Have you ever wondered why high-protein diets are popular among fitness enthusiasts? Why is protein considered a superhero nutrient, and how does it impact our body's health and well-being? Well, we are here to explain why it plays an important role and best protein-rich Indian food for weight loss and its benefits.
Before that, let me tell you what protein is and what is it made of.
Protein-rich foods are highly beneficial to our bodies because they provide essential amino acids. Our bodies are capable of generating 11 out of the total 20 unique amino acids that make up the proteins, the remaining nine must be obtained from our diet. (1)
High-protein foods are essential for building and repairing muscle. Consuming protein-rich meals benefits your health and helps you maintain healthy body weight by making you feel satisfied and full for a longer. (2)
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein for Asians is 0.8 grams per kg of body weight. (3)
Why Do We Need Protein-Rich Foods?
A protein-rich diet brings about a multiple of health benefits, providing essential nutrients that contribute to various aspects of well-being, such as:
- Increasing muscular strength.
- Reduce your appetite.
- Aid weight loss.
- Maintaining bone & joint health
By embracing a protein-rich diet, you can effectively nurture your body's strength and overall health, enabling you to stay focused on achieving your fitness and wellness aspirations. Let’s see the high protein-rich Indian foods.
Best Protein Rich Indian Foods for Weight Loss:
1. Chicken Meat:
Chicken breast is a high-protein food with numerous health benefits. It is essential for tissue growth, muscle support, and a healthy immune system.
Moreover, its low-fat content makes it an ideal choice for weight management and maintaining a healthy diet. Beyond protein, chicken breast is a valuable source of essential vitamins B6, B3, and B5, supporting cell function, brain health, and energy metabolism.
Chicken meat contains nearly 27-31 grams of protein in every 100 gms.
Additionally, it provides essential minerals like phosphorus, selenium, and zinc, contributing to immune support, bone health, and overall well-being.
To fully enjoy these benefits, opt for lean cuts of chicken breast and prepare them healthily, avoiding excessive frying or processing. Embrace the nutritional excellence of chicken breast as one of the best protein foods for enhanced vitality and well-rounded nutrition.
2. Fish Meat:
Fish takes the lead as a top protein-rich food, offering a plethora of health advantages due to its high nutritional value. Fish is low in fat and calories yet high in essential nutrients and protein. It provides all the necessary amino acids our bodies require, contributing to the proper functioning.
Moreover, fish serves as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for heart health, cognitive function, and inflammation control. These omega-3s have been linked to lower blood pressure, improved cognitive performance, and reduced cardiovascular disease risk, and provide several vitamins and minerals like iodine, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Though all fishes contain a good amount of protein for example salmon fillet contains 30 grams of protein in 130gms.
Shrimp, often known as prawns, are high in protein and low in calories, making them an excellent choice for health-conscious people. Shrimp includes astaxanthin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory qualities, in addition to its exquisite taste and ease of preparation.
100 grams of prawns contain 24 grams of protein.
Its low fat and carbohydrate content contribute to its attractiveness as a healthy alternative.
Chickpeas (channa) are high in protein, fiber, and complex carbs, making them a nutritional powerhouse. They are also high in vital elements such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
100 grams of boiled chickpeas contain 19-22 grams of protein.
Chickpeas provide several health benefits when included in your diet. Their high nutrient content promotes good digestion, aids in weight management, and lowers the risk of numerous ailments. Because of their high protein content, chickpeas make a good meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. Including chickpeas' advantages may improve your overall health while enjoying a variety of tasty recipes.
Paneer, a popular dairy product, is rich in casein, a slow-digesting protein that offers several benefits. It contains calcium, which supports bone health, keeps you fuller for longer periods, and aids in fat burning. Paneer also contains B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.
18 grams of protein per 100 grams of paneer.
It is a fantastic supplement to any diet, whether you want to gain muscle or lose weight.
6. Soya Products:
Soy (meal maker) products are an excellent source of protein for individuals following a plant-based diet. Depending on their preparation, they offer varying protein content:
Firm tofu, made from soybean curds, provides approximately 10 g of protein per ½ cup.
Edamame beans, which are young soybeans, contain about 8.5 g of protein per ½ cup.
Tempeh, another soy-based product, is particularly rich in protein, offering around 15 g per ½ cup.
100 grams of soybeans contain 12.8 grams of protein.
Incorporating these nutritious soy options into a balanced diet can be an intelligent choice for those seeking plant-based protein sources while also reaping the benefits of essential minerals like calcium and iron.
It is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, making it an excellent weight loss option. Oats stand out as one of the healthiest grains available, packed with a wealth of essential nutrients like dietary fiber, magnesium, and manganese. Particularly, oatmeal, a popular oat-based dish, is not only delicious but also a great source of protein.
A good source of protein and with relatively few calories, Compared to oatmeal, which has 5 grams of protein per half-cup, and, raw oats have 13 grams of protein per cup.
