Protein is an indispensable part of our diet. It is important that the required amount of protein has to be incorporated in to the diet. First of all, it is necessary to understand the importance of protein. Protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids have a crucial role to play in the human body which includes helping in the production of hormones and enzymes. In this way, protein helps in the growth and development of the human body. Also, amino acids help in the regular repair of our body and take care of our bones. Protein also protects our skin and hair. Thus, it is important to know about protein-rich food that is available for intake.
1.1 Protein-rich food items
There is a wide variety of food items that are rich in protein and can easily be included in daily diet. But each item will be providing the same or different amino acids. Based on this protein is classified as complete and incomplete protein. There are twenty amino acids in total. Out of which eleven amino acids are called non-essential amino acids because they are produced by our body itself. But the other nine amino acids are not produced by our body and have to be provided through our food. A complete protein contains all the nine amino acids that are not produced by the body. An incomplete protein is those which lack one or more essential amino acids. Meat products are usually classified as complete protein providers. Below listed are some of the basic protein-rich foods.
1.1.1 Animal-based protein-rich food items
Animal-based protein-rich food items usually include meat, egg, and milk. Usually, the meat products are boiled, steamed, fried, or broiled for intake. Fish like salmon are usually fried to made curry. Mill and egg are also a good source of protein. An adult should take 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram. But meat products should be carefully taken in because they contain fat also.
- Meat like chicken, turkey, beef, ham, pork, lamb is usually called complete protein food items because they have the nine essential amino acids. These items can provide around thirty grams of protein.
- Seafood items like salmon, tuna, shrimp also provide protein around twenty-five grams.
- eggs are the best source of protein and contain nearly six grams of protein per egg.
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, butter are also a very good source of protein and can be included in daily intake of food.
1.1.2 Plant-based protein-rich food items.
Different parts of certain plants are rich in protein. Plant products are usually incomplete sources of protein since they may lack one or more than one amino acid. Nuts and seeds are the main categories that comes in this group.
- Nuts and seeds such as soybean, peanuts, cashew, walnuts, almonds can provide up to twelve grams of protein per ounce.
- Grains such as wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, can provide up to nine grams of protein per half a cup.
- legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, green peas, black beans, can provide protein about eleven grams per half a cup.
- vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, potato, dried tomato are also rich in protein and can provide up to nine grams.
- leaves such as spinach, watercress, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus can also provide protein.
1.2 Protein-rich food for gaining weight.
Being underweight can be the reason for stress for many. Many people complain that even if they take in a lot of food, there is no improvement in weight. The reason for this problem is that even if they are eating a lot of food, they might not be eating the sufficient amount of protein required for weight gain. Underweight can be a serious issue and can lead to many other problems like malnutrition, retarded growth, infertility and low immunity. Here we will discuss various food items rich in protein that can help in weight gain in very little time without many side effects. Many of these food items can be taken in as juice and shake for better results. Meat products are first on the list but certain plant products are also efficient in helping in weight gain.
Milk is the best protein supplement that can be taken daily without the fear of fat deposits. Other than proteins milk also provide calcium which is essential for our bones. Milk contains low fat and calories which makes milk even more favorite among bodybuilders. Milk also supplements essential vitamins and minerals. Casein is the major protein content in milk. It also contains whey which is another important protein. Milk contains four grams of protein per hundred grams of milk.
Meat has always been a great source of protein that helps in weight gain and bodybuilding. Meat also contains nutrients and fat which also aids in weight gain. There are twenty-six grams of protein present in hundred grams of meat. Meat contains three types of proteins they are,
- Myofibrillar proteins-myosin and actin are the major proteins in this group.
- Sarcoplasmic protein-these are water-soluble proteins. They contain myoglobin and enzymes. Myoglobin is responsible for the color of muscles.
- Connective tissue-collagen and elastin are the major protein components in this group.
Egg contains thirteen grams of protein per hundred kilograms. Both egg white and egg yolk contain protein. Apart from protein, eggs also provide calcium, fats and vitamins.
Nuts contain twenty grams of protein per hundred grams of nuts. Nuts like peanuts, walnut, almonds, cashew are very rich in protein and can aid in gaining weight if taken in the correct amount daily. Nuts provide essential proteins cysteine and methionine. Peanuts contain the highest amount of protein. Almonds are the second-highest in protein content. Methionine helps in keeping the heart in good condition. Proteins in cashew help in maintaining and repairing muscles. Certain proteins in peanuts help in reducing aging effects. Nuts also contain fiber, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart.
