7 Protein-Rich Vegetarian Foods

Proteins are made up of amino acids and are known as the building blocks of life. 

They take more time to digest than other macronutrients (carbs and fats) and helps you stay full on fewer calories [Source]—Exciting news for anyone trying to lose weight.

The main concern about the veg diet is that there might be an absence of adequate protein. But, many health experts admit that the right veg diet can provide you with all the nutrients you need

Here are 7 protein-rich vegetarian foods and tips on how to add them to your diet:

There is no doubt that animal-based products have a higher amount of protein. But, when it comes to a vegetarian diet, they have a bad image with respect to the protein content in it. 

Let’s get over this myth because vegetarian foods can also be good sources of protein. 

1. Beans & Legumes 

One of the favorite dishes in Indian households, kidney beans (Rajma), is an affordable source of protein, vitamins, iron, and fiber that offer plenty of health benefits. 

Not only Kidney beans, but black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, and soybeans also come under this category. 

If we talk about the protein content of kidney beans, 100 grams of boiled kidney beans contain almost 9 grams of protein. Even if the nutritional value of animal protein is higher than that of a bean protein, but beans are a reasonable option.

As a matter of fact, beans are one of the richest plant-based sources of protein. 

2. Oatmeal & Oats

A simple and appetizing way to add protein to your diet is oats.

If you eat 120g of oats, it will provide you around 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fibre, good amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate [Source]. 

Oats and oatmeal are not a complete protein, but they contain a quality protein as compared to grains like wheat and rice.

Oats can be eaten in a number of ways from Organic Oats Porridge to Low-Calorie Oats Idli.   They are the super breakfast food and improve your body with proteins and fibre. 

3. Green Peas

Most people don’t think of green peas as a source of protein, but they actually are. They are appetizing and often eaten with salads and soups.

The tiny 240g of green peas contains 9 grams of protein, which is more than a cup of milk [Source].

Green peas (100g) contains 17g of dietary fibre, 0% Cholesterol, 24mg of Sodium and 875 mg of Potassium. They are also a good source of magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper and many other B vitamins.

For weight loss, try Matar Paneer to increase your protein intake. Paneer contains fatty acid (conjugated linoleic acid) that burns fat and as a result, works best for weight loss. 

4. Dairy Products 

Milk comprises of two types of high-quality protein: casein (80%) and whey (20%). Both proteins contain all essential amino acids. 

Not only milk, but its products contain a whole lot of benefits that can help lose weight as well as gain weight depending upon the quantity you consume. 

Dairy products like milk, cheese (paneer), and yoghurt (Dahi) are not only a good source of protein, but also consist of calcium and vitamin D [Source]. 

Dairy products are full of nutrients and, with the presence of protein, it can contribute to satiety. As a result, the feeling of fullness will last long and, contribute to weight loss. 

Make sure you consume low-fat dairy products and in moderation. 

5.Protein-Rich Vegetables

All veggies contain protein, but the quantities are generally small.

Broccoli, asparagus, spinach, potatoes, artichokes, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are the vegetables with the most protein and have around 4-5g of protein per cooked cup [Source]. 

As discussed, the quantity of protein in vegetables are small, but when combined with other protein-rich foods, can offer your great deal of benefits. 

in addition to its high protein content, these veggies (especially, spinach) are rich in antioxidant and reduce inflammation

For weight loss, eating veggies with low GI (glycemic index) can help you lose weight, and maintaining blood sugar levels. 

Researchers found that people eating food with a high GI (refined grains, sugars and starches) were involved with more weight gain whereas people consuming a low GI food may help maintain weight loss [Source].

CHECK THIS OUT: Here’s the data of food having a low, moderate and high glycemic index.” 

Try mixed bean salad by mixing dried beans, capsicum, tomatoes, and broccoli- perfect for weight loss. 

6. Peanuts

Rich in Protein, known to improve heart health, and full of healthy fats, peanuts can be an easy option to add proteins to your diet. 

Peanuts contain healthy fats and protein and take a long time to digest that keeps you full for longer, as a result, you reduce your hunger and appetite [Source]. 

Half a cup of peanuts come in with around 20.5 gms of protein. They are rich in healthy fats and protein, but low in carbs, hence, making them quite wholesome for weight loss and diabetics. 

The protein-rich peanuts contain minerals like copper, biotin, niacin, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin E and can easily be added in your diet to complete your daily nutrient requirements. 

Keep in mind that 1g of fat contains 9 calories. 

So for weight loss, make sure you are consuming peanuts in a moderate quantity. 

7. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds and come from the plant Salvia Hispanic L. Packed with healthful properties, chia seeds may help boost overall health and wellness. 

They are highly rich in proteins that stimulate a feeling of satiety and prevent eating too much. 1 tbs of chia seeds contains 3 gms of protein. 

The tiny black seeds also contain calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and many other micronutrients. 2 tbs of chia seeds have around 10g of fibre and 6g of protein.

As diets high in fibre and protein have been linked to weight loss, chia seeds can curb appetite by making a person keep your stomach full for longer [Source]. So for weight loss, one can add chia seeds to their diet. 

By sprinkling, chia seeds on top of a salad can provide you with plenty of benefits and help you in weight loss. 

Final Words

Whether you have to lose weight or gain, protein is essential in both the scenarios. Some people may be interested in increasing their protein intake from veg sources for a number of reasons.

Even if you are a vegetarian, adding these 7 protein-rich foods to your diet can help you complete your daily protein requirement. 


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