Protein is one of the essential nutrients needed for cell growth & repair. Foods rich in protein don’t just help with building muscle,but they also help with weight loss, as they take longer to break down and are generally lower in calories. Everyone knows that egg, meat and fish are the best sources of protein, but these foods are instantly off the menu if you’re a vegetarian.
Fortunately, there are plenty of vegetarian foods that can give you a healthy dose of protein, while they’re also low in unhealthy fats and cholesterol associated with non-vegetarian foods.
Best Sources Of Protein For Vegetarians:
Protein Source : Soya Chunks
100 gm of soya chunks contains 52 gm of protein
Soya chunks are a popular meat alternative with foodies who’ve recently gone veg, and they are also a great source of quality protein. Just 100 gms of soy chunks contains a whopping 52 gm of protein, putting it at the top of this list. The food is also low in calories, making it the ideal food for anyone working out and trying to lose weight.
Protein Source : Cheese
100 gm of cheese contains 35 gm of protein
Cheese is one of the best vegetarian source of dietary protein, with a high content of around 35 gm per 100 gm of cheese. While parmesan and mozzarella cheeses are the best, almost all varieties of cheese are rich in protein and also give you a good supply of calcium, which is essential for bone health. Cheese also has a good calorie ratio with 1 gm of protein from 11 calories.
Protein Source : Peanuts
100 gm of peanuts contains 24 gm of protein
Roasted peanuts taste fabulous and they are also packed with protein; 100 gms of peanuts contains about 24 gm of protein. In addition to protein, peanuts are also a good source of healthy fats and nutrients like folate and niacin. When having peanuts, just be wary of the flavored varieties, as most of them also contain high levels of sodium.
Protein Source : Masoor Dal
100 gm of masoor dal contains 24 gm of protein
Legums, including dals and sprouts, are a good source of protein, with masoor dal having the highest protein content around of 24 gm of protein per 100 gm. While most other dals and pulses contain lower amounts of protein, legumes are also a good source of important minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Protein Source : Almonds
100 gm of almonds contains 21 gm of protein
Regarded as on of the healthiest of nuts, almonds will help boost your protein intake, as 100 gm of the nut will give you 21 gm of protein. Almonds are however regarded as a ‘superfood’ because they are rich in healthy fats like Omega-3s that are essential for brain health.
Protein Source : Cocoa
100 gm of cocoa powder contains 20 gm of protein
It may be surprising to find cocoa powder on a list of protein-rich foods, but unsweetened cocoa powder contains a gram of protein per tablespoon. Because of its rather high fat content, it’s best to consume this with other low-fat products like skim milk.
Protein Source : Oats
100 gm of oats contains 17 gm of protein
Oats are considered to be one of the healthiest grains, which is why it is one of the most recommended healthy breakfast options. The grain is rich in protein, with a 100 gm serving giving you 17 gm of protein, along with plenty of fiber and essential minerals like magnesium and maganese. The high fiber content in oats helps boost heart health and it also provides greater satiety for longer, minimizing the risk of overeating.
Protein Source : Cottage Cheese
100 gm of cottage cheese contains 12 gm of protein
Cottage cheese, popularly known as paneer in India, is one of the most widely consumed of all diary products and with 12 gms of protein per 100 gm serving. It’s another healthy source of vegetarian protein. Cottage cheese is also packed with other important healthy nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
Protein Source : Chickpeas
100 gm of chickpeas contains 9 gm of protein
This is one of the best diet foods for individuals struggling to lose weight, as well as with bodybuilders because of its high protein content and low caloric value. Chickpeas comprise of 19 percent protein, with a 100 gm serving of cooked chickpeas yielding 9 gm of protein. The same serving would aslo give you 30 percent of your required daily fiber intake, ensuring that you stay satiated for longer, so there’s less chance of overeating or experiencing food cravings.
Protein Source : Yogurt
100 gm of yogurt contains 6 gm of protein
Yogurt may not yield as much protein per serving, but with 6 gm of protein per 100gm, yogurt comprises of 44 percent protein. Aside from the protein content, yogurt is also the best natural source of healthy probiotics like lactobacillus, which are great for gut health.
With these vegetarian sources of protein, you no longer have any reason to complain about a protein deficiency in your diet. Weight watchers should also try including more of these vegetarian protein options in their diet, as they are they have a better protein to calorie ratio.