By : Apeksha Thakkar Clinical Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Nutrigenomic Counselor

Supplementing Vegetarian Protein Sources

Vegetarian protein sources lack in complete amino acids profile, hence developing high end risk of protein deficiency, when someone decides to go on vegan or complete vegetarian diet, it is often associated with protein deficiency. Well, that’s not the case. Vegan or vegetarian diets, if well planned can provide one with all essential nutrients. Infect, certain plant-based protein origin can provide more proteins than others.

As we are aware of importance of proteins in muscle building, providing satiety and to an extent promoting weight loss let’s discuss the top listed vegetarian sources of protein, which might help vegans / vegetarians to balance out their protein requirements.

1. Lentils: - Lentils are the great source of veg proteins and they also contribute to slow digesting carbohydrates, which can delay gastric emptying. They can be eaten simply as salads or can be added in soups and gravies.

2. Edamame seeds (Pre harvested soybeans): - They are preharvest soybeans and are packed with proteins, folate and fiber. They make a great snack. They can be added to vegetables or can be consumed as an evening snack.

3. Amaranth (Rajgeera): - Amaranth grains are gluten free and are high on protein content. In addition to high protein content, they are fairly good source of iron, magnesium and magnesium. They can be used in porridges, as pancakes or in gravies.

4. Quinoa: - Quinoa is technically cannot be labelled as cereal, it is regarded a grain. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and its high on proteins, complex carbohydrates, iron and manganese. It can widely be used in khichadi’s, salads, porridge.

5. Whey protein: - Whey protein is the most convenient, highly digestible form of natural proteins. It is one of best option available for vegetarians, as it is a complete protein. Supplementing diet through whey protein; helps in getting enough dosage of macronutrient, in case of insufficiency. The best part about whey protein consumption is it can blend well with any ingredient and would readily get digested and absorbed.

6. Chia seeds: - Chia seeds are packed with proteins, Omega 3 fats, Iron, Calcium. They also support weight loss and can be included in the diet in the form of puddings, porridge top up or sprinkled over the salads.

7. Nuts: - Nuts are fairly good source of healthy fats and proteins. They are easy snacks which can be had anytime, anywhere. Nuts are high on calories too, so one needs to maintain a strict portion control over its consumption.

8. Pulses and legumes: - Pulses and legumes are exceptionally good sources of proteins, selenium, B complex vitamins. They are rich in soluble fiber content too. They can be consumed as vegetable, added to soups or as salads.

9. Beans: - Varieties of beans are high on protein content and low on calorie load, hence they make a great snack for weight watchers.

The above listed sources are abundantly available for vegetarians and if they are supplemented well with whey protein adequately, can help to achieve comfortably recommended dietary allowance of proteins.

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