Protein rich veg food many times seems to be a mystery for many Indians, as we are never sure if we are getting enough of it.
Even though many Indians have non-veg food, it’s not an everyday affair. So you really don’t know if you are having enough protein every day.
Vegetarians, on the other hand, are even more at the risk of not having sufficient protein in their diet.
So why all this fuss about protein as if you are not going to live without it.
If you are probably not aware, proteins are the building block of your body which are required to keep your body healthy and are involved in making each and every cell in your body. Basically, they give you life.
There are various amino acids which come together to form a basic unit of protein, which is then utilized for various metabolic processes in your body.
Some of the common functions of proteins are
- Body maintenance – Proteins play an important role in the development and maintenance of body tissue. Literally, every cell in our body needs protein for various regulatory functions, so even a tissue broken down anywhere in the body will have proteins coming down and starting up the repair work
- Defense – The body uses proteins to create antibodies which help to defend your body from external agents that will cause harm to your body
- Muscles – Proteins help you to add on more muscular mass
One can write numerous books on protein function which will easily fill up a section of a library, but let’s move on on the actual matter in this article.
Many vegetarian Indians typically lack good protein intake and it later turns out into minor and major health issues.
Minor health issues like hair fall, weak nails, low muscle weight, general weakness in the body are commonly sociated with a low protein diet.
Major health issues include anemia, osteoarthritis, low immunity which can drastically bring down the quality of life of a person.
As per a survey, India has an astonishing protein deficiency rate of 80%. It is indicated that 9 out of 10 people in Indian had low protein rich food.
It’s clear from this survey that Indians be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian are clearly lacking daily requirement of protein intake.
In India, even if you are a non-vegetarian, you may not prefer having non-vegetarian food every day. Well, that’s the way most of us were brought up.
But we actually never cared about our daily protein intake and we wake up when our body starts showing certain symptoms related to protein deficiency.
Many pure vegetarians do not even know what are protein rich veg food and food that they have daily has protein in it or not.
It gets even worse for vegetarians who go the gym daily but fail to add enough muscle even after working out for a considerable period of time.
So here is a list a Top 10 Protein Rich Veg Food for Indians which many could include in their daily diet and have a healthy protein intake
Yes, our favorite sometimes special sabzi – Chana is an excellent source of protein. But sadly we only like to make most Chole Bhature out of it and pile on tons of calories with.
Just boil them, add a little salt and one cup of it is going to make you feel fuller for a good 2 -3 hrs.
Try some new recipe with it – Go for Hummus! One of the best stuff you can make with chickpeas.
Chickpeas have an awesome protein content of 9 g per 100 g when boiled. Make sure you have it mainly for breakfast or lunch as it also packs carbs and fiber, which can keep you going throughout the day.
Easy to cook and store and you carry it in anywhere as an instant snack to kill you hunger pans. This is the reason why it top on my list for protein rich veg food.
100g of Paneer can give you 11g of protein.
Paneer also makes you feel fuller quickly. But the key here is to not over eat it, which we generally tend to do when rich delicacies are prepared with it.
Mutter paneer can be a good choice as green peas also provide you with protein and fiber, but has to be restricted just to 1 cup.
No worries if you are blessed genetically to not put on weight, you may gorge on it.
Lentils are the nature’s best gift to us. You are seriously not following a healthy diet if you are ignoring lentils. There is an exciting variety of lentils to choose from.
1 cup ( 198 g) of lentils give you 18g of protein. Isn’t that good that the most common items that we ignore or eat once in a while can be such a rich source of protein.
Lentils like mung beans (moog), urad dal, masoor dal and toor dal should be a part of your everyday diet. It’s common in Indian households to cook dal every day. But you can easily get bored by having the same stuff, so better savor on different lentils every other day.
Now if you really want to beef up those muscles, you need to have one of the most protein-rich veg food, i.e Soy, commonly know as soya bean.
Just 100g of soya bean packs 36 g of protein. Many Indians are normally not accustomed to having soya beans in their daily diet, I guess it doesn’t make for a tasty meal.
