SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS
The word Protein comes from a Greek word proteios which means “primary”. Protein is an important component needed by every cell in the body. Protein helps in growth and maintenance. It provides structure to the body. Protein regulates body processes to maintain fluid balance. It is the powerhouse of the body as it supplies energy to the body. 71% of people in India are vegetarians. It is true that vegetarians do get enough protein as compared to non-vegetarians, but there are a lot of options for vegetarians in order to gain protein and good health.
Dietician Jasleen Kaur, Founder &Mentor Just Diet Clinic believes that a lot of people are adapting to veganism or becoming vegetarians these days. A lot of restaurants are also adapting to this culture and making a special menu for vegans and vegetarians. A healthy lifestyle and consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes is the key to optimum health. The key is to consume food in the right amount to meet the nutritional requirements. Drinking plenty of water is good which will keep you hydrated. Eating at least 1 cup of beans each day is beneficial.
Vegetarians and vegans are different, as some vegetarians may consume animal-derived products, whereas vegans do not eat any animal derived product. Veganism is the strictest form of vegetarianism. So a vegan does not have dairy products, eggs, and animal derived ingredients. Whereas, a vegetarian does not exclude dairy-based products from their diet.
Vegetarians have multiple options to add protein to their diet. They can resort to tofu, soybean, chickpeas, peanuts for protein (chickpeas have 7.20g of protein in half cup). Almonds also provide a good amount of protein and vitamin C. Chia seeds are also low calorie and rich in protein and vitamins. There are many protein-rich vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, green peas and kale. Oats also provide a good amount of protein.
The best plant-based protein for vegetarians is quinoa, as it contains 10-11g of protein in one cup of quinoa. Another protein-rich food is lentils, which contain 17-18g of protein in one cup, while beans like kidney beans have around 10-13g of protein in one cup.Almonds are also rich in protein,with around 20g of protein in one cup. Peanut butter has 6-8g of protein in 2 tsp. peas have 8-9g of protein in one cup. Chia seeds have 4-5g of protein in a ½ cup.
Vegetarian source of protein for vegetarians and vegans:
• Green peas
• Chia seeds
• Legumes like beans
• baked beans
• Pumpkin seeds
• Cashew nuts
• Chia seeds