When it comes to a protein-rich diet, most people erroneously think that vegetarians do not have much options as meat is the only major source. However, vegetables are the primary protein source for herbivorous animals slaughtered for meat. Going directly to the veggies allows us to consume the original source proteins and get all the amino acids to build and repair our muscles minus the health risks associated with meats. Below are five such sources of high quality vegetarian protein.
Soybean has more protein content than meat of the same quantity. It also contains vitamins B and E, calcium, iron and zinc as well as unsaturated fatty acids. As per studies, soy protein also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and excess blood pressure. It contains isoflavones, a compound that helps maintain arterial health among menopausal women and reduces the risk prostate and breast cancer.
Called dal in India, lentils like Masoor and Moong contain 9 grams and 7 grams of protein per 100 grams of dal, respectively, after boiling. They are also rich in fibre which aids in healthy weight management and prevention of diabetes.
Chickpea, also known as Kaabulee Chana in India, was originally introduced here from Afghanistan. A 100 grams serving of chickpeas contains about nine grams of protein after boiling. Chickpeas are rich in vitamins A, C and E and minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium and also dietary fibre. Studies have suggested that chickpeas prevent the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type-2 diabetes among others.
100 grams of boiled red kidney beans or Rajma, provides about nine grams of protein, just like chickpeas. Rajma also contains dietary fibre, polyphenols such as quercetin, whose benefits we discussed above, and B vitamins. Studies have found antibacterial, antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties in Rajma. They also play a protective role in diseases such as CVD and cancer.
100 grams of these green seed pods contain five grams of protein. As per studies, green peas are packed with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties. They also help manage diabetes and lower bad cholesterol levels.