The human body is made up of millions of cells and the building blocks of these cells are carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Carbohydrates and fats are majorly used as the energy source for the body whereas the proteins are used not only as the energy source but also used in many vital processes of the human body. They act as catalysts in many biochemical reactions, synthesis of different components for vital reactions, and take part in vital metabolic reactions within the body.
Tissues are built and repaired with the help of proteins, are basic units of enzymes, hormones, bones, muscles, skin and blood. Growing children, people who workout, pregnant females, need protein to fulfill the extra need of proteins. The body needs protein for healthy skin, hair, and strong muscles. Therefore proteinaceous diet is essential for the human body and the quantity can vary from person to person. Therefore it is important to understand what food is rich in protein.
10 Best Protein Rich Foods
The availability of protein in food varies from food to food and can be area specific also. India is a country with different weather and climatic conditions and the availability of protein-rich foods in India can vary from place to place. There are, though, few food items which are available across the nation and you must be aware of these protein rich foods list. Let’s explore them:
Approximately 71% of the Indian population is vegetarian and it is of prime importance to discuss protein rich foods for vegetarians, first. The following are the vegetables which are a rich source of protein with their percentage.
- Spinach- 49%
- Mushrooms- 38%
- Cauliflower- 40%
- Broccoli– 45%
- Capsicum- 22%
- Cucumber- 24%
- Tomato- 18%
2) Beans and Legumes
Packed with protein these vegetarian food items have high fibre and amino-acid contents as well. Legumes like – peas, and lentils and Beans like- kidney, soy, black beans contain protein from 6 to 9 mg per gram of the food item. They are available across the country and can be consumed in a variety of ways from baked beans to soy
3) Dairy Products
Dairy products which are easily available and can be consumed anytime and every time with all the benefits of protein are – yogurt, cream, cheese, and milk. These protein rich foods at home are not only a rich source of proteins but are also a good source of calcium, minerals, and vitamins. They contain 9 gms of proteins to 16 gms per 100 grams of the item.
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Guavas, Avocados, Apricots, Tangerine, Coconuts, Bananas, Blueberries, Mangosteen, Figs, Apples, and much more are protein rich foods and fruits readily available across the country and are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Individuals who are health conscious and are body building are in strong need of protein and must consume protein rich foods after a workout. White or poultry meat, red meat has a high content of lean proteins. Dark meat has high protein content but also is rich in fats. Selection of meat for protein should be based on the body’s need for energy and workout.
6) Dry Fruits
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7) Egg Whites
With low levels of cholesterol and high levels of proteins egg whites is a brilliant source of protein. Healthy options from a child to adult egg whites also provide amino-acids.
8) Sea Foods
Three-ounce of Salmon fish contains 20 grams of protein, omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, and 5 grams of fat. Similarly, Tuna has 24 grams per 100 gms of the portion. Sea foods are rich protein source and are advisable for growing kids.
9) Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts
The magical vegetable has qualities which make it the super veggie and can be consumed either by boiling, grilling, steaming or frying. Known for its anti-cancer properties this member of the cabbage family is rich in protein, fibre and essential minerals.
10) Sweet Corns
In the list of protein rich foods and vegetables this sweet, juicy and easy to consume healthy food has vitamins like – thiamine, folate, and antioxidants Good source of protein sweet corns is superb toppings in pizza, pasta, and soups.
A balanced diet must contain sufficient quantity of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. High fibre content is also recommended to complete the ingredients of a balanced diet. It is highly recommended that when you choose the source of protein you also must consider the contents for other things especially fat as there are chances that in addition to protein the source has fat which is not recommended or is not to be consumed at a specific stage of- pregnancy. For- example- cheese, which is not much recommended during pregnancy, but are a good source of proteins. Patients with renal complications are advised to take low protein diet.