By: Poornima Hariharan
If we can call our bodies a dependent being, then it’s assured their dependency is on this single most element – protein. To function just right, each and every cell demands its share of protein and then what; they simply do the protein magic doing hell lot of things in our system. Some of the things this protein takes credit for include Replicating DNA, Transporting Molecules, Responding to Stimuli and Catalysing Metabolic Reactions are just to name a few.
All proteins look like the same but they are not for they are determined by the amino acids’ sequence which as well gives protein its structure. The compounds of amino acid include Nitrogen, Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen. It is worth mentioning that these four components provide our bodies with rich protein enabling us to stay healthy and fit.
Well, what does protein exactly do in a human body?
Ensuring healthy cell growth and repairing of cells! Proteins take a big chunk of credits in building organs, tissues and muscles. That is why we see most of the chicken stall in India carries a body-builder in their banner. Proteins are very much needed for the process of digestion, transfer of nutrients, metabolism and oxygen supply to blood. With the help of protein, our human body can as well put up a good fight against illness and infections. The effect of protein is such that they not only look after your inner health but they as well take care of you externally. Proteins help you in flaunting a healthy hair and they offer you a glowing skin, stronger bones and nails.
How much of protein we need daily?
Since proteins are so much important for the human body, it is indeed necessary for us to include them in our diet. However, our human body demands only very less protein (but even that very less is quite important though) while compared to carbohydrates and so, all you need is 10-15% of proteins in our daily intake.
When we say "I'm lacking protein", we are advised from all quarters to consume enough chicken, eggs and various 'red' foods to ensure abundance of protein. However, greeny foods are as much richer in proteins just like the reds. We know this is delightful news for the all the veggies and it is worth mentioning that India is one of the top five countries that has a high vegetarian population. Apart from milk, there are ranges of vegetarian diet when it comes to Indian food that can meet our daily intake of protein.
Popularly called as Chola or Sundal, Chickpeas can be found in every grocery store. Being hardcore foodies, we Indians have come up with tons of delicious recipes using this amazing protein food.
Packed with nutrition, Chickpeas are abundant in fiber and protein and adding to this, their calories are quite low.
The easiest way of consuming Chickpeas is by boiling and adding it to pastas and salads. By doing this simple thing, you ensure your body a rich protein and nutrition.
From ancient times, Chickpeas are used widely in Indian kitchens and we have included them in curries, dips, soups and stews.
Well, for all the staunch vegetarians and vegans, Chickpeas are indeed a good source of protein and they can do wonders by adding them to your diet.
Here's a list of recipes that you can whip up with Chickpeas
If you are a vegan, then you will undoubtedly fall in love with the texture and flavour of Paneer like Tofu.
They are very toothsome, quite soft to eat and widely enjoyed. Since they are made using curdled Soymilk, they are very rich in protein.
When in need of protein, just go for this wonder bite for they are not only inexpensive, but completely natural and offers all sorts of nourishment.
Did you know just half a cup of firm and raw tofu will provide nearly 10 grams of protein. Add it along with other veggies, your daily dose of protein will be met for assured.
For those who are not so much into the Tofu flavour, you can consume it by adding it to salads and make gravy out of it. By this way, you can just attend to your taste bud as well as health.
Here's a list of recipes that you can whip up with Tofu
There is no way we could forget this super food when we say protein! Name the amino acid and soy can offer you anything making it a downright protein food.
Vegetarians and vegans who are in dear need of protein can in fact just opt for including Soybeans in their diet.
The biggest plus of Soybean is that its protein calories alone is 35% and they are equal to the proteins come from consuming dairy products and meat.
They are so good that just a mere 100 grams of soybeans can provide you with 36 grams of protein.
Here's a list of recipes that you can whip up with Soybean
The nutty protein
Another best way of supplying your body with abundant protein is by including nuts in your diet.
They are loaded with nutrients and to attain maximum benefit from these nuts, simply soak them in water for a few hours and then consume. This brings out both its nutrition value and its natural flavour.
As an additional bonanza, nuts are considered a great snack especially for its healthy fat, fiber and protein content.
This combination will keep your tummy filled and takes care of your untimely hunger pangs, especially if you are in a weight loss regime.
This globe is filled with cashew lovers and let me tell you something exciting. Roasted (dry) cashew nuts provide you ample protein and they contain the lowest amount of fat compared to other nuts.
Here's a list of recipes that you can whip up with nuts
Trusting veggies, fruits and legumes
Commonly found vegetables in India including eggplant (brinjal), spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, onions, beetroots and several others are highly rich in protein.
Similarly, fruit lovers can as well benefit from apples, oranges, grapes, papaya pear, and grapefruit and so on.
When it comes to legumes, vegetarians and vegans can bank on kidney beans, lime beans, lentils, navy beans, split peas etc. for rich protein food.
To put it straight, vegetarians and vegans can indeed get benefited from protein rich food if they know where to look for. Most of these foods can be found with any local vendor and including them in your diet will undoubtedly benefit in the long run.
As Indians we indeed have an undue advantage when it comes to food and conjuring up new and toothsome vegetarian recipes. Get on the protein rich ingredients and cook your own recipe that is both delicious and very healthy. Well, time to tell goodbye to artificial protein supplements and sticking to natural food. Well, if you are running out of recipes, then you know Bawarchi is always here to pelt you with exotic recipes! Get innovative with Bawarchi and own up protein!