Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.Your body utilizes proteins to build and repair tissues. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.You must therefore ensure that you include a healthy source of protein in every major meal.
DAILY PROTEIN REQUIREMENT
-The Recommended Dietary requirement of protein is 0.8 grams per kg of body weight.
-This comes to around 56 grams for an average male and 46 grams for an average female.
-If you include animal protein in your diet like eggs, fish, chicken then most likely your daily requirement is covered.
-Vegetarians need to consciously include protein rich food in their diet to prevent deficiency.
HEALTHY SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR NON VEGETARIANS
Animal products are rich a source of protein but all of them are not healthy. The healthy ones include:
1 . Egg
1 boiled egg contains 6.29 grams of proteins and around 80 calories. Apart from proteins, eggs are rich in other essential minerals and should be included as part of one’s diet.
2 . Chicken
Among non-vegetarian options, chicken is a very rich source of protein with 100 grams of chicken containing 30 grams of protein and 239 calories.
3 . Fish
On an average, a 100 gram serving of fish like pomfret, salmon, contains 15-25 grams of proteins and around 115 calories. Fish is also rich in calcium, phosphorous, iron and omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your body in other ways.
4 . Seafood
Around 85 grams of shrimps lobster or crab meat contains 17 grams of protein with only an average of 85 calories. Seafood is considered a lean source of protein with a much less calories count for a good amount of protein.
HEALTHY SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR VEGETARIANS
Here are some excellent sources of protein for vegetarians:
1 . Pulses And Legumes
Daal is an integral part of the Indian diet. Pulses and legumes like masoor daal, chana daal, urad daal, moong daal, lobia, chickpeas and Rajma contain an average of 20-22 grams of protein per 100 gram of serving and around 120 calories. They are also a rich source of minerals like iron, phosphorous and magnesium.
2 . Soya
Soya, popularly known as tofu, is one of the best sources of proteins for non-meat eaters. It has a whopping 40% protein content and 20% fat, most of which is unsaturated or good fat. Soya is best eaten as chunks in a serving of around 50 gm in meals, or can be included in evening snacks in the form of soya sticks.
3 . Whole Grains
Whole grains such as Rice, Wheat, Ragi and Maize form most of the staple Indian diets. Whole grains find their way almost invariably in our breakfast, lunch and dinner and give 6-12% proteins. Make sure you are taking unrefined and unpolished versions to ensure maximum health benefits. Eat a large bowl of these (100 gm) during breakfast and lunch and a small serving (50 gm) at dinner.
4 . Dairy Products
Milk, cheese, yoghurt and paneer are some protein rich dairy products. 200 ml of skimmed milk contains 6-7 gram protein, 100 gram cheese contains 31 gram and ½ cup paneer contains 6-7 gram protein.
5 . Nuts
A healthy snack option, nuts like almonds, pine nuts, pistachios and peanuts are rich protein sources. 10 almonds contain 2.5 gram of protein, 100 gram pistachios contain 21 gram protein and same amount of pine nuts contain 14 gram protein. One must remember that nuts are high in calories a serving of 100 grams contains an average of 500-600 calories.
6 . Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are particularly high in protein content. 100 grams of sunflower seeds has 14 gram protein whereas same amount of pumpkin seeds contains 20 grams of protein.
Remember that the protein requirement of your body will increase in case of vigorous physical activity. Body-builders and athletes have a higher than average protein requirement. You may consult a dietitian to find out exact protein requirement of your body. Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy!