.
4. Mixed Seeds:
Seeds add a crunch and a massive amount of proteins to the meals. You can select a pumpkin, sunflower, poppy, or sesame seeds as they are higher in healthy fats and protein. You can also add them to the various salads, cereal, homemade granola, and cereals. Mixed seeds contain 5 to 7.3 grams of protein for every quarter cup of servings.
5. Rajma or Kidney Beans:
Rajma or kidney beans are rich in protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, and you can pair them with steamed or boiled rice. Rajma chawal is one of the staple Indian foods in every vegetarian household diet. It is one of the most wholesome meals apart from being delicious. You can enjoy them in a curry, toppings in a salad, spicy chili form, or inside enchiladas.
6. Paneer or Cottage Cheese:
Paneer or cottage cheese is a slowly digesting dairy protein high in casein and offers a high calcium amount. It helps you to keep you fuller for a long time and helps to burn high fat. You can add paneer in the vegetable preparation, eat just like that, or toss it in the sautéed vegetables for enjoying the advantages of paneer protein. It consists of 14 grams of protein for a half cup of serving.
7. Matar or Green Peas:
You can get enough fiber and protein from green or frozen peas. You can combine green peas with cottage cheese and make Matar paneer, which is healthier and high in protein. There are 7 grams of protein for every one cup of serving.
Tofu is one of the soft and delicious foods that is composed of soybeans. It is the best example of consuming inexpensive, nourishing, natural, and higher protein sources. Tofu is one of the versatile soybeans forms and is composed by curdling the soy milk to coagulate the proteins and then compressed into a sliceable cake. One and a half-cup serving of raw tofu consists of 10.1 grams of nutritious protein. The dieticians and nutritionists recommend at least 56 grams of protein consumption for men and 46 grams of protein for females.
Soybeans come with high appreciation among vegetarian eaters due to their high content of protein. It consists of all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Almost 35% of the protein source for vegetarians comes from soybeans, while the other types contain only 30%. Soybean can compete with any dairy and meat protein in terms of quality. 100 grams of soybean consists of 36 grams of protein.
10. Greek Yogurt:
Greek yogurt consists of nutrients and consists of several health benefits. You can consider it as an exceptional snack item that helps the user to keep them fuller for an extended period. An average fat-free serving of greek yogurt consists of 12 to 17.3 grams of protein.
11. Edamame Beans:
Edamame beans are a type of young soybeans that the farmers harvest before they ripen. The beans consist of high protein and offer all the amino acids that are necessary for the body. These beans are also a rich magnesium source that plays a chief role in lean muscle development and energy creation. A half-cup of cooked edamame beans consists of 9 grams of protein.
12. Almond Butter:
50 grams of almond butter consists of 10 grams of protein. Almond butter is much healthier than peanut butter since it contains a high amount of minerals and vitamins.
Grains might not contain a high amount of protein like that of the other food items present in this article. One of the high protein amounts containing grains includes millet, barley, brown and basmati rice, wheat germ, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, and quinoa. One cup of barley contains 3.5 grams of protein, and half a cup of cooked quinoa consists of 4 grams of protein.
Vegetables are the star ingredients in any vegan or vegetarian meal plan. They are inexpensive compared to eggs, meat, and fish and include higher mineral and vitamin concentration and a low-calorie count. Some of the vegetables that contain a high amount of proteins include cauliflower, mustard greens, artichokes, turnip greens, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, beets, spinach, and broccoli. One cup of Brussels sprout consists of 3 grams of protein, and one cup of cauliflower consists of 2 grams of protein.
Advantages of Protein
Due to the rapid ability to heal the human body, protein is considered one of the most vital nutrients in the human body. Below we are sharing some of the benefits that protein offers to the body.
Improves the condition of heart health
A higher intake of protein can reduce the blood pressure levels of the body. It also decreases heart attack or stroke risks. According to a research of controlled 40 trials, higher protein intake lowers the systolic pressure of the blood of 1.76 mm Hg reading and a diastolic pressure of 1.15 mm of Hg. Additionally to the benefit of lowering blood pressure, a higher protein diet can also reduce the bad cholesterol or LDL levels in the human body.
Boosts the metabolism
Consumption of food can temporarily enhance the metabolism as the body implements calories for digesting and using the food nutrients. It is also known as the thermic food effect. Protein consists of a higher thermic effect than carbs or fats (almost 20 to 35% compared to 5 to 15%). Some studies also indicate that higher protein consumption can result in 80 to 100 more calories than are being burned every day. Another study also suggests that a high protein group can burn nearly 260 calories more each day than the lower protein groups.
