Excellent sources of Vegetarian Protein- A must read for all vegetarians

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Proteins are known as the building blocks of life: In the body, they break down into amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. They also take longer to digest than carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer and on fewer calories, a plus for anyone trying to lose weight.

Can vegetarians fulfil their daily requirement of protein?


YES and NO. I met a trainer at my recent workshop. She was a vegetarian. I told her to start with the eggs at least so that she can fulfil all her protein requirement.  Her argument was, she was fulfilling with milk and curd. I can’t imagine how many glasses of milk she drinks daily!
Your Daily protein requirement is 1 gm per kg of your body weight. So if your weight is 60kgs you will require consuming 60 gm of protein daily. You cannot fulfill this merely by consuming milk, curd and Cheese.  A glass of milk or a bowl of curd have only 5 -8 gm.  1 serving of dhal or sprouts may have 7 gm of protein; moreover it is not a complete protein. (To make it complete you will have to mix it with cereal/grains in 2:1 proportion) They do not have all essential proteins except for Soya. Soya has all the essential protein and 30 gm of soya has approx. 10 gm of protein.

So you will require consuming protein with every meal you take to meet the essential portion, like a glass of milk, a bowl of curd or sprout, additional to it you will have to eat a bowl of boiled soya or a dish containing soya chunks or tofu or drink soya milk and a protein supplement which has at least 10 to 15 gm to accomplish your daily protein requirement.

Biological Value of Protein (BV)


Biological Value of Protein (BV) is an index of protein that reflects the %of absorbed N2 from dietary protein actually retained by the ody, measured under standard conditions.  BV= N retained / N absorbed × 100. The greater the proportion of N retained the higher the BV or quality of the protein.

Protein BV
Whey 104
Eggs 96
Cow’s Milk 90
Fish 80
Rice & Tofu 75

Cereals are low in a protein Lysine should be combined with legumes, which are low in methionine to obtain a good quality protein.

Sources of Vegetarian Proteins

  1. Milk and Milk Products: It is a Complete Protein. Also a rich source of calcium, Vitamin A and Cmilk-nutrients-graphic-crp.jpg
Food Protein
Milk Buffalo
1 cup, (250 ml)
cow milk

¾ cup, (150 ml)

Paneer 40 g

(3 cubes of 1”)

Cheese 30 g

1 cube

Curd  200 g

1 cup



  1. Soy foods: Good quality protein. Also good source of calcium. ½ cup cooked soybeans give approx 88mg calcium. Processing it may reduce the amount of calcium.


Food Protein
1/2 cup, cooked
Tempeh 1/2 cup 15.7
Soy Protein
1/2 cup, cooked
Soynuts 1/4 cup 15
Tofu 1/2 cup 10
Soy flour,
defatted 1/4 cup
plain 1 cup


  1. Pulses and Legumes: Also are good source of protein but partially lack one or more amino acid, so they are not complete protein. Eating them with combination of cereal or grains will make them complete. 30 g of medium thick dal , whole pulses (Usal), peas or beans (I bowl) provides approx 7 g protein.


  1. Nuts and seeds: Nuts like Almonds, pistachios, walnuts provides approx 5 to 6 g of protein per ounce. They are also healthy source of fat which can boost the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Walnuts are good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is good for heart. They are excellent source of minerals and vitamin E. Seeds like Pumpkin, watermelon, Chia provide 5 g of protein


  1. Quinoa: A very good source of protein for vegetarians. I cup provide 8 g. It is also a good source of Iron.


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