Proteins are made of amino acids. There are 21 amino acids, out of which 9 are essential (that which our body cannot produce and hence is obtained from diet). They are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lycine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. The others are called nonessential amino acids (that which our body can make). These are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid, arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, serine and tyrosine.
Sources such as pulses, legumes, cereals, nuts, milk & milk products are good vegetarian source of protein. However, vegetarian protein sources are incomplete as they do not provide all the amino acids necessary for our body. This deficiency can be overcome by Protein complementation (combining two vegetable proteins example legumes and grains to get all 9 amino acids that are essential for your body).
Benefits of Vegetarian Protein
- Low in fat so they do not cause any increase in cholesterol and triglycerides level
- High in fiber
- Rich sources of anti-oxidants
- They are more alkaline in nature, so they have less acidic effect on body
Below is the list of vegetarian food items in the order of their protein content (high to low):
- Values are per 100 gm of edible portion
- Data has been taken from National Institute of Nutrition