- Vegetarian meal like dal-rice can be a rich source of protein
- Dairy products like milk and paneer are also good protein sources
- Eggs are one of the healthiest foods rich in protein
When it comes to increasing your protein intake, you have to focus on eating the right quality of protein. Any wear and tear of muscle makes them feed on the protein present in your body. The protein intake is dependent on your body type and how well you able to assimilate protein. Non vegetarian food is usually considered good source of protein. Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho, in one of his live sessions on Facebook, talks about how you should focus on the quality of protein, then be it vegetarian sources or non vegetarian sources.
Also read: 10 Signs That You Need More Protein
Food sources of protein
If you are eating protein from meat, then you must know that a lot of animals are pumped with hormones and antibiotics and hormones. This is done to make the animals puffier and prevent them from falling sick, mentions Luke in his video. Even the farmed fish are being fed by antibiotics. Thus, non vegetarians should seek their proteins from animals that are grass fed, hormone-free and antibiotic free.
Egg, according to Luke, is a complete protein. This is along with the fact that you consume whole egg and don't leave the yolk. All the essential fats and minerals of egg are in the yolk. The amino acid profile of egg is complete only when both egg white and egg yolk are consumed.
A healthy way to increase your protein intake is by ensuring that every meal contains some amount of protein. Try to eat protein even when you're snacking (nuts and seeds are good high protein snacking options).
"Even if your provide your body minimal amount of protein, the body will utilise it completely," says Luke while adding that it is not necessary to consume excess protein. Consumption of protein needs to be coupled with strength training exercises that help in building muscles.
Vegetarian source of protein
Luke says that vegetarians too can get good amount of protein from their diet, even though it is commonly believed that vegetarian food is not as good a source of protein. On an average, a healthy person needs to 0.8 gm to 1 gm of protein per kg of body weight, says Luke, and that can be provided by vegetarian foods as well.
A simple vegetarian meal like dal rice or khichadi are good source of protein with a complete amino acid profile. Beans, chanas, moong dal and rajma are good sources of protein. Lentils and legumes are excellent source of protein. Soy foods, nuts and seeds are other sources of vegetarian protein.
Dairy products like milk, cheese and paneer are also good protein sources. Make sure that you have access to organic dairy products. Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale are rich sources of high quality protein. Oats and sattu can also be added to the list.
The bottom line
As far as you are consuming a balanced diet which includes all food sources, you will be getting enough protein. You don't need to buy packaged protein bars or gulp down whey protein shakes for more protein in your diet. Including protein in each of your meals - combined with regular strength training exercises - will help you lose weight and build muscles.
Also, consult a dietitian or a nutritionist for deciding how much protein you need before and after your workout. This will be dependent on your diet, level of physical activity and body type.
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative Medicine)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.