Protein for vegetarians needs hard thinking but is not something impossible to achieve. Because you are a meatless person doesn’t mean that there is no concept of protein for vegetarians.
We know how vegetarians are cautionary while choosing their food or any supplement for fitness.
This is why we chose this topic today, to help you out in choosing the best vegetarian source of protein. Read on for further insight on what, when, how and why.
So here is our pick for Highest Sources of Protein for Vegetarians.
Low-fat milk is a wonder protein source for vegetarians. It feeds your body with 8 grams of protein and just 5-10 grams of fat in a single cup. Milk is a natural source of casein (protein) which is slow to digest and also, a great source of raising the amino acid levels in the body.
In other words, with amino acids rising slowly, it stays inside you for long and slowly but steadily supports muscle recovery and thus, muscle strengthening and improving the overall health of the muscles.
If you are following a bulking diet then you can consume whole milk and gain those extra calories, which are good calories and healthy for you.
I recommend a glass of milk with 2 scoops of whey protein powder to be nutrition sufficient. There are many benefits of having protein first thing in the morning:
- Nourishment is low in the morning after you wake up. During the 6-8 hours of sleep, you have not taken any nutrient at all.
- It releases energy and starts the process of muscle recovery preventing any risk of muscle lethargy or breakdown.
- It is a good idea to have a whey and milkshake on an empty stomach especially if you don’t have time to eat a wholesome breakfast.
- Whey and milk together mean a steadier approach to nutrition as it slowly releases inside the body and keeps your muscles in a strong shape till workout session for the day.
2) Whey Protein
Whey protein is a trusted choice for protein supplements and a must have for vegetarians, only if you are a lacto vegetarian. Whey protein powder is a by-product of cow’s milk and is extracted during the cheese making process. It has a good nutritional value of 26 gram protein serving.
Before you buy a whey supplement verify one fact: make sure it is pure vegetarian. Some whey protein manufacturers may use non-veg cheese to produce whey. The cheese is then produced from an enzyme called rennet sourced from the stomach of a new born calf. Find the VegSocApproved symbol for whey veggies.
Whey protein powder is absolutely safe for vegetarians and is good for men and women, who need to supplement protein for workouts and fitness. Women, for example, can benefit by whey to aid weight loss, and for building muscle mass and sustained muscle fitness.
It is recommendable to have one or two scoops of whey protein in a day. If you don’t have a regular workout schedule, keep the whey daily dose to a minimum of 1 scoop and replace your meal with a whey protein shake for the breakfast.
For bodybuilders, a supplement like MFF Whey Protein 100 is good, which has an ideal ratio of whey 80:20 concentrate and isolate. It has 26 gm of Protein, 5.8 gm BCAA and 4.3 gm Glutamine content for every single scoop of 32 grams.
For the beginners, I recommend MFF Whey Protein 80, a fine protein powder and a good source to get a lean body shape. The fact that it is available in delicious rich chocolate flavour makes it good to get the 21.7 gram of pure protein in a single serve of 32.8 grams.
3) Brown Rice
My recommendation here is a prepared bowl of brown rice at home, one of the highest sources of protein for vegetarians. One bowl of brown rice contains 5 grams of protein and contain BCAAs, a must have for bodybuilders. Even though brown rice is healthier than white rice but the latter has a higher level of glycogen, and can help you with faster muscle recovery post a hard workout.
A typical vegetarian diet falls short of essential amino acids or BCAAs and thus, the best protein source for vegetarians should include dry fruits like almonds, nuts and peanut butter for sure. For vegetable toppings, use broccoli, spinach and green peas to have a plate full of protein. Still, it is not enough for strenuous gym schedules, so a BCAA supplement is the need of the hour.
Brown rice is a plant-based protein and is preferred over pea and soy protein as well. One cup of brown rice (about 195 grams of serve) has about 216 calories and 83% of carbohydrates and a good ratio of 9% protein. Rice protein is natural and minus gluten. The best time to have rice is during the lunch time.
4) Greek Yoghurt
Why I chose this protein source for vegetarians is because it is organic, healthy and can be consumed, anywhere and anytime. A Greek Yoghurt is available in different flavours and frankly, during lean muscle mass building, you can have sweetened flavour to give that dash of glucose and the hint of carbs in it.
Greek Yoghurt and cottage cheese are the highest sources of protein (casein) for vegetarians. Casein, like I said earlier, is needed to increase amino acid levels in the blood and help your muscles recover. It can be had in the morning or before going to bed as it is a slow releasing protein.
This Indian home staple is full of protein and you can have it in its various forms, the arhar or moong dal, for example. It is by far the most affordable source of protein in an Indian diet and hence, one of the best protein sources for vegetarians. It is rich in fibre and minerals too.
Green moong dal chilkha, for example, gives you 26 grams of protein in a 100 grams serve.
Related Article: Daily Protein Requirement: How much Protein you need per Day?
Kidney beans and Soybeans are the best protein sources for vegetarians. Soybeans have a protein content of 14.3 grams for half a cup serve and are also rich in essential amino acids.
Kidney beans contain 15 grams in a single-serve protein which makes it the highest source of proteins for vegetarians if you compare it to other best protein sources too. If you don’t want to have kidney beans or Rajma frequently, replace it with white chole, which gives you around 17 grams of protein feed in a 100 grams serve.
7) Green Peas
Pea protein is not a direct protein source. It feeds you with 5 grams of protein in a 100 grams serving.
But it still features in our top list of functional protein supplement as it has a good amino acid profile including BCAAs. Its other benefits include low fat and carbs. In addition, it accelerates weight loss by suppressing the hunger inducing hormone called ghrelin.
Similar Article: The High Protein Indian Diet Plan
8) Oats and Oatmeal
Oats is your low-fat breakfast cereal and a fitness supplement with a dose of 16.9 grams of protein in a single serve of 30 grams. Yet, it is a diet rich in carbs with 66% of nutrition, which means 66.3 grams of carbs in 30 grams of single serve. It is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals too, and one should prefer having it in the morning only.
Harping on green leafy vegetable and fruits is a good nutrition way for vegetarians, and guava is one such fruit full of rich nutrients. It is now recognised as a functional food which feeds your body with dietary fiber, vitamin c, and is low in calories and fats. It has moderate protein content and together with vitamins and fiber, it stimulates metabolism.
Besan or gram flour is a common Indian household food item and is a protein dense source, giving you the benefit of 22 grams per 100 grams feed. Why it features in our top protein list for vegetarians is because it has zero cholesterol and is a rich dietary fiber as well. The best thing is, it is so easily accessible.
The super grain is now a popular choice for the health conscious and the fitness enthusiasts. And for many good reasons like it is gluten-free and full of nutrients like protein, fiber, iron and vitamin B6 etc. It has 4 grams of protein in a single serve.
Similar Article: List of 13 Cheap Sources of Protein in India
Divide your meals and include small meals and put in a lot of protein sources such as kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, cottage cheese and dairy products etc.
A vegetarian protein diet should be rotated and subject to other factors like lactose tolerance, gluten free and the ratio of carbs to protein, you can alter the various sources of protein in your diet.
For example, if you are lactose intolerant then have fortified milk like soy milk or almond milk and even if you are not, don’t over consume milk as it can cause you some digestive discomfort ultimately.
Similarly, if weight loss is your ultimate objective, take a gluten free diet and include lot of vegetables especially dals for maximum health benefit. To boost metabolism, protein sources like oats, soya, nuts, and sprouts etc are a must.
So, who says vegetarians don’t have a choice of protein? We just proved you wrong if you though so, instead we gave you a wider choice to enjoy the benefits of protein even better, right?