Vegan or vegetarian people do not consume any animal product so there are high chances of them lacking sufficient amount of proteins in their diet. Having enough protein in our diet ensures repairing of body cells and making of new ones. Protein is also important for regular growth and development.
Animal based products are often regarded as high in protein but a well planned plant based diet can provide enough protein. let’s talk about some meatless sources of protein :
Beans:- Besides animal products such meat, eggs, seafood or dairy; beans are excellent sources of protein. Soy beans are the highest plant based protein sources ; we get 28.5 gram of protein from one cup of boiled soybeans. If we talk about kidney beans and Pinto beans ; they provide similar content of protein i.e 15g of protein from 1 cup. Beans are also good source of carbohydrates and help to lower cholesterol and hypertension.
Spirulina:- It is a new source of protein for Indians. Spirulina is a form of a blue green algae. It is rich in Iron and copper . It is known to contain a powerful plant based protein called phycocyanin. A 14 g ( 2 tsp) of spirulina contains 8 g of protein and also 22% of daily requirement of iron and 95% of copper.
Amaranth:- Amaranth or rajgira is usually eaten during fast. Being a good source of complex carbohydrate it do not spike blood sugar level. The protein that is present in the amaranth is easily absorbed by the body and this protein is the most similar to animal protein. Amaranth provides 9 gram of protein from 1 cup.
Lentils:- They are very good for weight loss and are rich in protein and fiber. Lentils are prebiotics so they are good for our gut health and are also known to be beneficial in diabetes and hypertension. They contain folate, manganese and iron. lentils provide 18 gram protein from 1 cup. They can be used in varieties of dishes like salads , soups and daals. They provide half the amount of protein that a person require in a day.
Oats:- oats are yummy and easy to make. 1/2 cup of oats provides 5 g of protein and 4 g of fibers along with magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate. They are very helpful for weight loss. They reduce condition like heart disease and increased cholesterol. You can have them as oatmeal, pancakes or homemade cookies.
Chia seeds:- Chia seeds are very easily available in market. They are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. 1 ounce ( 2 tsp) of chia seeds provides 4g of protein and 11g of fiber. They are known to be beneficial for digestive health and prevent heart disease and diabetes.
Nuts:- These are great sources of protein. 1 ounce (28g) of nuts provide 5-7 g of protein depending upon the type. They are rich in fiber, healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin e.
Nuts are difficult to digest so either roast them or soak them overnight before eating.