The year of the pandemic has brought health to the forefront. Conversations around fitness, immunity and diet is the need of the hour. People have become more conscious about maintaining good health, and one of the key elements of it is following the right diet. A balanced diet that provides the necessary fuel for the proper functioning of the body. An ideal stable diet must include nutrients such as proteins in sufficient quantities. Protein – the building blocks of the human body is required for repairing tissues, building muscles and other growth and development functions making it one of the fundamental components of our diet.
Being one of the most essential nutrients, protein can be included in one’s diet in many forms and through various sources, which can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian. According to experts, at least 30-35% of the daily diet should comprise of protein. However, it is not just the quantity of protein you consume in a day that matters, but also the quality. High-quality protein is said to be the one which includes all the 9 essential amino acids in the right quantities that makes them whole. Hence, the foods that are high in protein are also known as ‘complete’ or ‘whole’ protein.
There are several high-quality protein sources available, both animal and plant based.
Here are the top five high-quality protein-rich foods to add in your diet.
1. Soy and Its Products
Soy is one of the few plant-based proteins that is regarded as complete or high-quality. It also has blood-pressure and cholesterol lowering properties. Soy can be consumed by itself or processed into items like soy chunks, soy chaap, tempeh, soy milk, and tofu. Soy chunk pulao, soybean chilli, tandoori soy chunks, masala soybeans, soya falafel, and soybean salad are just a few examples of meals that can be made with soy foods. When cooking soy curry, paneer can be added to boost the protein level.
Fish and seafood are considered to be a great source of high quality protein. It is also low in calories and rich in Omega-3, which makes it a great addition to the daily diet. The fish that can be added to your diet include Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon and Trout. Some preparations include Salmon spaghetti, Creamy Spinach Stuffed Salmon, Garlic Butter Baked Salmon, Goan Mackerel Curry, Smoked Mackerel Pulao, and more. To get some flavours outpouring in few minutes, marinate tuna in a sweet and tangy honey and mustard mixture for 30 minutes before cooking it over a hot grill for a simple and nutritious dinner. Side it with some rice and grilled veggies making it complete.
Both the yolk and the white of an egg are high in protein, making it a good source of protein. According to the USDA, a single cooked egg can offer up to 26% of your daily protein needs. Eggs are low in calories, high in nutrients, and are also suggested for weight loss. Despite being small, yet it boosts plenty of health advantages. Eggs play a significant part in a variety of sweet and savoury meals. Egg fried rice, Indian style egg curry, scrambled eggs, egg bhurji, and other egg-based dishes can be made for lunch or dinner. Heat a basic egg fry using butter instead of oil to add some more flavour and protein.
Another plant-based source on the list, quinoa too contains all nine amino acids required by the human body making it a complete protein. The whole-grain is not just gluten-free, but also enriched with plenty of fibre.
A popular plant-based legume, there are many recipes that can be cooked. Some of these include Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Meatballs, Quinoa Chicken Parmesan, Garlic Mushroom Quinoa. Additionally, you can also incorporate it your breakfast bowl by making Quinoa oats and Quinoa upma. Cheese enthusiasts may also add cheese to any quinoa meal, since these two foods are a wonderful match for a healthy and happy.
5. Milk and Dairy
Milk is a nutrient-dense food option that is high in protein. Dairy products like paneer and cheese can be considered high-quality protein sources. On the contrary, while some dairy products, such as cheese, are heavy in fat, they also provide many other nutritional advantages. Yogurt is another dairy that is regarded healthy, and it may be included in one’s diet. The diverse range of dairy products may be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savoury. Paneer makhani, milk cake, milk pudding, cheese burst pizza, cheese spaghetti, dahi boondi, kheer, and rasgulla are just a few of the many well-known foods that stimulate the taste senses. Adding a dash of cream to any Indian meal elevates it and adds a layer of regal flavour.
Right To Protein which is a nationwide public health awareness initiative that aims to increase protein awareness, is celebrating Protein Week from 24th to 30th July’21, inviting all to focus their attention towards the importance of including quality protein food sources in the diet – for which the initiative has introduced a professional guide – ‘Quality Protein – Hall of Fame’ featuring seven quality protein – Chicken, Egg, Salmon, Soybeans, Quinoa, Tofu and Paneer, recommended for consumption on seven days of Protein week and regularly thereafter.
Now that you have a better understanding of quality protein and the foods that contain it, remember to include these high-quality protein sources in your diet to achieve a healthier and happier you!