In India about 31 percent of the population is vegetarian and 9 percent are ovo-vegetarian (those people who consume eggs but not any sort of meat).

According to a survey conducted by Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) in 2015, 91 percent of the vegetarians lack proteins.

The reason for increasing protein deficiency is suggested to be the increased use of convenience food, which have higher amount of carbohydrates and sugar and lack in protein.

So, the question is- how could the vegetarians attain the voluminous physique, when the statistics say that 9 out of 10 vegetarians don’t get sufficient amount of protein.

Folks, Relax!

Mr Sushil Kumar, Indian free style wrestler and bodybuilder; silver medalist in olympics and gold medalist in common-wealth games is a vegetarian!

For a bodybuilder, 3-5 grams of protein; per kilogram of the body weight is required. And this is no rocket science. This can be easily fulfilled with protein rich diet routine and some supplements. Let us have a look at the optimum protein diet for vegetarians-

Similar Article: Daily Protein Requirement: How much Protein you need per Day?

Protein Food Options for Vegetarian

Meat and fish are definitely a rich source of protein, but vegetarian food grains are also no less in protein. Infact, even if you avoid meat, you can still get all the proteins required by our body through the regular food routine. And for the athletes and bodybuilders, who require little more protein than usual, can always add up some vegetarian protein supplement in their diet.

If you are looking for high protein vegetarian diet, then you have landed upon the right place. We have compiled the easily available and commonly used highly effective protein diet for vegetarians.

1) Legumes


Legumes are the food from the peas family. Common legumes are- alfalfa, peas, beans, soybeans, kidney beans, peanuts, tamarind, and lentils (or pulses).

On an average, 1/2 cup (about 100 grams) of legumes can easily provide 7-9 grams of protein to our body.

Combining the legumes with rice forms a complete source of protein accommodating all essential amino acids which are important for muscular growth.

2) Dairy Food

Some people get confused with the terms vegetarian and vegans.

Vegetarian is a commonly used term for lacto-vegetarian; the vegetarian take dairy products like milk, butter, cheese, etc in their diet. Whereas vegans do not take any dairy derivative.

The dairy food like milk, yogurt, and cheese are not only a good source of calcium, but they are also an excellent source of proteins.

1 cup of milk provides around 8 grams of protein and 1 cup of yogurt provides approximately 13 grams protein.

These days, the best from the dairy products are derived and preserved as powder supplements. For example, MFF Whey Protein 100; is a highly effective source of protein, which is made from milk.

3) Dry Fruits or Nuts

Using almond and cashew is an excellent way to integrate protein rich food into the vegetarian diet.

20 high quality almonds are able to provide 6 grams of protein; whereas around 28 grams cashew can give 4 grams of protein.

4) Tofu or Bean Curd

Tofu, which is commonly called as bean curd, is also a plant based protein.

1/2 cup tofu is capable of providing 10 grams of dietary protein. Including tofu in your diet is also good for your heart.

5) Pumpkin Seeds

28 grams of pumpkin seeds can provide 7 grams of protein. They are excellent for garnishing salads and soups. They are easily available round the year in grocery stores.

6) Peanut Butter

We have already mentioned that peanuts are a rich source of protein (in legumes section). Peanut butter is a tastier form, which can spread on breads, or toast and just two tablespoon of peanut butter provides 8 grams protein.

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Indian Protein Diet

High Protein Indian Vegetarian Diet

On its own, the food available in India is a complete source of proteins. But, mostly the food habits of people are like- taking more of rice and wheat which incorporates more carbohydrates and fats than the protein.

The bodybuilders and athletes who are vegetarian, need to follow the vegetarian high protein diet; because if they lack protein, then despite a diligent training routine, the results might be hampered.

In case you skipped reading the classes of food that are dairy and plant based and are a huge repository of proteins, please scroll up.

The best protein diet for vegetarian can incorporate the above mentioned food items. What is best about these food is that these are easily available, and are very economic. i.e. you can adhere to a healthy routine with happy pockets.

We hope that you are now a proud vegetarian, knowing that high protein food is available so handy. Let us also help you out with a diet plan to compensate all your body requirement for a healthy workout.

High Protein Vegetarian Diet Plan for Indians

The common Indian diet comprises of four meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Hi-tea, and Dinner. But when you are practicing physical activities, then the body needs more nutrition and this can be achieved as following-

Pre-Breakfast or Early Morning Meal:

This is important because long gap between wake-up and breakfast causes acidity. After 6-7 hours of sleep, when the body wakes up, the body reaches the catabolic state, i.e. it starts consuming the tissues for energy to carry out activities. This meal is crucial for the fitness trainers especially who are working towards putting on mass.


A fast digesting protein at this would be perfect and what else than a good protein shake can compliment to the body’s quick energy requirement. You can take 1 scoop of MFF Whey Protein 80 with milk or water can be your healthy choice.


A combination of protein and a little carbohydrate can make up for a good breakfast. You can have a bowl of sprouted legumes (peas, lentils like moong, beans) with fruits like bananas, apple, etc. and Indian bread or chapatis with peanut butter or cheese.

The sprouts provide a rich source of protein; fruits supply vitamin and the Indian bread would fill up the carbohydrate requirement, without adding fats in our body.

Related Article: A Detailed Indian Bodybuilding Diet Plan to Build Muscle and Strength


This should be the heaviest meal of the day and should comprise all possible nutrition in diet. Following makes a complete diet-

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2-3 Indian bread or chapatis
  • 1 cup lentils / soy
  • 1 cup curd / buttermilk
  • Green vegetables / Paneer (Cottage cheese) chunk
  • Seasonal salad

Evening Meal

At this time, dry fruits, nuts, and pumpkin seeds are good. They are rich in protein and they also keep you full. If you have workout routine in the evening, then a protein supplement shake should be incorporated.


Dinner is important to maintain the insulin level to avoid muscle breakdown. Salad and chapati with pulses or lentils is all you need. Rice should be avoided in the dinner.

Bedtime Meal

To keep your muscles in the anabolic state during the night, so that the muscles grow and you don’t feel hungry as soon you get up, you can have a scoop of casein with a glass of milk.

Related Article: What is Casein Protein and its Benefits

So Folks, say no to the junkies and convenience food. Take cereal and pulses regularly.

And don’t miss out telling us what is your favourite food, which is also a rich source of protein. Keep following our blog for the upcoming articles on tasty protein food recipes for vegetarians.

Arushi Dutta

The author Arushi Dutta

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