Highest Protein Rich Foods

Highest Protein Rich Foods Combination Ideas | What is Protein? | Highest Protein Rich Super Foods List | Daily Protein Requirement Chart | Plant Protein Vs Animal Protein | What is Complete Protein? | What are Vegetarian Protein Sources Alternatives? | Tips to Increase Protein Intake

What is Protein?

A protein is a organic chemical compound that are made up of amino acid building blocks. It play a key role in life processes, participating in nearly every cellular process. Proteins are necessary for the development of a healthy bone. Proteins are vital substances, which form important constituent of muscles, tissues, and the blood. It supply the building material for the body and make good the wear and tear of tissues. Several substances concerned with vital life processes such as enzymes, which help in digestion of food, are chiefly protein in nature. There are several varieties of protein. Each type contains a specific number of “building blocks ” known as amino-acids.

Highest Protein Rich Foods Alternatives
Highest Protein Rich Foods Alternatives

Daily Protein Requirement Chart

A lack of proteins can cause anemia, as protein is main ingredient in the formation of hemoglobin which is responsible for formation of red blood cells. Protein deficiencies can cause low blood pressure, poor muscle tone, slow healing of wounds, loss of weight, poor resistance to infections and bloodshot eye. Children who do not get the required amounts of amino acids in their daily diet suffer from stunted growth and permanent damage to the glands. Here is a chart shows daily protein requirement for individual.

AgeGenderProtein Requirement
AdultMen80 – 90 gm.
AdultWomen60 gm.
AdolescentBoys100 gm.
AdolescentGirls80 gm.
7 – 10 Yrs.Children50 gm.
4 – 6 Yrs.Children40 gm.
1 – 4 Yrs.Toddlers25 gm.
6 – 12 MonthsInfants10 – 15 gm.
Daily Protein Requirement Chart

Plant Protein Vs Animal Protein

There are two major sources of protein

  • Plant Protein : Protein that we get from plants is called plant protein.
  • Animal Protein : Protein we get from animals is called animal protein. Animal food proteins, such as meats, fish and cheese, require very high concentration of hydrochloric acid. Their gastric digestion will be greatly inhibited by carbohydrate fermentation in the stomach. This will produce more gas and increased discomfort. Animal protein has more adverse effects on kidney function compared with plant based protein. Its intake effects on urinary calcium, urate, citrate, and urinary pH levels.

Though meat is good source of protein, it also contains high amount fat that is present in meat, which can be worry reason for weight watchers. Animal protein is not good for health, as it takes longer time to digest. A meal consisting of animal proteins and fats may remain in the stomach for six to seven hours before the stomach is emptied. Meat proteins cause putrefaction twice as rapidly as do vegetable proteins. The morbid matter of the dead animal body is foreign and uncongenial to the excretory organs of human. It is much harder for them to eliminate the waste matter of an animal carcass than that of the human body. Investigations also indicate that the cancer incidence is in direct proportion to the amount of animal protein, particularly meat, in the diet. A high animal protein is harmful to health and may cause many other common ailments.

What is Complete Protein?

Also there 2 mains types of proteins depending upon human body requirement.

  1. First Class Protein – Eggs and animal products such as meat is complete source of first class protein.
  2. Second Class Protein – Grains, Legumes, oil seeds are examples of second class protein which is incomplete protein.

Now the question arises, if is it possible to get complete protein benefits just by eating plant products? or one has to switch to non-vegetarian diet to satisfy full protein requirement? There is common myth that if you are not taking non vegetarian diet they you may loose 100 % protein intake required by body. But reality is far different. The so-called protein deficiency in a vegetarian diet is in fact more imaginary than real as the contribution of the protein value of the green vegetables has been ignored and the true protein requirement is less than that assumed. One can easily get the complete first class protein as per body’s requirement, just by taking vegetarian diet. How? For that you need to understand that why plant products are not complete protein and what can make it complete protein?

Indian Highest Protein Rich Foods Combination Ideas

Different plant products gives different types of proteins. Grains have methionine amino acid and do not have lysine amino acid, where as methionine amino acid is missing in beans and lentils, but it does have lysine. If we take these food items in creative combinations then we can enjoy a full first class protein benefits. Thus, wheat which has a deficiency in the amino-acid lysine but an abundance of sulphur containing amino-acids can be combined with beans which have the opposite enrichment combination. Taken together, they complement each other to form a complete protein. Here are food combinations which makes complete proteins with high biological value and provides highest protein rich foods.

