Every cell of the human body is made from protein that is why proteins are called building blocks of life. Good protein-rich food help your body repair cells and make new ones. An essential component for daily wear and tear of bodily cells is important for ongoing growth especially for development in children, teens, and also for the growth of a new child in pregnant women.
Protein deficiency can cause muscle wastage, edema, fatigue, skin, hair, nails problems, and slow healing injuries,
Protein consists of amino acids, there are some essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own and they are needed to be taken from outside and that is the reason why the quality of protein is measured by the number of essential amino acids it contains.
Generally Animal proteins (such as chicken, dairy) contain all the essential amino acids and are known as ‘complete’ protein.
Soy products and quinoa are also good protein-rich food as they have all the essential amino acids.
Vegetarian sources like beans and lentils usually lack one or more essential amino acids that are why they are considered ‘incomplete’ proteins.
People following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet need to choose from a variety of protein sources to make sure they get the right mix of essential amino acids. For example, a meal containing grains and legumes, such as rajma with whole wheat roti, provides all the essential amino acids found in a typical meat dish. Following is the list of foods that are rich in protein.
Animal-based good protein-rich foods–
- Egg- Whole egg is an excellent source of protein. The whole egg is one of the most healthy and nutritious foods available. Egg white is made from 100% protein. One egg contains 6 grams of protein and provides 78 calories.
- Chicken- Chicken breast is another high-protein food used by many bodies’ builders. 100 grams of chicken breast contains 165 calories with 100% proteins and zero carbs.
- Red meat- although a protein-rich food but is unprocessed. Red meat of beef, pork, and goat meat is not healthy if taken in large quantities. According to health experts even if you enjoy red meat a lot of caution is to eat it in small amounts that too not daily.
- Tuna- the reason behind tuna is a popular type of fish is that it is low in calories and high in protein & omega-3 fatty acids. One portion (can) (142 grams) contains approximately 27 grams of protein with just 128 calories.
- Shrimp- It is a type of seafood that is low in calories, high in protein and omega-3 fats.
- Milk- Milk is a rich source of casein which is a slow-digesting protein. Apart from casein, it is also rich in nutrients like Calcium and Vitamin D. One should opt for low-fat milk for healthy bones teeth, and bones.
- Cottage Cheese/Paneer- Derived from milk, It’s rich in calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and various other nutrients. It is highly nutritious and is a common protein resource in most Indian households.
- Curd- Apart from being rich in protein, it is also rich in probiotics. Curd is an all-time handy and tasty snack and will also reduce your calorie intake as it makes you feel full for a longer period of time. 100 grams serving of curd provides approximately 60 healthy and protein-rich calories.
Vegetarian/Vegan good protein-rich foods–
- Soyabean- Soyabean is an excellent source of vegetable protein. Meals that contain soybean give you calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. 1 bowl of freshly prepared soybean meal can provide you with up to 28 grams of protein which is more than half of the requirement of daily protein for a person weighing 60 kg.
- Lentils- if you are looking for a plant-based protein that can be consumed daily then lentils are an excellent option. Apart from being rich in proteins they also have fiber and help in controlling sugar levels and fat gain.
- Peanuts- Peanuts are high in fat as well as proteins. They contain polyunsaturated fats, are high in calories, and should be eaten in moderation.
- Almonds- Almonds have a very good protein amount, also they are always a handy and a great snack. Having them daily will provide you with important nutrients like copper, vitamin E, and magnesium.
- Chickpea- Chickpeas have iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin K. You can have Channa masala, sprouted Channa, or make hummus from them.
Studies have shown that eating good protein-rich food helps in losing weight as well as increasing muscle mass. National Academy of Medicine advises that from 10% to 35% of daily calorie intake should come from proteins. However, there are no fixed guidelines for the maximum limit of protein your body can tolerate but protein intake of more than 2grams per kilogram of body weight daily for a longer duration can cause digestion-related health problems.
An average individual needs to take 0.8 to 1.0 g of protein per kg of body weight to meet their protein requirements. This quantity can vary depending upon age, type of physical activities being performed, and any medical conditions.