Our body needs protein for building cells and tissues, and looking after its growth and repair. The complete protein is made up of 20 amino acids out of which 9 can’t be produced by the body. So, we need food sources to complete the need of these essential amino acids. Though meat is a great source of protein, it comes with its shortcomings. There are a number of vegetarian proteins that can complete the body’s protein requirement of all the 9 essential amino acids.
Let Us Discuss The Vegetarian Proteins In Detail-
Lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans are all great sources of protein and provide the body with the amino acid content to a large extent. Hummus made from chickpeas sauteed or pureed pestos made from peas can be eaten as accompaniment to your main dishes as they are good sources of protein. The legumes contain iron, phosphorous, vitamin and zinc which the body needs, and these legumes take time in digesting hence they are a good option for dieters as they keep the stomach full for a longer time. Legumes when eaten with rice forms the complete protein the body requires.
This seed is used as a grain in foods and is a complete protein as it contains the 9 essential amino acids the body requires. It contains gms of protein in a cup and can be roasted, boiled, and eaten as a cereal in breakfast, or can be added in soups, salads. It is a great substitute for rice as it does not contains carbs and is also loaded with fibers, minerals, and nutrients and acts as a complete nutritional meal for the body.
Buckwheat contains 6 gms of protein in a cup and helps in the repair and development of muscles and tissues in the body without packing in those extra calories. It can be roasted, boiled and eaten in breakfast or in soups and salads. It is not a wheat actually, and can be administered to diabetic patients, and gluten intolerant people with much ease. Buckwheat intake helps in controlling blood pressure and circulation of blood in the body.
Nuts like almonds and cashews are a healthy addition to the diet and add loads of protein and healthy fats to the body. Though they do contain calories, they can be eaten dry or roasted and unsalted, for adding plant based protein to our system. These nuts are heart healthy, contain fiber and nutrients that keep the body healthy and active.
It is a complete protein and contains an amino acid which even the beans lack. It processed varieties must be avoided and tofu is the best source of protein in soy products. It contains 10 gms protein in 1/2 a cup. Tempeh and natto are also fermented varieties of soy products that are high in protein and edamame is a fresh variety of soy. The tofu selection should always be of the firm variety for higher protein content.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are great sources of vegetarian proteins and help in the development of muscles and these are calcium rich which helps in the growth and development of the bones. Even soy milk and its yogurt gives ample protein to the body.
Not only does hemp contain all the essential amino acids it is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron and more. It also contains healthy fats and is a great weight loss diet option. 2 tabs of hemp seeds contain 10 gms of protein.
Though greens do not contain sufficient quantities of proteins as compared to lentils and beans, they can be eaten in large amounts to get some protein into the system. And these are also rich in antioxidants, fibers and minerals so they form a complete nutrition and can also be combined with lentils to form a healthy protein soup.
These are beneficial for the heart and extremely low in calories, and are great for adding essential amino acids to the body. For a weight loss regime, they fit the bill perfectly as they are high in fiber, low in calories and can be eaten as desserts, puddings and are a healthy breakfast item too.
Sesame, Sunflower And Poppy Seeds
These seeds add a high amount of protein to our system if they are eaten in good quantities. They can be added to curries, bread, salads, and sauces made from these seeds can be eaten as accompaniments to food. Sunflower seeds contain 7.3 gms of protein per cup and also contains a good dose of healthy fats.