Protein- Overview, Nutritional Importance And Sources

Protein Rich Foods in India

When you hear Protein, all you see in your mind is the image of a muscle. Protein helps build muscle health. But is that all? Are you taking enough of it? And what are the best Protein Rich Foods in India you need to take to get enough of it?

What Is Protein?

Protein is an essential macronutrient that the body requires. Proteins are the building block of life and are present in every cell of the body. They consist of amino acids that are attached in long chains.

There are 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the sequence in which the different amino acids are present helps determine the role of that particular protein. Protein is found throughout the body—in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue.

It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way. When we eat foods for protein, we also eat everything that comes alongside it: the different fats, fiber, sodium, and more.

Why Is Protein Important?


  • Transporting molecules throughout the body
  • Helping repair cells and make new ones
  • Protecting the body from viruses and bacteria
  • Promoting proper growth and development in children, teenagers, and pregnant women

Without filling your diet with appropriate amounts of protein, you run the risk of missing out on those key functions. Eventually, that could lead to problems, such as a loss of muscle mass, failure to grow, weakened functioning of the heart and lungs, and even early death.


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Protein-Rich Non-Vegetarian Foods In India

  • Meat

Reduced appetite and increased metabolism. Many studies have shown that high-protein diets that include meat increase metabolic rate, reduce hunger, and promote fullness.

  • Seafood

They are filled with high-quality proteins. Also filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). They are rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.

  • Chicken Breast

Low Carb Chicken Stew

It is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of chicken is an “excellent” source of thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B-6 and phosphorus, and a good source of zinc, riboflavin, and potassium.

  • Egg Whites

Protein Rich Foods

1 large egg white contains 3.6 grams of protein and 16 calories that meet 7% of your daily protein requirement. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, particularly egg whites. Egg whites are low in cholesterol and high in protein.

Protein-Rich Vegetarian Foods In India

  • Fruits


They are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They may protect against diabetes, cancer, obesity, arthritis, and other conditions and may even provide anti-aging effects.

  • Vegetables

They are a staple part of our diet, as we complement them with almost every dish. Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.

  • Oats

cereal, breakfast, oats

It can help you lose weight because it will help you feel full longer than other foods. The fiber content of oatmeal can also aid the digestive system. This will increase the number of calories you burn each day, as well as keep your body fit and reduce the potential of muscle mass loss.

  • Broccoli

It is a great source of vitamins K and C, a good source of folate (folic acid), and also provides potassium, fiber. Vitamin C – builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

  • Peanut Butter

Protein Rich Foods

2 tablespoons of peanut butter contain 7.7 grams of protein and 188 calories that meet 15% of your daily protein requirement, Two spoons of peanut butter, and you are set for the day with 8 grams of protein. The traditional toast can be flavored with this all-time favorite.

  • Swiss Cheese

Protein Rich Foods

1 slice of Swiss cheese contains 7.5 grams of protein and 106 calories that meet 15% of your daily protein requirement. Swiss cheese also contains other nutrients that can benefit your bones, eyes, and immune system.

  • Cottage Cheese

Protein Rich Foods

It is low in calories but very high in protein. Cottage cheese is packed with essential nutrients and is very easy to prepare at home. 100 grams of paneer or cottage cheese will provide you about 23 grams of protein, which is more than an egg.

  • Greek Yogurt

Protein Rich Foods

2/3 cup of Greek yogurt contains 11 grams of protein and 130 calories that meet 22% of your daily protein requirement. Apart from protein, Greek yogurt also contains calcium and vitamin B12.

  • Soy Milk

Protein Rich Foods

1 cup of soy milk contains 8 grams of protein and 131 calories that meet 16% of your daily protein requirement. Soy milk is another great option for vegetarians to get a good dose of proteins.

  • Lentils and Pulses

Protein Rich Foods

Another excellent source of protein comes via lentils. One cup of cooked lentils provides about 18g of protein and 15g of fiber, and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium.

  • Nuts

They always get a bad rep because they are considered relatively fatty, but they are a powerhouse of unsaturated fat (the good kind) and protein.