But here is a trick that you can use to make sure that you are getting soybean protein every day. If you are getting the wheat dough done at a nearby local ‘chakki’ then mix soya beans with wheat in 1:10 or 2:10 ratio.
If you don’t want that mess, just go for soya bean chunks. Just boil them and some salt after softening and they are ready to eat. This can be a great post workout snack.
Try to remember when was the last time you had any sprouted beans. For many of you, several days or even weeks may have gone without having any sprouted beans.
Mung beans should be regular included in your weekly diet. It is one of the best and easily available protein rich veg food that one can have anytime.
100g of boiled Mung beans contains 7 g of protein. In the raw state, the protein content is about 24 g, but one cannot have it just like that.
Instead of sprouting just boil them after keeping soaked in water for about 5 to 6 hours. This can be your best evening snack when you are home from work and you are getting those nasty hunger pangs.
Boiled mung beans with some salt to taste, tastes really good. Don’t be fooled by the look of it, just enjoy the taste. I am sure many of you will love it and notice how quickly you get rid of the hunger pangs and start feeling fuller.
Apart from protein, mung beans also provide essential nutrients like Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, Magnesium and Dietary fiber.
Yes the most common food for Indians, the Toor dal. Sometimes the answer is in the commonest or simplest of things and Toor dal fits right in this category.
100g of pigeon peas (Toor dal) contains 7g of protein when boiled. The raw form has 22g. Yes, we blow up most of it in boiling.
If you are on a weight loss diet, just have boiled dal with some salt to taste. Avoid making Dal fry every time, the protein content gets even lower.
Have you ever tried this? We are very much accustomed to the traditional “bread butter toast” and we love it like anything, don’t we? But the only problem is that has also been giving you those love handles on your waist.
Some changes in your diet will go a long way in giving you a healthier body. One of the best protein-rich veg food that I love having is the Peanut butter.
Peanut butter has 25 g of protein per 100gms.
You can have peanut butter for breakfast instead of regular butter, also it will give you enough calories to take the day head on. However, it’s best to avoid peanut butter in the evening.
Yes I know what you are thinking, this was even shocking to me. We all have been having this with those yummy Faloodas since we were kids and we hardly know about this.
Chia seeds or sabja seeds are seeds of sweet basil and is one of the simplest protein rich veg food that is available.
Chia seeds have 17g of protein per 100 gms.
They also help in reducing weight as they give a fuller feeling on eating and helps to keep hunger at bay.
Make good use of them in the summer.
Almonds are the easiest source of proteins that one can have.
Just 100 gms of almonds have 21g of protein.
Now 100 gms of almonds can be too much to have in a single day and can burn a hole in your pocket too. But when you have other protein rich veg food that you can have in your meals, you can save almonds when you want to have light snacks.
Keep a handful of them in your bag so that you can keep on popping them in your mouth whenever you feel hungry when you are outside and can also keep you away from having junk food.
It’s best to have overnight soaked almonds in water as they are easier for digestion and are high in fiber and give you a fuller feeling with just a few almonds.
10. Spinach (Palak)
Seriously, how many times do you have just boiled spinach?
Cooking spinach in the lightest form helps to preserve its nutrients. Spinach with cottage cheese gravy (palak paneer) may seem to be the best option, but that’s going to give you tons of calories as it takes a lot of oil for cooking and you probably just won’t stop with just one serving.
100 gms of spinach will give to 3 gms of protein.
Best leafy protein rich veg food to have for dinner. It will be light on your stomach and will definitely not add calories, provided you cook it lightly.
The Top 10 Protein Rich Veg food items listed here can be beneficial to improve overall health and having an excess of these items in one go can also add calories resulting in weight gain.
Be it any food, having in moderation is the key.
With regular exercise to your body and regular intake of these protein rich veg food, Indians, in general, can achieve an overall good health and fitness.
We would really love to hear from you, if any other protein rich veg food has done wonders for you, feel free to share in the comments section below.