Protein is the building block of our body. There are various functions of protein in our body, but two major ones include protein synthesis and degradation.
We need proteins to build our body and repair body tissues. They build and repair muscles, tissues, hormones, enzymes and immunoglobulin, which helps fight infections.
During protein degradation, the damaged proteins are broken down into amino acids and reused to make new proteins.
The human body requires a lot of proteins every day. If you do not get enough protein in your diet, you will start to lose muscle mass, which can lead to weaker bones. Yet, if you consume too much protein, you can also cause damage to the kidneys and liver.
We need good quality protein-rich foods every day to keep us going without any health issues. It is not only available in animal sources but fruits and vegetables also contain a good amount of protein.
The best source of proteins come from plants, seeds, legumes, nuts and animal products. To get all the essential amino acids, we need to consume all these protein groups in our diet.
Animal proteins like meat, fish, chicken, egg etc are rich in essential amino acids whereas vegetarian proteins like lentils are incomplete proteins.
The first thing to know is that plant-based proteins are not the same as animal-based proteins. Plant-based proteins are derivatives of legumes, nuts, grains and vegetables, which are in the form of beans, lentils, seeds, peas and whole grains. Typically, these foods are enriched with protein.
Protein-rich Foods for Vegetarians and Vegans
Many vegetarians and vegans believe that they won’t be able to get sufficient protein because they do not eat meat. However, this is totally untrue. Researchers say that a well-planned vegetarian or vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients.
Soy milk contains 7grams of protein per cup. It is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best alternatives to cow milk.
Soy milk is a versatile product and can be consumed in a variety of ways through cooking and baking.
An easy and delicious food rich in proteins is oats. You can get 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre from half a cup of dry oats. They also contain a sufficient amount of magnesium, folate, phosphorus and zinc.
Oats can be consumed with the help of different recipes ranging from oatmeal to veggie burgers. They can also be used in baking.
Wild rice can give you 1.5 times as much protein as other rice varieties such as brown rice and basmati.
One cup of cooked wild rice can provide 7 grams of protein and a significant amount of fibre, copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B and phosphorus.
It is considered better than white rice because, unlike white rice, wild rice is not stripped of its bran, which makes it a better choice from a nutritional point of view.
Chia seeds are obtained from Salvia Hispanica plants and these seeds contain a remarkable amount of calcium, iron, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and magnesium.
They can be used in a variety of recipes ranging from baking to smoothies and puddings.
Chia seeds can provide 6 grams of protein and 13 grams of fibre per 35 grams.
Protein-rich Foods for Non-vegetarians
We all know that protein is an important part of our diet. Protein helps keep our body strong, healthy and fit.
However, some proteins are complete proteins, which means that they contain a high-quality set of essential amino acids that are needed by the body to make new proteins for growth and repair.
Animal-based foods are a great source of protein. They are rich in amino acids which cannot be derived from plant-based foods.
Lean beef is a rich source of protein as well as bioavailable iron, vital nutrients and Vitamin B12.
Beef is one of the most suitable foods for people following a low-carb diet. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of lean beef steak contains 25 grams of protein.
Tuna is a famous fish and is usually served as a baked dish or with salads.
It's low fat and low-calorie food but highly rich in proteins. It also contains essential nutrients and omega-3 fats. One can get 27 grams of protein from 142 grams of tuna.
Chicken breast can be cooked easily and has a heavenly taste. It is popular among muscle-building diet regimes and contains a vast amount of proteins.
One roasted chicken breast without skin can provide 53 grams of protein.
Eggs are among the healthiest and most readily available foods. One large egg can provide 6 grams of protein and 78 grams of calories.
They are rich in not just proteins but also vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats.
Whole eggs are rich in protein but egg whites are almost pure protein. However, people with egg allergy should avoid eating eggs and foods that contain eggs.
Turkey breast consists of high-protein with very little or no fats and calories. It can be easily prepared and serves as one of the most delicious foods among the non-vegetarian category to get proteins.
One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving contains 26 grams of protein.
Globally, every human cell is about 50% protein, with some cells as much as 80% protein! Proteins are used in many ways for the maintenance of our body. They form enzymes that help break down food into simple molecules, which can then be absorbed by our body. Proteins also help us in hair growth.
They form hormones, antibodies and various other chemical messengers that send signals to different parts of the body. They hold water and form the scaffolding upon which our cells rest, and they provide structure to keep us strong and flexible.