Do you really need meat for your daily protein needs?

The vegetarian v/s non vegetarian food war is a really old one. While both have their advantages, we won’t focus on that in this article. We will, however, look at how vegetarian diet can fulfill your daily protein requirements (if at all).

What are proteins and why do I need them?

Proteins are a combination of amino acid molecules which string together to form complex chains. These amino acids are necessary for many important chemical reactions in the body which are used to make muscle, organs, skin, bone, hair and tendons. According to Harvard research, you require around 10,000 different proteins to keep you going. Some of these amino acids are formed in the body, and others are obtained through diet.

How much do I need?

It’s also important to know your daily protein needs. According to DRI (Dietary Reference Intake), an individual needs 0.8 grams of protein per kg of their body weight. This amounts to 56 grams if you weigh 70 Kgs, and 44 grams if you weigh 55 Kgs. These are average figures and may vary from individual to individual (depending on their daily activity). Protein requirement is a function of activity level, muscle mass, age, current health condition and physical goals.

Can I get it through vegetarian food?

There are a lot of vegetarian sources that can fulfil your protein requirements. Some of the top sources of protein from vegetarian sources include lentils, which contain up to 18 grams of proteins in a cup; chickpeas, which can fulfil up to 12 grams of your daily needs in a cup; tempeh (a soy product) that can give up to 19 grams of protein in 100 grams; and black beans that offer up to 15 grams of protein per cup.  You can add nuts, grains and other legumes to your diet to complete your daily requirement of proteins.

Proteins are essential components needed by your body to function properly, keep diseases at bay and bring your health insurance costs down.


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