  • Roti / Chapati / Paratha * + Bhindi (Seeds of bhindi or ladyfinger are great source of protein).
  • Chole + Kulche / Puri (Chole are nothing but Kabuli Chana that is chickpea which gives about 25gms / 100gms protein).
  • Idli + Sambar (Urad Dal used in idli and toor dal used in sambar are indeed protein sources).
  • Dosa + Potato Sabji (Urad Dal used in dosa batter and Potato from sabji are sources).
  • Roti + Sabji + Boondi Raita (Chick pea flour is main protein in boondi and curd also has milk protein).
  • Roti + Sabji + Chutney (Peanut or Sesame Seeds are great options for such chutney).
  • Mix Veg Pancake (Use flour with mixed grain with little bit of soya flour)
  • Khichari (A cooked mixture of rice and dal and spices that is easy to digest and high in protein).
  • Mix Beans Pulav + Raita
  • Dal + Bati (Mixed dals are useful for more powerful combination)
  • Panner / Cheese Paratha
  • Soya Chunk Curry + Roti
  • Palak Puri + Peanut Chutney
  • Thepala + Sesame Chutney
  • Veg Cutlet + Cheese Toppings
  • Brown Rice + Green Peas Soup (Green Peas is rich source of protein)
  • Paav + Misal (Misal is combination of sprouts).
  • Thalipith + Curd (Thalipith is a flat bread or pancake made with bhajani. You can make bhajani by dry grinding roasted grains and legumes.)

* Roti / Chapati / Paratha is flat Indian bread, generally made with wheat grain. Wheat is also a good source of protein that is gluten. Gluten, is a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye. It makes the bread dough stick together and gives it the ability to retain gas which is incorporated into the dough while kneading and without which the breads will turn out tough and heavy. This property of gluten makes it hard to digest and hence many people avoid wheat. Many people shows allergic reaction such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation due to gluten. Gluten, in some people, damages the villi line, the inside of the small intestine and interferes with the ability to absorb nutrients during digestion. Such individuals can go for alternative such as Rice Chapati, Bajara Bhakari or Jowar Roti.

What are Vegetarian Protein Sources Alternatives?

Legumes when combined with grains provide all the essential amino acids to meet the complete protein requirements for a healthy diet. A wholesome vegetarian diet can, therefore, easily meet the body’s protein needs. Moreover, it is possible to combine two low value plant proteins to get a protein of higher quality. You can create complete proteins in your meals by combining different protein rich plant foods, such as beans and nuts with grains. For example, try entrees with brown rice and beans, or soups with corn and beans. Green vegetable protein is as high in quality as milk protein and thus makes a very valuable contribution to the vegetarian’s protein nutrition.