  • Seeds

Seeds are powerhouses of protein as well. Sunflower seeds, for instance, contain 3.3g of protein per 100 calories.

  • Quinoa

Quinoa, which is technically a seed, also packs a strong protein-punch; a quarter cup (uncooked) has up to 8g of proteins.

Benefits of Protein Rich Diet

  • One of the reasons protein is so popular is because of its potential link to weight loss.
  • Consuming more protein has a positive impact on resting metabolism.
  • High-protein foods increase feelings of fullness.
  • As a result, people eating a sufficient amount of protein may take in fewer calories over the course of the day and lose weight if they end up at a calorie deficit.
  • Protein helps you to boost your Immune System.
  • Drinking a protein shake right after a workout improves muscle mass gains.
  • It helps to relieve muscle soreness you may get after a heavy workout.
  • A diet rich Protein may help lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

So, 10 to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. Now, how that equates to grams of protein depends on the caloric needs of the individual. The amount of protein foods a person should eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity.

A safe level of protein ranges from 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight [2.2 lbs.], up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram for very active athletes. But mostly we need to be eating about 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Most people need 20 to 30 grams of proteins per meal. For example, that’s 2.5 egg whites at breakfast or 3 to 4 ounces of meat at dinner. Most women are not getting anywhere close to the adequate proteins that their bodies need. That can hinder their muscle mass, their metabolism, and hormone levels.

It’s important to focus on fruits and vegetables for kids, but protein supplementation for kids is going overboard. When considering how to get protein into kids’ diets, parents should focus on whole foods and natural sources.

Best Protein Supplement

Collagen is a type of protein the most abundant proteins present in your body.

It’s considered the glue that holds your body together, making up the tissue in cartilage, muscles, joints, skin, hair, eyes, heart, gut, brain, and nails. Collagen has a wide range of health benefits, including:

  • Better skin health
  • Hair loss prevention
  • Gain muscle
  • Maintaining the integrity of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage
  • Strengthening your bones and preventing osteoporosis
  • Maintaining proper vision
  • Preventing leaky gut
  • Ensuring optimal brain function

High Protein Meal Plan

MONDAY 3 Eggs and a slice of whole-grain bread with 1 tablespoon of almond butter Fresh Avocado and Cottage Cheese Salad and an orange. Sweet potato and grilled zucchini.
TUESDAY Smoothie made with 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup coconut milk, and strawberries. 4 ounces (114 g) canned salmon, mixed greens, olive oil and vinegar, and an apple. 4 ounces (114 g) grilled chicken with quinoa and Brussels sprouts.
WEDNESDAY Oatmeal and one cup plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup chopped pecans. 4 ounces (114 g) chicken mixed with avocado and red bell pepper and peach. All Meat Veggie Chili and brown rice.
THURSDAY Spanish omelet made with 3 eggs, 1-ounce cheese, chili peppers, black olives, and salsa and an orange. Leftover All Meat Veggie Chili and brown rice. 4 ounces (114 g) halibut, lentils, and broccoli.
FRIDAY One cup cottage cheese with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, diced apples, and cinnamon. Canned salmon mixed with healthy mayo on sprouted grain bread and carrot sticks. Chicken Meatballs with Marinara Sauce, spaghetti squash and raspberries.
SATURDAY Frittata made with 3 eggs, 1-ounce cheese, and 1/2 cup diced potatoes. Leftover Chicken Meatballs with Marinara Sauce and spaghetti squash with an apple. Shrimp Fajitas with grilled onions and bell peppers, guacamole, 1 cup black beans on a corn tortilla.
SUNDAY Protein Pumpkin Pancakes topped with 1/4 cup chopped pecans. One cup plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts and pineapple. Grilled salmon, potatoes, and sautéed spinach.

