People who follow the path of vegetarianism are bound to certain rules pertaining to their food intake which puts a question mark on whether their bodily requirement of protein is successfully met. Being the building blocks of our body, a daily intake of protein ranging between 0.8 and 1 gram to account for 1 kg of our body weight is essential to ensure that the vital functions are duly dispensed with on a daily basis. While excess of protein intake should be avoided modifying a vegan diet to match up to the requisite specifications is a must.
Because a vegetarian diet is low in proteins as compared to a non vegetarian diet, it needs to be fortified with protein rich food groups to make up for the deficit. It is with this intention that dieticians strongly recommend the inclusion of pulses, unrefined grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables in various meals spread over the day so that all types of proteins are consumed to facilitate all round development.
Amongst the protein-rich foods meant for vegetarians, the food group which tops the list is that of whole grains. While every individual grain-type under this category has its own importance as regards protein content, it is quinoa which is unique because it boasts of a particularly high concentration of amino acids. On consuming quinoa in quantity equivalent to that of a single cup, the person receives 18 grams of protein not to mention the 9 grams of fiber accompanying it.
All of us nurture the earliest memories of our parents forcing us to eat vegetables and finish all the green stuff served on our plates. Although we may have been vehement at that time, it is the protein in green plants like peas, beans, algae, wheat grass and so on which helped us to grow and acquire immunity. The cycle continues as we bear down on our children to finish their dal, black beans and kidney beans so that they can also benefit from the goodness of these.
For many vegetarians, soya is a lifeline when it comes to protein intake and therefore inclusion of at least a cup of soya or alternatively consumption of soya milk is a must. In addition to protein, this would not only look after the fiber requirement of the body but replenish minerals like iron, calcium and Vitamin B as well. Another attribute of soybean which makes it ideal for regular consumption is its ability to keep the cholesterol under check which makes it a God-send in this era of cardiovascular illnesses.
The nut family comprising of members like peanuts, almonds, walnuts and so on has been acknowledged as a protein source since time immemorial and should be consumed either in its natural state or in form of butter. Likewise, off-the-shelf supplements in form of protein powders and shakes, meat substitutes and veggie burgers are a perfect option for sportspersons to cater for their high protein requirement.
There have been instances when protein deficiency has been observed in vegetarians but slight changes in the diet have proved to be the solution to the problem. Indeed, the best diet is a balanced diet which contains all nutrients, including proteins, in adequate quantities.
Elijah is a contributor for Mega.co.uk where you can get some interesting information to make you save money on your holiday.