Proteins are the most essential part of our body, literally, as they are the building blocks of our muscles. Our bodies simply can’t function without them. Not consuming enough proteins will jeopardize your fitness targets. If our body doesn’t get enough proteins, it starts pulling fuel from our bones, organs and heart leading to an unhealthy system.
Proteins do not only help you keep alive but also helps to keep bone, cartilage and blood healthy. It is vital for every process like metabolism, digestion, transportation of nutrients and oxygen to blood. It also produces anti bodies that fight against infections and illness. It enables our bodies to heal efficiently and help fix hormonal imbalances.
Now the first question that would arise in your mind is “why to increase protein intake post practicing a fitness routine or gym?” Well, while exercising we tend to tear our muscles and proteins help them to recover quickly and bind them even firmly.
Now established that proteins are a must for all fitness followers, the question would be “where to get these proteins from?” Well nature and science both have come forth and provided us with many consumable forms of proteins to answer this question. While many protein substitutes are available in online and offline markets; here are some Indian natural ‘stores’ of protein:
- Soya: It is the highest and best source of protein for a vegetarian. Soya products are the processed products of Soy. They are naturally blended with proteins and carbohydrates. Some of the soya products are:
- Veggie soy burgers
- Textured vegetable protein(TVP)
- Broccoli: Broccoli contains 5 grams of protein per cup. It is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids and is best when eaten raw to preserve its nutrients.
- Almonds: Every single piece of this delicious nut adds 1.3 grams of protein to your diet. Almonds also have the highest amount of fiber per serving and will keep you full while helping you to lose weight.
- Chickpeas: Adding 1 cup of chickpeas to your salad packs nearly 40 grams of protein to your diet. Studies have shown that legumes such as chickpeas can really be useful for fat loss because of their high-fiber content. So next time, rejoice when you eat your favorite chole-chawal but keep the portions in control.
- Coconut: Coconut is a great source of protein. Half a cup of fresh coconut (Gari) contains 8 grams of protein. It is also particularly high in threonine, an amino acid needed to protect the liver.
- Milk: Running away from milk in childhood is what we all have a memory of. But it’s time to run towards it, as milk is an excellent source of animal protein for vegetarians .One glass of milk contributes 8 grams of high-quality protein to your diet. Opt for low-fat toned milk to help you lose weight while getting your share of Vitamin D and calcium.
- Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese or paneer is to vegetarians what chicken is to meat-lovers. And as it turns out, it is quite healthy too. 100 grams of paneer contains 11 grams of protein. Choose paneer made from low-fat milk to stay fit and healthy.
- Lentils (Dal): Well mothers are always right! Lentils are a good source of dietary fiber and also have a low amount of calories. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein. It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, copper, and manganese.
- Spinach: Our diet is incomplete without Popeye’s favorite food. 1 cup of cooked and boiled spinach contains 5 grams of proteins. Spinach is also abundant in Vitamin A, Vitamin B, iron, dietary fiber and all of the B-complex vitamins.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are also a very high source of protein and are low in calories. Like broccoli, it burns more calories than what you attain from it. It is also high in Vitamin D, potassium and phosphorous.