High Protein Recipes

  • Roasted Creamy Spinach Salmon

Roasted Creamy Spinach Salmon

Ingredients-112 g  skinless salmon fillets, Sea salt, and freshly ground pepper, 7.5 ml  olive oil, 7.5 Tbsp unsalted butter, 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, Half medium-sized chopped tomato, 60 g  heavy cream, 1 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 90 g spinach


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Season each salmon fillet on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  • In a medium-sized ovenproof pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the salmon to the pan and sear until the fish is golden and crisp on the bottom for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the salmon, then place the whole pan in the oven. Let roast for 8 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven, remove the pan from the oven, remove the salmon from the pan, and set it aside.
  • Place the pan over medium heat. Add the butter. Once it’s melted, add the garlic and let sizzle until fragrant, about 1 minute and let it reduce slightly, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the cream, and bring it to a gentle simmer. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes on low flame and keep stirring it occasionally until the sauce reduces to a slightly thicker consistency.
  • Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until the cheese is melted about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach, then let it wilt in the sauce.
  • Serve your Keto Roasted Creamy Spinach Salmon and enjoy it with your family.

Read The Detailed Recipe Here

Nutritional Information- Calories: 548 kcal, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 29 g, Fat: 44 g

  • Paneer Do Plaza

Paneer Do Pyaza

Ingredients: 1 tbsp ghee, 10g butter, 160g diced paneer pieces, ½ tsp cumin, 2 bay leaf, 3-4 green cardamom, Green chilies, 40g chopped onion, 30g finely chopped tomatoes, 10g ginger, 10 g garlic, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder and,½  tsp Kashmiri red chili powder, 1-2 Red chilies, Pink Himalayan Salt to taste, Kasoori methi, ¼ tsp garam masala.


  • Heat a pressure cooker over medium flame.
  • Add 1 tbsp ghee, ½ tsp cumin, 2 bay leaf, 3-4  green cardamom.
  • Once it starts crackling add 40g chopped onion, 10g ginger, 10g garlic. Saute.
  • Add 2-3 green chilies and saute for 1 more minute. Now ½ tbsp coriander powder, ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp  Kashmiri red chili powder.
  • Add 1-2 whole red chilies,  30 g finely chopped tomatoes and pink Himalayan salt to taste.
  • Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add  30g quartered onions and water. Mix with the masala. Pressure Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Add kasoori methi, ¼ tsp garam Masala, and 10g butter. Mix Well.
  • Add 160g diced paneer pieces and mix well. Let it cook for 1 minute.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve.

Nutritional Value Per Serving: Calories- 203kcal, Carbs- 3g, Protein- 9g, Fats- 17g.

Read The Detailed Recipe Here

  • Keto Sesame Salmon

Keto Sesame Salmon

Ingredients: 100g salmon, 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar and 1 tbsp sesame oil, 30g pine nuts, 50 g green beans, 60ml of chicken stock, 5 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp ghee, few sesame seeds, 50g mushrooms


  • First, Toast 30g pine nuts on a dry frying pan till they get brown.
  • Now, Mix the 1 tbsp soya sauce,1 tbsp rice vinegar, and 1 tbsp sesame oil in a bowl. Divide 100g salmon into two portions and marinate in the mixture well for 20 min.
  •  In the frying pan add the 50g green beans and the 60 ml chicken stock and cook with a lid on high heat till the stock is absorbed.
  • Now, Add in the 5 chopped garlic cloves and ½ tbsp butter and fry for a minute. Add the pine nuts to the pan and fry for about 30-40 seconds.
  • Now mix the sesame seeds in a plate and remove the fish and coat in the sesame seeds.
  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan, add the fish once it’s hot. Cook on one side and then flip it over. In the same pan add the 50g mushrooms and any remaining marinade and fry till the mushrooms get a nice brown color.

Nutritional Value Per Serving: Calories – 371 kcal, Fats– 21g, Carbs- 2g, Protein -40.8g

Read The Detailed Recipe Here

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of the protein-rich foods in India and the ones that you need to incorporate in your lifestyle.

So what’s stopping you from starting your keto diet journey? Get yourself started today and Stay tuned for more such keto success stories, health content, and recipes! Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the daily dose of the Keto Lifestyle!


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