Enhances muscle strength and mass
Adequate protein consumption helps to maintain muscle mass and promotes growth while carrying out strength training. If you are trying to gain some muscles or are physically active, you have to ensure that you consume enough protein. Higher protein intake also prevents any loss of muscle while you are busy burning the body fat.
Enhances the Energy Levels
Protein also acts as a natural energy source. If you fail to consume a balanced diet with no adequate body energy, the body will use up its protein to compensate. It happens with most weight loss or fasting programs. Since there will be no additional protein in the body, enzymes and the muscles break down the proteins to create amino acids to synthesize glucose and offer energy. It will also deliver a continuous glucose supply to the cells.
Tissue and cell recovery
Tissues and cells must go through continuous recovery and renewal for maintaining an ideally healthy body. A constant amino acid supply is compulsory for protein formation. Protein creates new tissues and cells like hair, nails, and skin. The cells present in the blood, skin, or digestive system begin to destroy after a definite time. After this, the protein starts to replenish and produce healthy and new cells for replacing the deceased ones.
Reduces Hunger and Appetite Levels
Protein is the most filling nutrient source among all the macronutrients, even when you intake less food. This macronutrient reduces hunger hormone named ghrelin levels in the human body while increasing the peptide YY levels which also helps an individual to feel fuller. If you are trying to reduce weight, you can replace fats and carbohydrates from your diet with a high protein amount.
Make the Immunity system stronger
The body prevents different diseases with the help of antibodies. The antibodies are nothing but specific types of protein that can detect every foreign antigen and element. The body creates enough antibodies to deactivate the antigens present inside it.
Improves the bone health
Most of the studies recommend that protein can include primary advantages for bone health. Consumption of a high protein amount assists in maintaining the mass of the bone a little better. It also reduces any fracture or osteoporosis risks. It specifically also holds for women who encounter higher osteoporosis risk after menopause. Consumption of a high amount of protein-enriched food and remaining active is one of the best ways to prevent his situation from happening.
Maintenance of weight loss
A high protein diet meal plan assists an individual in losing weight, but the problem persists while maintaining it. According to various studies, a higher protein intake assists in weight management by enhancing the protein intake amount from 15 to 18% calories. This diet helps to decrease the chances of weight regaining by nearly 50%.
Protein delivers enough strength to the tissues that encounter continuous wear and tear situations like skin. Collagen is an abundant fibrous protein that offers the necessary strength to the skin cells. The youthful and healthy skin appearance and absence of wrinkles depend highly on the collagen levels in the human body.
Protein Rich Diet Plan
Diet plans should be well balanced as they also enhance the consumption of specific nutrients. The below high-protein diet chart will assist you in improving the protein content in the body.
|6:00 AM||One glass of lukewarm amla water|
|four pieces of soaked walnut|
|6:30 AM||One small 6 to 7 inch of banana|
|8:30 AM||200 ml of unsweetened soya milk|
|10:00 AM||One cup of Almond apple chia seeds smoothie with low-fat milk|
|One bowl of steamed vegetables and sprouts|
|12:00 AM||One cup of coconut water|
|Two seasonal fruits|
|2:15 PM||One bowl of Tomato carrot, lettuce, cucumber, beetroot salad|
|2:30 PM||1.5 cup of mixed vegetable raita|
|One bowl of Quinoa polao with spinach and tofu|
|3:30 PM||Half cup of low-fat paneer|
|One cup of green tea with cinnamon|
|8:15 PM||One cup of Cucumber carrot tomato salad|
|8:30 PM||One and a half cup of soya matar sabzi|
|Two pieces of oats chilla without oil|
|10:30 PM||One cup of jasmine green tea without sugar|
Following the diet plan will help you to go a long way in enhancing your protein intake. It is exceptionally significant to ensure your protein consumption and check if you have met your daily requirement. Even if you are a vegetarian, you can get high protein in your body by following the above meal plan and consuming the food items mentioned above.
Whether you want to gain muscle sustainably, lose weight, or do both—Mirganshi is the person you reach out to! She has a B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Lovely Professional University (LPU) and certification from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GGFI). She grew up and completed her schooling in Jaipur, Rajasthan back in the early 2000s. Currently, she helps hundreds of individuals in correcting their diets, lifestyle habits, and physical health.
She currently lives with her husband in Navi Mumbai, and they have been happily married since 2017. She is also a fitness freak herself and has completed several marathons like TATA Mumbai Marathon, Pinkathon, and more! In her free time, she likes to listen to music while writing her journal. Discipline is her best friend, and she ensures to impart this virtue in her clientele as well.
Due to her impeccable grip on body nutrition and well-being, Mirganshi understands precisely what is right for your body and recommends/reviews products she only truly has faith in. Mirganshi is also a champion for mental health advocacy and understands how keeping your brain fit and mind sane is an essential part of well-being.