Best Vegan Proteins
Proteins, as we know, are an essential part of our nutrition. Not only do they provide the required energy to the body but also facilitate muscle recovery, cell repair and regeneration, improve hair, nails and skin health, balance the hormones, regulate the blood sugar levels, fight infections and improve metabolism.
Proteins form 20% of body weight and are the main component of our muscles, skin, internal and external organs. Proteins synthesise into amino acids and are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Normally a human body requires 0.8gms of protein per kilogram of body weight, which may vary according to the lifestyle.
Usually people live with an illusion that vegan diets lack protein but in reality, vegan foods can help achieve the nutrition goals satisfactorily. Here’s a list of certain food items which can fulfil our protein requirements.
Commonly known as Soya Paneer, is derived from Soya. This Protein rich food provides 8gms of protein per 100gms. It is a versatile food as it can be added to our Indian Curries (as a replacement of Paneer), sandwiches, soups, or even eaten raw. It makes a great pre-workout meal too.
Dry fruits are ultimate protein-rich snacking grub. A handful of these keep you energetic and satiated for a long time. Not forgetting their wonderful benefits for our skin and health. They keep energy levels high throughout the day. The nutritional value varies for different nuts. Some of protein- laden dry fruits are Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Hazelnuts and Brazil nuts.
A large variety of seeds like Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Hemp seeds, Chia seeds, Watermelon seeds are a good source of protein. The seeds can be added to salads, sautè vegetables, soups, smoothies and even eaten raw. They are rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6. Adding 1-2 spoonfuls of seeds to our daily diet can have various health benefits.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein for people who workout. However it shouldn’t be taken in excess due to its high calorific value. Peanut butter can be added to sandwiches and smoothies. A teaspoon of peanut butter in milk at night helps muscle recovery and induces sound sleep. Peanut butter also makes a great pre- workout meal.
Oats are a wholesome meal providing complex carbohydrates, energy and are also a good source of protein. Oats can be consumed both sweet and salty. 100gms of protein provide 10gms protein. Oats are a go-to fitness food for beginners and athletes.
Pulses are a great source of food protein. Adding them to our diet helps us to fulfil our daily protein requirement. Soybeans, red lentils, green lentils, chickpeas , kidney beans, baked beans are all high in protein. They can be boiled and eaten as a salad or ‘home cooked daal’.
Quinoa is a protein-rich seed which is high in fibre, magnesium, iron, calcium and various beneficial antioxidants. It has low glycemic index and controls blood sugar level. It is gluten free alternative and can be used in salads, flour, chips and desserts.