Do you know the word Protein is derived from the Greek word “Proteus” which means ‘prime importance’. So, basically, an adequate supply of protein is very essential in every individual’s body for his growth and development and here you will get to know how to fulfill your protein requirement with a vegetarian diet or you can say plant-based protein.
Why is it Important?
Each and every cell in the human body contains protein. It helps to repair and build your body’s tissues. Your hair, skin, nails, and bones, are all mostly made of protein. Protein is a chain of amino acids i.e. also a very essential requirement of a human body. It aids the digestive system by making enzymes and hormones that help facilitate chemical reactions.
The most common perception that usually people have about a vegetarian diet is that it lacks protein and that there is not much availability of protein sources for vegetarians. But actually, this is a myth and there are a lot of plant-based protein sources that can fulfill your protein requirement.
1. Cottage Cheese:
The most commonly known protein source for vegetarians is cottage cheese. It is high in protein content and it is also easy to include in your daily diet. Cottage cheese is made with casein protein, rather than whey protein, which gets digested slowly which makes it more efficient in preventing muscle breakdown.
Quinoa is one of the best choices among all other plant-based protein sources as it comprises all nine amino acids which are essential and this makes it different and also better than other vegetarian proteins and lots of other nutrition and has a similar texture to the rice. A cup of Quinoa contains twice more protein and about 5 kg more fiber than white rice.
Tempeh is also one of the amazing protein sources for vegetarians. It is made from fermented soybeans. It is a great alternative to meat as it contains vitamin B12 and is a complete source of Protein. One cup ( 166 grams ) provides 31 grams of Protein. It can be a great alternative for vegetarians to fulfill their protein requirements.
After soybean Lentils are the second-best source of Protein for vegetarians and when it is consumed along with brown rice and other whole grains than they may give you the same quality of protein as meat. Choosing Lentils over meat also makes it a healthier choice for your heart health. Some excellent options for protein-rich Lentils are
* Black Lentil
* Bengal Gram Split
* Green Gram
* Red Lentil
* Pigeon Pea Lentil
Nuts are a great source of protein for vegetarians. It is not only high in protein but it also contains healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals which makes it a healthy and tasty snack to munch on throughout the day.
Some Protein rice nuts that you must add to your everyday diet are –
* Pine Nuts
* Brazil Nuts
6. Hemp Seeds:
Studies have shown that Hemp Seeds contain amino acids which make them quite similar to egg whites and soybean and thereby it is regarded as a high source of plant-based protein. One tablespoon ( i.e. 10 grams of Hemp Seed contains 10 grams of protein and 180 calories.
7. Sunflower Seeds:
Sunflower Seeds are rich in protein and contain healthy fats as well as antioxidants. It helps in fulfilling your body’s protein requirement without consuming meat or meat products. Other than protein it has lots of other nutritious such as vitamin E, zinc, vitamin B6, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, magnesium, Potassium and so on and all this together makes it an excellent choice to add to your everyday diet.
8. Dairy Products:
The most commonly available source of protein for vegetarians are dairy products. Dairy foods contain two types of protein which are Whey and Casein. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, cream and yogurt are excellent sources of Protein. Along with Protein, they are also rich in calcium and Vitamin D.
9. Chia Seeds:
Chia Seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and plenty of other minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which makes them an excellent choice for vegetarians. It is extremely helpful in preventing heart diseases, digestive problems, diabetes and so on.
You can include it in your everyday diet by adding it to your smoothies and shakes or simply in plain water.
Chickpeas are the most excellent and common source of plant-based protein source. It is also rich in fiber and plenty of other essential vitamins and minerals. There are mainly two varieties of chickpeas:
* The light seeded Kabuli type.
* Smaller dark seeded types.
Both make it a superb choice when it comes to adding plant-based Protein to your diet.
Another plant-based protein option for vegetarians is spirulina a blue-green alga, which is a high-quality source of protein for vegetarians. It is also consumed as a dietary supplement for vegetarians.
12. Pumpkin Seeds:
Pumpkin Seeds are also a high-quality plant-based protein source that also contains unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with lots of antioxidants and nutrients which are extremely helpful in the development of your body and also reduce the risk of many diseases such as heart problems, cancer, blood sugar and so on.
So, now you see being vegetarian doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your body’s Protein requirement or Protein intake. There is plenty of plant-based Protein for vegetarians that are gifted by the nature. Choosing plant-based Protein over animal Protein is not only a wiser choice for you but also for the beautiful creatures present in the environment. Plant-based Protein contains lesser calories than animal Protein which helps in maintaining a healthy weight.
There are few symptoms or alerts that indicate protein deficiency in your body.
1. Weak Immune System:
A poor or weak immune system could be a sign of protein deficiency. Protein plays an important role in building your body’s immune system.
2. Muscle Loss:
In your late 30, your body may experience a muscle mass. A lack of protein may faster the process.
3. Skin, Nails and Hair Problems:
Protein deficiency also shows up in the appearance of your skin, hair and nails such as dry skin, hair loss, and brittle nails.
4. Sugar Craving:
When your body lacks an adequate amount of protein then it may spike your blood sugar followed by a rapid drop, and that may lead to increased sugar cravings to regulate it.
5. Liver Disorders:
Protein deficiency is often related to liver disorders. So, therefore lack of Protein intake may result in fatty liver and other livers problems as it may damage the liver cells.
The absence of adequate protein can lead to anemia when your cells don’t get enough oxygen, which makes you tired and exhausted even without doing anything such. Anemia is a condition in which your body lack’s enough red blood cells that are required to carry oxygen to your body’s tissue.