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7 Foods That Have the Highest Quality of Proteins

   |  Updated: September 07, 2017 13:02 IST

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7 Foods That Have the Highest Quality of Proteins
Highlights
  • Eggs are abundant in leucine, one of the most essential amino acids
  • Soy is a source of complete protein that can also lower blood pressure
  • Quinoa is a great source of plant protein
By now, you probably know that proteins are the building blocks of life, which simply means that every cell in the body contains protein. Your body needs proteins to build and repair tissues and also make important enzymes and hormones. It is a macro-nutrient that forms an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Wellness and Nutrition expert, Dr Shikha Sharma tells us, "About 30 to 35% of your diet should consist of protein. Since men tend to be muscular and usually weigh more than women, they require more protein.”

As per the National Institute of Nutrition in India, you must have a helping of protein with every meal. If we go by numbers, the daily recommended protein intake for men is 60 grams per day and for women it is 55 grams per day. 

The quality of proteins you take is as important as the quantity. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. Complete proteins or whole proteins are the highest quality of proteins that include all the essential nine amino acids which can be easily absorbed by the body. Since we can’t make these amino acids on our own, but we must derive them from the food we eat. In case of incomplete proteins, like beans and nuts, they may have to be combined with other foods to ensure proper utilization of the nutrients by the body.

“Of all the essential amino acids, the following four are critical for strength and recovery - Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine and Glutamine. A decline in any of these can lead to fatigue and muscle wastage,” explains Macrobiotic Nutritionist Shilpa Arora. Here are six sources of complete proteins – the best that you can get. 

1. Eggs: Eggs are a good source of complete protein. According to the USDA, one boiled egg has about 13 grams of protein in an easily digestible form. Eggs are abundant in leucine, one of the most essential amino acids. Both egg yolk and egg whites are sources of complete proteins. 

(Also read: Have You Been Consuming Stale Eggs? Find Out Here)
raw eggs
Eggs are abundant in leucine, one of the most essential amino acids.

2. Soy: As per a scientific paper, ‘Protein - Which is Best?’, available at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine, soy is a source of complete protein that has blood-pressure lowering and LDL-cholesterol oxidising benefits.
 
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Soy is a source of complete protein that has blood-pressure lowering qualities. Photo Credit: Istock

3. Quinoa: Quinoa is a complete protein source which contains all nine essential amino acids which is considered to be quite rare for a plant source.  
 
quinoa
Quinoa is a great source of plant protein. Photo Credit: Istock

4. Milk: Milk is a complete food packed with protein, carbohydrates and fats. Along with three types of proteins casein, albumin and globulin, milk is also rich in calcium and Vitamin B12.

(Also read: A1 Versus A2 Milk - Does the Type of Milk Matter?)
milk 650
Milk is a complete food with protein, fats and carbohydrates. 
 

5. Buckwheat: Buckwheat or also known as kuttu in India is a source of complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. Along with protein, you’ll also get tons of fiber, iron and zinc too. 
 
buckwheat 625
Along with protein, buckwheat has fiber, iron and zinc too. Photo Credit: Istock
 
6. Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds provide a range of amino acids and are a good source of plant protein especially for vegetarians. They are also loaded with fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. The combination of proteins, fats and fiber in these tiny seeds provides slow release of energy and helps to keep your blood-sugar levels stable.
 
chia seeds
Chia seeds provide a range of amino acid​. Photo Credit: Istock

7. Fish: Fish and seafood is full of protein and also low in calories that makes it very healthy. They also provide Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart and brain. 
 
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Fish and seafood is full of protein. Photo Credit: Istock

These wonderful foods are great to cover your protein needs from breakfast till dinner. 
 

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