Protein is a vital nutrient for each and every cell of the body, which makes it one of the most important nutrients that we require in ample amounts every day. By keeping the muscles strong and healthy, regulating blood sugar, maintaining bone health and aiding in repairing tissues, the nutrient plays a major role in keeping an individual fit and helping the body stay away from any kind of health hazards.
Talking about protein, eggs come up as one of the best and the most common sources of this nutrient. It is also enriched with vitamins, minerals, and other forms of supplements required for a human body to maintain and improve its health. Apart from that, this all-rounder nutrient also keeps the tummy full, thereby aiding in weight loss. Going further, protein intake also helps in promoting brain health, protecting eyesight and healthy hair. But, unfortunately, there are many vegetarians who are unable to consume eggs for their daily dose of protein. For such people, there are different plant-based substitutes available in nature that can provide an equal amount of protein to the body.
Here are 6 of them for those who are vegetarian, follow veganism or simply don’t like eggs:
Protein: 20 g per 1 cup of serving
Beans are a great and a cheap source of protein. One of the most commonly available legumes, they are rich in Iron. The soluble in them helps in controlling cholesterol and makes them healthy for the heart. Beans also regulate blood sugar and are good for digestion. Moreover, as these greens are low in fat, they help people in reducing weight. They can be served in various forms and in different meals. By consuming 3 cups of beans per week, one can keep the risk of cancer at bay as well.
2. Dried Lentils
Protein: 13 g per 1/4 cup serving.
These are an inexpensive source to ramp up your intake of protein, fibre, and a range of vital minerals. They help in fighting fatigue as well as reducing the chances of cancer. Lentils are also good for digestion, heart health and for promoting weight loss. This makes their consumption crucial at the time of pregnancy as well as before and after pregnancy. One cup of lentils provides almost 90 percent of the required energy needs for a day.
3. Peanut Butter
Protein: 8 g per 2 tbsp serving.
Peanut butter is a rich source of protein as it is made only from peanuts. It contains protein and potassium, which helps in controlling the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Peanut butter also boosts energy and can be consumed at the time of losing weight. 2 tablespoons of plain, smooth peanut butter provide 188 calories, 8 grams of protein, about 16 grams of good fat and 6.3 grams of carbohydrates, of which nearly 2 grams is fibre.
Protein: 12 g per 3 oz
Tofu is an excellent source of protein. It moderates the risks of breast and prostate cancer and also prevents the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. This wonder food helps in smooth functioning of the kidneys and prevents the risk of liver damage. Tofu also cures age-related brain diseases, besides helping in reducing bone loss and increasing bone mineral density, especially after menopause. They have also been reported to reduce some other symptoms of menopause.
5. Green Peas
Protein: 7 g per 1 cup serving
Green peas have some major protein benefits. They are good for stomach cancer prevention and are also known for their anti-aging properties, building strong bones and a strong immune system with a high energy boost. They also prevent the occurrence of wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, bronchitis, osteoporosis and much more. In addition, the miraculous vegetable helps in regulating the blood sugar levels, reducing bad cholesterol and preventing the occurrence of heart diseases. They reduce bad cholesterol by providing calcium for bone health.
Protein: 8 g per 1 cup serving.
Quinoa is one of the most imperative protein-rich foods. This whole grain is naturally gluten-free and contains almost twice as much fibre as most other grains along with iron. It helps in controlling blood sugar as well as promotes growth and repair of tissues, as they contain lysine. Further, with its high magnesium and manganese-content, it prevents the occurrence of kidney stones.
By Sonia Narang, Nutritionist and Wellness Expert, Oriflame India