We’ve all been told that protein is important for weight-loss. But for vegetarians, finding a good source of protein is always a big challenge.

Protein-rich foods leave you feeling full for longer, burn fat while preserving lean muscle and promote muscle repair and growth. Proteins should make up 20% of the total calories you consume daily. While poultry and fish are the best source of protein, a large number of options are available to vegetarians too.

These are:

Lentils  Appx 18 grams of protein per cup

Chickpeas  12 grams/cup

Nuts and nut butters

Tofu  11 grams per 4 ounces

Quinoa  9 grams per cup

There are certain essential proteins your body needs, which it cannot produce on its own and therefore must get through food.Quinoa, chia seeds and soy are some of the ingredients that contain these essential proteins.

The biggest challenge most vegetarians face in increasing protein content is finding ways to incorporate it in their daily diet. Unlike an egg, which can be boiled, chicken or fish, that can be grilled, finding ways to work with chia seeds does pose a dilemma.

Here are some quick ways to up your protein intake:

  • Have a fruit smoothie with flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and almond butter.
  • Add nuts or beans to your salad.
  • Spread almond butter on toast.
  • Add beans to pasta.
  • Snack on a handful of nuts (not peanuts).
  • Have pita and hummus when you’re hungry.
  • Have a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter – it may be high calorie but it is also a complete protein meal and full of healthy fats too.

Just by adding two or three of these snacks to your daily diet, you’ll increase your protein intake.

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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