  • Sprouts: There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to their dried embryo. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content. Sprouting surely increases nutritional values of seeds by 10x.
  • Milk and Dairy Products – Traditionally milk and dairy have been a part of the Indian diet, though some people now have substituted this group with soy products and become vegan due to the inhumane treatment of cows and high degree of violence in the commercial dairy industry. Milk an ideal food for infants and children and a good supplementary food for adults. Milk should find a place in any balanced diet particularly in a vegetarian diet, to provide some good quality proteins, sufficient calcium, and riboflavin, which are difficult to obtain in adequate quantities solely from plant foods. An adult diet should have at least 150-200 ml of milk a day while children, pregnant and lactating mothers should receive around 250-400 ml (2 cups) if milk a day. Doodh, unsalted clarified butter (ghee), butter (makhan), unsalted cottage cheese (paneer), butter milk (chaas), lassi, curd / yogurt (dahi), khoya, ice cream are some popular Indian milk products which are great source of protein. These foods also provide a good source of complete protein, calcium, vitamin D, and riboflavin. Please note that, if you are using skimmed milk, protein is also skimmed off along with fat and so is Vitamin A. So need to make up for these nutrients from other food sources. Also when whey is separated from yogurt, do not discard the whey as it contains riboflavin (Water soluble Vitamin).
  • Nuts, Dry Fruits and Seeds
    • Nuts – Almonds, Peanuts, Walnut, Pistachio, Pine Nuts, Brazil Nut, Hazel Nut, Fig.
    • Seeds – Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seed / Linseed, Sesame Seeds, Alfalfa, Poppy Seeds.
  • Legumes: Lysine – Lysine is present in a variety of animal protein sources including dairy products, beef, pork, and chicken. Cod and some other fish provide lysine. If you are looking for a plant source, try legumes. Basically legumes are available in three major forms.
    • Dried Beans – Chick Peas (Chole / Kabuli Chana / Garbanzos), Kidney Beans (Rajma), Navy Beans (White Bean), Black Eyed Beans (Chavali), Green Peas (Matar / Vatana), Red Mung Bean (Adzukis), Pinto Bean (Varun Ghevda), Black Turtle Beans, Split Peas.
    • Lentils (Dals / Pulses) – In some form or other they are surely eaten daily in almost every Indian home, is the best source of protein. Lentils include dried varieties of dried beans and peas. Such as pigeon peas (toovar / arhar dal), masoor dal, urad dal (black gram), whole green gram, split yellow moong dal.
    • Soy Products – Any form of soya is healthy. Soya flour gives a good amount of protein. If possible generally try to replace maida with soya flour and wheat flour. Soya chunks are a good source of protein which is high in both quality and quantity. Soya flour can be processed and extruded to give textured Chunks, called protein isolates or meat alternatives. Try to use soya chunks, just soak and cook, they appear remarkably like meat. Such products are not only less costly than meat but score more even on health ground. They have no cholesterol and also no saturated fat. Soy products include tofu, tempeh, textured proteins, soy yogurt, and soymilk.
  • Soybeans: Soya bean contains important nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrate, phosphorous, iron, etc. Soya bean is the only vegetable that contains complete protein. The protein quality is especially equivalent to that of meat, milk and egg protein. Almost 40% of calories from soya bean are derived from protein, making soya bean higher in proteins than any other legumes and many animal products. Unlike many other good source of protein, soya beans are low in saturated fat and are cholesterol free. Additionally, many studies show that soya foods are helpful in fighting many types of cancer. Moreover for the past thirty years investigations have shown that consumption of soya protein selectively decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) and maintains HDL (good cholesterol).

Tips to Increase Highest Protein Rich Foods Intake

Traditionally, we have been taught to eat cereal and pulses together (like roti with rajma or rice with dal), which indeed has a rational basis. The result of all this is that in the last few thousand years, Indians have developed a most balanced and varied vegetarian cuisine. The essential proteins in these meals are provided by the many dals (lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, etc.) and also by yogurt relishes and milk desserts. Pulses are certainly an important source of protein containing twice as much protein as the same weight of cereals. Additionally, the combination of cereals and pulses provides protein of high biological value. Combining cereal with pulses surely enhances protein quality as plant proteins are of poor quality in comparison to egg or milk products.

  • Peanut chikki / Besan Ladoo can be used instead of chocolates and energy bar filled with unhealthy sweet and fats.
  • Soya milk cans are available in market now a days in beverage section. It is also good alternative for harmful soft drinks. Encourage children to drink it instead of carbonated drinks.
  • Add 1 cup soya flour in 5 cups of wheat flour for everyday use. This also increases protein value in meal.
  • Protein Toppings: Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans (rajama) are great source of protein. Just soak and cook them. Afterwards use it on a salad made with spinach and green veggies. This can be the best high-protein lunch.
  • A bowl of green pea soup is rich in protein. Fresh shelled green peas generally supply about 90-100 Cals / 100 gm. of weight. It has 7% protein and 72% moisture. Fresh green peas are a good source of complex carbohydrate i.e. fiber.
  • Soaking, draining and then cooking of pulses is important to destroy the anti nutritional factors like Tripsin-inhibitor. Tripsin inhibitor reduces protein digestibility and heating the improve the protein quality.
  • Try to avoid gelatin made from animal proteins. Vegetarian gelatin is also now available that is Agar agar also known as China grass, It is made from seaweed. Gelatin is unflavored, odorless, tasteless and colorless thickening agent, which when dissolved in hot water and cooled, forms a jelly.
  • Sattu: Try using sattu atta in various way. Sattu a flour made with 7 different grains. Grinding together healthy grains yield in very healthy sattu flour – “Sattu Atta”. It is useful in making various recipes delicious such as – Sattu sharbat drink, litti – chokha, ladoo, sattu paratha, healthy drinks for diabetics. Read More – Sattu Health Benefits.
  • Be creative with legumes. Include dals in everyday cooking with different dishes such as – sambar, dal tadaka, dal dhokali, dhokala, khandvi, etc.
  • Using Mangodi or vadi is an age old traditional method of adding variety and taste to various dishes and vegetables. It is also a good source of protein and can be one of the good vegetarian substitutes for meat.
  • Cheese is a valuable food because it is mainly protein, has high amounts of calcium and vitamin A. Moreover cheese is even fortified with Vitamin D. Cheddar cheese contains about 25% protein, 32% fat and 2% milk sugar (lactose). Use homemade low fat paneer as a substitute for processed cheese which is high in calories, fats and sodium.
  • Additionally use of paneer (made from skimmed milk), to sandwich toppings and cutlets etc. will improve the protein content.