A hundred grams of fish contain twenty grams of protein. Fish like salmon, tuna and other oily fishes have a good amount of protein and help in increasing body weight. Salmon is the best protein-rich food item that can be taken in daily. Like in the case of meat, fishes also contain three groups of the protein. they are
- Myofibrillar protein- Proteins like Myosin, Actin, Tropomyosin, Troponin and Actinin come under this group. Myofibrillar protein forms almost sixty-six to seventy-seven percentage of fish protein. They form a major role in the coagulation and formation of the gel.
- sarcoplasmic protein- Myogenic proteins and enzymes come under this group. They are water-soluble and constitute twenty-five to thirty percent of fish protein.
- stroma protein- They form ten percent of total fish protein. Collagen and elastin are the major stroma protein. These are insoluble in natural salt and are resistant to heat. Collagen is usually found on the fish skin.
Yogurt contains ten grams of protein in hundred grams. Yogurt contains water-soluble and insoluble proteins. Both are helpful in gaining weight.
1.3 Protein-rich food for losing weight.
Eating protein-rich food can help in losing weight. On eating protein-rich food, one can feel full faster and stops eating further. Going on a protein-rich diet helps in reducing hunger and ultimately in losing weight. But we have to be careful when choosing protein-rich food. The amount of calory and fat has to be low or else it can lead to weight gain. Food items containing a lot of fiber can further help in reducing weight. Some of the food items which can help in reducing weight are as below.
Potatoes are rich in protein and help in feeling full fast. There are many testimonials about losing weight through the intake of potatoes. Potatoes are also rich in fibre and carbohydrates and starch. Therefore, potatoes have to be consumed in a regularised manner. Potatoes are easy to prepare also. They can be boiled, fried or taken in as chips.
Broccoli can be classified as a green edible vegetable. Broccoli is rich in fibers that can absorb cholesterol and help reducing fat. It contains many nutrients and vitamins that help in boosting immunity and helps in preventing cancer. Broccoli is a source of protein for vegetarians.
Corn is rich in fibers and bacteria which are good for the stomach. Corn helps in digestion and increasing metabolism. Corn contains special proteins called zeins. Popcorns and sweet corns are popular varieties of corn. Corns are incomplete sources of protein.
Just like broccoli, cauliflower is also rich in carbohydrates, fibers and proteins. Cauliflower also increases immunity and helps in reducing the risk of deadly diseases.
1.3.5 Black beans
Black beans are rich in fiber and protein. Intake of black beans helps in feeling full very fast. Thus, it prevents the intake of more food. Fiber in the black bean helps in absorbing cholesterol into the blood.
Avocado is rich in protein and fiber. They induce a feeling of being full. Avocados also contains nutrients that help in reducing weight.
1.4 Protein-rich food items for vegetarians
As we already know plant-based protein-rich food items are usually incomplete sources of protein. They will be missing one or two essential amino acids. Therefore, vegetarians must choose their diet carefully to include all the essential nutrients. Some of the major food items that are listed below helps to maintain the intake of protein in vegetarians.
Oats are rich in fibers and protein. They can also help in reducing weight. Oats can be taken in by mixing with milk or fruits. Oats also help in keeping our hearts healthy.
1.4.2 Fruits and vegetables
There are many fruits and vegetable rich in protein which can satisfy our daily needs. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower are an abundant source of protein. Fruits such as bananas, guava also contain certain proteins.
1.4.3 Beans and Legumes
Beans such as black beans, soybeans, pinto beans can be taken in on daily basis and can compensate for most of our protein needs. Legume is a group of plant such as peanuts and beans that are very rich in proteins.
Lentil commonly known as dal in India is rich in protein and is part of the diet in many parts of the country.
Cheese can provide twenty-five grams of protein per hundred grams of cheese. It is alright to incorporate cheese into the daily food routine.
1.5 Protein-rich food items available in India
There are many crops that we cultivate in India which are rich in protein. Other than crops, India also has a great number of poultry farms. We have an abundant source of milk and milk products. There are different varieties of meat products popular in India which can also satisfy our protein needs. Some of the popular food items in India are listed here.
Paneer is obtained from milk after curdling it with acid usually lemon juice. Paneer contains eight grams of protein per hundred grams. It is easy to prepare and is an inevitable part of many Indian cuisines.
1.5.2 Kidney bean
Commonly known as rajma in India, kidney bean contains eight grams of protein per hundred grams. Usually, kidney beans are taken in after boiling.
Chickpeas commonly known as Chana in India contain twelve grams in hundred grams. Chana’s are also boiled and taken in. Chickpeas also help in preventing heart diseases and aging.
Moong dal is rich in protein. Dal is an indispensable part of meals in many parts of our country. Dal contains ten grams of protein per hundred grams.
Maintaining a sustainable and healthy diet is important for a happy life. Proteins play an important role in the maintenance and growth of the human body. Therefore, it is important to know and understand about protein-rich food items that are available and how to include them in our daily diet in what amount.