Vegetarians often feel left out that there are not much protein options available in their diet as compared to their non-vegetarian counterparts. Chicken, eggs, lean meats, red meats, fishes are popularly known as the good sources of protein. The good news is that there are plenty of protein options available for vegetarians to meet the daily protein requirement. Contrary to the belief an average individual only requires approximately one gram of protein per kg of body weight to meet the daily protein requirement intake. Extra protein gets stored as fat in the body.
Protein helps in the building of muscle fiber and for various other functions of the body. Protein is required by the body for the growth, maintenance and repair of all cells. It is also essential for the synthesis of antiboidies which fight infection and is the main nutrient for our hair, nails etc.
Best Vegetarian Protein Sources
Yogurt: Yogurt and Greek yogurt both are healthy options for protein. One cup of yogurt can provide you with 14 gm of protein and more ever with other nutrition as well. Opt for a plain yogurt than the sweetened and flavored one as it is less in sugar and other additives. Yogurt boosts bone health, promotes colon health and boosts immunity. Greek yogurt contains more protein than the regular yogurt.
Soybean: Soyabean is one of the richest vegetarian protein source and is rich in carbohydrates, fats and other important vitamins and minerals. Men should eat less of soy products as they are high in female hormones and excess consumption could cause man boobs. Other soy products are equally healthy for protein. Like tofu, soymilk etc are all healthy sources of protein.
Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is made from milk and is rich in protein and other nutrients. Its rich in calcium and eating 110gm of cottage cheese provides around 14 gm of protein. Cottage cheese is healthy for the body and adds carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals. Milk and milk products are all good sources of protein.
Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, dals, peanuts and other legumes are rich source of protein. The legumes add fiber to the diet. Legumes provide 25 gm per 100 gm of legume. It is consumed in our everyday meal and we could increase its consumption to meet the daily nutritional requirement.
Green peas, spinach, broccoli are also good source of protein. Cereals also provide some protein in our diet but do not contain all the essential amino acids. Sunflower seeds, seasame seeds, walnuts, almonds and some other dry fruits can also be added to sources of protein. Mix different protein options in your diet to have a variety of food and meet the daily requirement.Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo