6 Great Vegetarian Sources of Protein!
What is Protein?
Proteins are essentially made of a few or many amino acids. Depending on the composition, each protein plays a different role in the functionality of our body. Proteins are required to make the inner and outer membrane of each and very cell in our body. They from enzymes, they are part of our muscles, tissues, bones, hair, nails and skin! Quite rightly proteins are called the building blocks of our body!
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This refers more to the minimum amount of protein your body needs per day to meet your basic nutritional requirements! This quantity will change based on your age, sex, physical activity level, fitness goals and health issues.
Lean meat, chicken and fish are great sources of protein, but where can people who don’t eat these foods get their protein? Here are a few vegetarian foods, which are excellent sources of protein:
1. Lentils: Lentils belong to the legume family. They come in green (Moong Dal) and red (Masoor Dal) colors and are commonly used in Indian cooking to make Dal. 1 cup of cooked lentils have 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber making them a nutrient rich protein source.
2. Yogurt: 1 cup (8oz.) of yogurt has 9 grams of protein. Yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, which makes it a nutrient rich food.
3. Boiled Eggs: 1 medium size hard-boiled egg has 7 grams of protein. Eggs can be boiled, scrambled, backed, made into omelets and so many other things. They are cheaper than meat and make an excellent protein choice.
4. Broccoli: 1 cup of cooked broccoli has 4 grams of protein and just 54 calories making it a low calorie – high protein food.
5. Quinoa: 1 cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber making it a great source of proteins and carbohydrates.
6. Chickpeas: 1 cup of cooked chickpeas have 15 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber making them an excellent source of protein and good carbs for a vegetarian diet.