National Nutrition Month: Top five protein-rich food items for vegetarians
These days, many people stick to fasting or fad diet plans to 'stay healthy' or to lose weight. But the truth is- you need a filling and balanced diet to stay healthy. So, this Nutrition Month, which is observed every September and is aimed at promoting the importance of healthy eating, include these five vegetarian protein-rich food items in your diet.
Soy: A wholesome food source for vegetarians
All soy-based food items are great sources of protein, so much so that their protein content is high enough to compete with their non-vegetarian counterparts. From soybean to soy milk and tofu to soy nuts, there are plenty of high-protein soy foods to choose from. So, as long as a vegetarian's diet includes soy in it, they need not worry about protein deficiency.
Dairy: How about some milk, cheese, paneer and yogurt?
Apart from being great source of calcium, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.) also contain decent amounts of protein in them. A cupful of milk will give you about 8 grams of protein, while a cup of low-fat yogurt contains about 13 grams of dietary protein. Paneer (cottage cheese) is another great option - an ounce of it provides nearly 7 grams protein.
Nuts and nut-butters to the rescue for your protein needs
Nuts, nut-butters, and other seeds are great protein-rich options for non-meat eaters. With just a handful of nuts (25-30 grams), you get 5-7 grams of protein, depending on the type of the nut or seed variety. Further, they are also rich in fiber, healthy fats, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. But don't munch on too many if you wish to lose weight.
Have more lentils and pulses to meet your protein needs
A desi way to get more protein into the body for vegetarians is by including more lentils, pulses, and beans into their diet. According to Harvard School of Public Health, one cup of cooked lentils contains nearly 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber, with virtually no saturated fats or sodium. So, start eating more of dals and rajma, regularly.
Oats: High-quality protein for vegetarians
Although not complete protein, but as compared to other grains (read wheat and rice), oats are a good source of high-quality protein for vegetarians. A half-cup of dry oats (150 calories) will supply you with nearly 6 grams of protein and 4 grams fiber. Furthermore, they also have decent amount of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate. Happy National Nutrition Month. Stay healthy!