Plant Power Day: Supreme plant-based proteins for the Indian plate
From almonds to lentils, check out some supreme protein sources that can be included in your Indian meal if you choose to follow a plant-based diet.
Power Plant Day has recently become quite popular, it is celebrated on 7th March every year to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable eating and encourage everyone to embrace plant-based diets. Studies show that vegan diets tend to have far lower carbon, water, and ecological footprints than those of meat eaters. While the world is experiencing an immense change in eating habits, Plant Power Day is a perfect way to move towards adapting to a plant-based lifestyle, for our prosperity and the planet.
“While you may think a plant-based diet heavily restricts all the rich sources of protein, there is still an abundance of vegan-friendly protein that vegans can consume. Multiple protein sources are utilized in various Indian staples. A well-planned plant-based diet can provide all the nutrients you need, including protein. 2 Protein is a good source of a range of vitamins and minerals such as zinc and B vitamins and diets where higher protein can promote muscle strength, feelings of fullness, and weight loss,” says, Neha Ranglani, Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach. (Also read: All about what is plant-based diet, why it's better for your health, environment )
Neha further shared with HT Lifestyle, some supreme proteins sources that can be included in your Indian meal if you choose to follow a plant-based diet:
Eating soaked almonds first thing in the morning is one of the oldest rituals followed in almost every Indian household. Almonds are also consumed raw or roasted and also make for nutrient-rich snacks and in various Indian recipes. Almonds are also easy and quick to flavour and season and they pair well with just about any Indian masala/spices. They are a rich source of protein and are known to provide a variety of health benefits. Scientific studies suggest that the high content of protein in almonds is great for keeping you full due to its satiating properties and helps in your muscle repair after a workout.
It is recommended to have a handful of almonds as it might help improve appetite control and lead to reduced caloric intake. They contain 15 key essential nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, zinc, etc. As a vegan, you could also choose to add almond milk to your diet. The best part is that almonds are also free of trans fat and rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.
2. Lentils (Dals)
Lentils, popularly known as ‘Dals’ is a staple in most Indian homes. There are several types of dals or lentils that are used for cooking on a daily basis in our country and some of them are moong, masoor, urad, chana, arhar, soybean, and rajma. They are easy to prepare and can be paired with roti, rice, idli, dosa, etc. Since they all belong to the legume family, they are rich sources of protein and fibre and can provide the much-required nutrition. They provide many essential amino acids to the human body; however, they need to be consumed in combination with cereals to obtain all the essential amino acids.
Another popular option for those going vegan is seitan, a vegan meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten. It is entirely free of any soy content. In fact, its look and texture are strikingly similar to that of actual meat! This is a great boon for meat lovers who have been wanting to convert to a plant-based diet. Seitan is high in protein and low in calories, which may even aid weight loss. Additionally, it also contains small quantities of iron, calcium, and phosphorus. It is however, made entirely of wheat gluten, therefore those with a sensitivity to gluten should remain wary of this option.
So, don’t forget to include these supreme plant-based protein sources in your diet this Power Plant Day!