Quinoa, a distinctive pseudo-grain, has gained popularity due to its remarkable health benefits and nutritional value. This protein-rich food is renowned for its nutty flavor and incredible versatility in the kitchen.
Quinoa stands out as an excellent source of plant-based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids necessary for tissue repair and growth. High in fiber content, quinoa promotes feelings of fullness and aids in digestion.
It is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. Its nutrients may contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, provided it is prepared healthily and it’s good weight management.
8 grams of protein in a cup of cooked quinoa.
They are a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine and are high in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Lentils also have a low glycemic index, which means they digest slowly and can keep you fuller for longer helps in weight management.
18 grams of protein in a cup of serving or 9gms of protein for 100gms (about half a cup)
According to research, people who eat lentils and other legumes regularly have a lower risk of acquiring health disorders such as heart disease and fatty liver disease.(5),(6)
10. Cottage Cheese:
Cottage cheese is a protein-rich dairy product made from cow's milk. It is a wholesome protein source, containing all essential amino acids required for tissue growth, immunological function, and the retention of lean body composition.
It contains approximately 14 grams of high-quality protein in a 1/2-cup serving.
Cottage cheese is a low-calorie alternative that is suitable for weight management or loss while still providing a high protein content. They are high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and promote strong bones, metabolism, and overall health.
With its distinct flavor, texture, and versatility, is a fantastic addition to the protein-rich food list, offering a variety of health benefits for a balanced and enjoyable diet.
Milk is a nutritional powerhouse, offering a wide range of essential nutrients for our bodies. It serves as an excellent source of high-quality protein and is abundant in vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Individuals with lactose intolerance, on the other hand, may need to avoid milk and other dairy products because of their inability to digest lactose, a natural sugar found in dairy.
Dairy milk contains around 8.32 g of protein per cup (246 mL), making it a vital and healthful supplement to your diet.
12. Greek Yogurt:
Plain Greek yogurt is a delightful and nutrient-rich snack with numerous benefits. Its satiating properties keep you feeling full for an extended period. Additionally, it serves as an excellent source of calcium, promoting strong bones, and contains probiotics that foster a balanced gut microbiome, potentially reducing blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
With 10 grams of protein per 100 grams, Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse that enhances overall health and well-being.
Eggs, a nutrient-dense food, take the lead on our protein-rich food list. provide a simple and cost-effective source of high-quality protein. Beyond protein, eggs contain a wealth of vital vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, selenium, choline, and iron, which help with a variety of biological processes ranging from immunity to brain health. (4)
One whole contains 6 grams of protein or 12 grams of protein 120 grams.
14. Nuts and Seeds:
Some of the seeds and nuts that are rich in protein are shown below:
- Chia Seeds: A 20g serving has 3.65g of protein and contains 18.29g of protein per 100g. These small seeds are a great way to add protein to smoothies or yogurt.
- Almonds: Raw, unsalted almonds have a protein content of 20.33g per 100g, or 5.76g per ounce. To enhance your protein intake, snack on almonds or use them as a crunchy topping for salads.
- Hemp Seeds: Three tablespoons of hemp seeds have 31.56g of protein per 100g and yield 9.47g of protein. For an extra protein boost, sprinkle hemp seeds on salads or incorporate them into dressings.
15. Green Peas:
Peas are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and important minerals. Frozen peas are not only inexpensive and widely available, but they are also highly flexible, making them an easy addition to a variety of dishes.
A 1/2 cup (80g) serving of cooked green peas contains around 4 grams of protein, thus enhancing its worth as a protein-rich dietary option.
Accept the goodness of peas to improve your meals and enjoy the benefits of their nutritional features.
Protein-rich foods are the superheroes of nutrition, offering a range of health benefits like muscle growth, bone support, weight management, and reduced food cravings. Whether you prefer plant-based options like soy products, quinoa, and lentils, or lean towards animal-based choices like chicken, fish, and eggs, plenty of delicious and nutritious options suit all tastes. However, it's essential to maintain a balanced diet that includes various nutrients. Combining a protein-rich diet with regular exercise and staying hydrated will further enhance your overall fitness journey.
Q) Are Protein-Rich Foods Low in Carbs?
A) Absolutely! There are numerous protein-rich foods that are also low in carbohydrates. Examples of such foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and certain nuts and seeds. Incorporating these options into your diet can provide a great source of protein without adding excessive carbs. So, if you're aiming for a low-carb, high-protein diet, these foods are excellent choices to consider!
Q) Can You Lose Weight by Including More Protein in Your Diet?
A) Yes, consuming protein-rich food can aid in weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness, reducing hunger, and increasing calorie burn during digestion. However, it's essential to combine a balanced diet and exercise to achieve effective weight loss.
Q) Which Protein-Rich Foods Have Low-Fat Content?
A) Low-fat protein-rich foods include skinless chicken or turkey breast, fish, egg whites, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and tofu. These are excellent sources of protein to incorporate into your meals.