Protein is one of the most important ingredients of a healthy diet. We find that there are many options of high protein food in a non-vegetarian diet, while there are fewer options in a vegetarian diet. However, there are lots of plant foods that are high in protein which can be included in your diet. Here in this article, we talk about Healthy Protein Foods.
Today, we will look at both types of food groups (animal and plants) to make our diet more protein filled. Certain plant and animal foods are high in protein and can be included to increase our muscle growth, weight loss and overall health status. Many protein deficiencies lead to diseases. It is important to know that protein is an essential nutrient that helps our body to build and repair cells and tissues.
Healthy Protein Foods
1. Different types of beans and lentils.
Beans are rich in protein and can be easily included in your diet. Different types of black beans, kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas, lentils and other legumes are also high in protein.
They are also rich in fibre, iron, folate, potassium and manganese. Just adding them to your diet will help in controlling cholesterol, blood sugar and also blood pressure.
Lentils are rich in protein and are practically included in every Indian diet. Dal rice is one of the staple foods of every Indian. In addition to protein, it is also rich in fibre, iron and antioxidants. Lentils are responsible for preventing various diseases.
2. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in proteins and other important nutrients. Proteins amount for almost 30% of the calories. Vegetables like spinach, kale, fenugreek leaves, collard greens, Chinese cabbage (bok choy) and mustard greens are some of the green leafy vegetables that should be included in your diet.
Asparagus has high anti-inflammatory properties and helps in preventing cancer. In addition to protein, they are also rich in vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, iron, folate etc. They are also rich in antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Research has indicated that eating spinach and other green leafy vegetables have lowered the risk of many diseases like cancer and heart disease etc.
3. Green Peas
Green peas are high in protein, fibre, vitamin A, C, K, folate, manganese etc. They are tasty and can be included in various recipes like soups, patties, salads, vegetables.
4. Tofu and other Soya products
Tofu comes from soya beans, which is healthy. It is rich in protein, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus and fibre. Tofu is rich in protein and essential amino acids. Since tofu does not have much taste, it can be easily flavoured with different spices and ingredients to get a healthy dish.
Another form of soy is unsweetened soymilk, which is easily found in supermarkets. It is a high protein option for cow’s milk.
5. Nuts and other super seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E etc. Try to buy seeds which are raw and unbalanced for better nutritional value.
Healthy Protein Foods For Non-Vegetarians
1. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast is one of the highest protein-rich foods. Chicken breast is lean meat and gives you approx. 30 grams of protein. In addition to protein, it is also a great source of vitamin B6, selenium, phosphorus etc.
2. Fish and Shrimp
Fish is one of the most important sources of protein. Fish is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and thus should be included in your daily diet. Some of the fishes that should be included in your diet are as follows –
Tuna is one of the highest protein-rich seafood. It is also rich in vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium etc. It has good antioxidant properties. However pregnant women are advised not to eat Tuna very often due to the presence of mercury in it.
This fish is high in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is good to buy fresh halibut from the local market. Also do not eat it too frequently due to its high mercury levels.
Shrimp is high in protein, low in fat and calories. Further, Shrimp is rich in vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B12 and other minerals.
Dried fish is a high protein food. Further, it is loaded with vitamin B 12, potassium, magnesium, selenium and other nutrients.
Codfish is rich in proteins, vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and low in calories and fats. It is good to include this fish in your diet as it is easily available.
3. Egg whites
Egg whites contain around 60% protein in the form of amino acids, which is very good for the body. It is good to eat the yolk also as most of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are found in the yolk.
It is important to note that all the above foods are high protein foods and low in calories. Including these high protein foods in your diet will aid in weight loss, muscle building etc. Instead of having artificial protein shakes, it is good to include these high protein foods in your diet.
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