Talk about protein and we often divert our attention to meat and other non-vegetarian ingredients, but there are various plant-based sources of protein that you could include in your daily diet to make mealtime and snacking a more interesting, as well as nutritious affair. According to the Indian Dietician Association (IDA), the Indian diet in fact has 50 per cent inadequate protein pattern. Very few people tend to pay heed to the different nutrients that constitute a balanced diet. Most households depending largely on carbs like bread, rice, paos, and others on the table rather than focusing on pulses, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds to meet their protein requirement.
Talk to the urban dwellers and they would blame time constrictions as the cause of an imbalanced diet. If one had more time to plan and execute their meals, protein deficiency would probably not be a concern. But the truth is that there are many easy and smart ways you can include protein in your daily diet and skip junk when hunger pangs kick in. We show you how -
1. Morning Protein Power
What have you been eating for breakfast? Paratha, aloo poori, poha, pao bhaji? These dishes are immensely satisfying no doubt, but where's the protein in your meal? Start by asking yourself time and again where's the protein when you eat your meals. One of the old practices include soaking a handful of almonds overnight and having them in the morning. You could also make yourself a glass of nutritious shake or a bowl of muesli with nuts and seeds. Or the good ole habit of having an egg in the morning.
2. Snack Time Protein
When the hunger pangs kick in, we usually grab anything that's easily available. Read: junk food. While we can't really stop our craving, we can ensure to give it a healthy spin. Rather than a packet of chips, have an energy bar, trail mix, etc. Opt for tandoori chicken tikkas, boiled egg, sprouts and soy milk rather than French fries and other junk. If you really look, you will definitely find protein-packed snacks whenever you are eating out.
3. Lentils and Pulses
This category of food is a great source of proteins and you needn't have them in the form of dal. The Harvard School of Public Health tells us that one cup of cooked lentils provides about 18g of protein and 15g of fibre, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium. There are many interesting ways you could include them in your diet such as stuffed dal paratha, soup, dal kofta, dal patty in burgers, hummus, boiled beans in your chaats, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, pies and bakes.
4. The Protein Fix
Non-vegetarians too most often skip their protein intake largely because of the fuss of thawing and cooking meat which takes considerable about of time. To make things easier what you could do is pre-portion your meat and store them in the freezer so that you could easily thaw and cook the respective portions. Boiling meat is a convenient approach which can them be added in omelette, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, etc. Or marinate the meat overnight and when you get back home after work, bake them in the oven or steamer along with veggies and enjoy an easy meal.