Highest Protein Rich Super Foods List

Here is the list of items which are popular highest protein rich foods. A judicious combination of cereal and pulses in the ratio 5:1 is very useful to improve the protein quality remarkable. With thoughtful use vegetarian meal can be made rich in protein content. Here are some tips to make simple yet nutritionally highest protein rich foods for snacks.

  • Seaweed (Chlorella)
  • Spirulina ( Blue Green Algae)
  • Arhar dal (Toor dal) is one of the most common dals used in Indian kitchens. It is high In protein (22%) and low in fat (1. 7%). Arhat dal is high in phosphorous, potassium, copper, magnesium and selenium. The fresh beans of Arhar, which are used as vegetable, have high fiber content (6%). It is a good idea to add vegetables to dal preparation to increase vegetable consumption.
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Goat’s Milk
  • Peanuts: Peanuts are good source of protein, especially for growing kids. Almost all Indian kitchens have shengada chutney or dry roasted peanut powder in the house. Use this chutney or powder in ample amount as a topping over rice, salad or on curry. Apply peanut butter spread in a sandwich or enjoy it with falafel.
  • Quinoa
  • Alfalfa: Alfalfa seeds sprouts can be used as toppings on almost all dishes. To make your own sprouts, soak a teaspoon of alfalfa seeds overnight. Next morning, rinse the seeds thoroughly and drain. Place them in a jar tightly covered with damp cheesecloth. Store in a dark place. Twice a day, rinse the sprouting seeds and drain them well, returning them to the dark after each rinse. After 4-5 days, place the sprouts in the sunlight for a few hours to green them, then store in the refrigerator for use.
  • Poppy Seeds: It is also known as Kaskhas. The seeds are a good source of protein and oil, and have long been used in food preparations like curries, breads, sweets and confectionery in India.
  • Flax Seed: Flax seed is a rich source of protein and omega-3 oil. Use roasted flax seed as toppings or as mouth freshener after meal. Flax seed chutney is also great option. Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds also contain tryptophan. These seeds can be also used in the same way as that of flax seed.
  • Miso and Tofu: Miso, tofu and soy sauce are popular soy products popular in Japan. Soy sauce is the main ingredient in Japanese meal. It would be difficult to cook any Japanese dish without soy sauce. It is as common as salt in Japan. Miso is a soybean paste used in soups and other dishes. Tofu is a firm, custard like substance made of soybean curd. Japanese cooks and serve tofu by itself and also use it as an ingredient in many dishes. This unique soybean product is also popular in North America as a meatless source of protein.
  • Bran: Bran, the outer coverings of grains, is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber. Bran has a real food value being rich in time, iron and vitamins and containing a considerable amount of protein. Try to use un-hulled rice or less polished rice to get all benefits of bran.
  • Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are another good source of nourishment. They contain all the essential amino acids in their 20 per cent protein content and higher concentration of calcium than does milk. Home-made sesame seed butter which is also known as tahini is great source of protein.
  • Almond Milk: Almond milk made from blanched almonds in a blender is very beneficial as it binds the excess of acid in the stomach and supplies high quality proteins.
  • Grains: Whole grains such as barley, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, black beans, and tahini are good protein sources.
  • Buttermilk: Drink 1 glass of buttermilk everyday after lunch. Butter milk is rich in protein. Depend upon the milk used to make curd is responsible for amount of protein in buttermilk. Buffalo milk yields in protein rich butter milk. Learn – How to make butter milk and what are its health benefits.