A common concern about vegetarian and vegan diets is that they might lack sufficient protein. Protein is a must-have micronutrient that must be included in our diet as it aids in building, repairing, oxygenating, energizing muscles, bones, cartilage and skin. We can get protein not only from animals, the right plant-based foods prove to be fantastic sources of protein as well.

Those that follow vegan or vegetarian diet should include high-protein foods in their meal plan to stay healthy. And higher-protein diets can promote muscle strength, satiety and weight loss. Here are the 7 best protein sources for vegetarians. These are not only rich in protein but also in other essential vitamins and minerals.

Lentils are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in protein and contain good amounts of other nutrients. They may also help reduce the risk of various diseases. They also contain carbs and fibre. The fibre content in lentils is beneficial for good bacteria in the colon and hence promotes a healthy gut. These are the highly inexpensive, high-protein foods that serve as a wholesome meal for any vegetarian household.

Chickpeas or chana,  Kidney, black, pinto and most other varieties of beans have a high protein content. Both beans and chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml). They are often included in keto diets. They are also rich in complex carbs, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients can help reduce weight and decrease cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.

Green peas have a protein content that is slightly more than a cup of milk. They are also rich in fibre, vitamins A, B, C, K, folate, and thiamine. They are also a good source of manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.

Cottage cheese/paneer is commonly used to prepare curries, salad, sandwiches and more. 1 cup of paneer contains 25 grams of protein. Undoubtedly, this high-protein, high-calcium food must be included in our diet to ensure your body’s protein intake is on track. It also boosts bone health and immunity. It is a good source of protein and other essential nutrients like healthy fats and vitamin B12 too.

Tofu originates from soybeans, a complete source of protein. It is not only an excellent source of protein, tofu also has 9 essential amino acids. This is a great plant-based alternative to meat-based protein meals. It is high-fibre and also rich in calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese; and easily absorbs all flavours when cooked with other ingredients.

Oats are one of the most popular sources of protein and fibre. They are a storehouse of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and folate. They have a higher-quality protein than popular grains like rice and wheat.

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