Updated: Jun 29, 2021
We were introduced to the concepts of Balanced Diet and Nutrition when we were in Grade 4. We know that a Balanced Diet is the foundation stone of a healthy body and mind. Our meals provide us with a variety of nutrients namely Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals. Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates yield energy and are called proximate principles. Proteins carry out a number of vital functions other than providing energy. They are the building blocks of our body and are made up of amino acids that are important constituents of our tissues and cells. Our muscles, hair, skin and blood are all made up of proteins. And also they are the key components of our digestive enzymes, hormones, antibodies. So, it is crucial to include adequate amount of protein in our daily meals.
The daily protein recommendation is 0.8 to 1 gram protein per kg body weight. These requirements increase during physiological conditions like pregnancy and lactation, during growth years and during infection. Also, the spotlight on protein brightens while playing sports and working out in the gym.
We get proteins through a variety of sources. These can be divided into two categories
Animal Sources- These are the best quality protein sources because the amino acid pattern in these is very similar to the pattern of our tissues and cells. Egg, Milk and Milk products, Fish and Meat are some examples. Egg and human milk are considered to be the best quality protein sources.
Plant Sources- The quality of protein present in plant sources is not as superior as those in animal sources. These are incomplete proteins as they lack one amino acid or the other. Lentils, beans, nuts are good sources of plant sources. Soyabean is the richest source.
Going Vegan! What all should you know..
As the world is getting inclined towards a vegan style of living, let us look into having good options to fulfill our protein requirements. Lentils, beans and nuts should be added daily in our meal plans. Apart from these, one can think of including the following as good sources of protein
b. Tofu, Templi, Edamame
c. Pseudo cereals like Amarnath and Quinoa
e. Ezeikel Bread
Can combining our food groups help us to give a better protein value?
India largely consumes a cereal-based diet. Cereals are a moderate source of protein. But when they are combined with pulses, the protein quality of both these plant-based protein sources increase considerably. Individually both pulses and cereals are incomplete proteins, but when combined, they complete and complement each other’s amino acid composition. They have a mutually supplementary effect on each other. Thus, eating rice and dal together or Chapati and Dal together has a rational basis.
Protein in our staples
Since, the quality of protein matters, it is important to pay a little attention to the kind of cereals we use.
Wheat, Rice, Maize are the most commonly used cereals but represent sources having incomplete proteins (proteins containing inadequate amounts of all essential amino acids).
We need to diversify and incorporate plant- based complete proteins in our diets. To name a few we have Amaranth, Soy, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds and Spirulina. Some millets are also very good sources as Foxtail millet, Pearl millet. We may find it difficult to incorporate these since that will require innovations in recipes at home. However, these can be blended and converted into nutritious flours and can be easily incorporated in our regular meals/ snacks. Such natural flours by EARTHSPIRED have been prepared judiciously to provide a nutritionally balanced mix that provides more Protein, Calcium, Fibre and Vitamin B than our traditional wheat or rice flours. These are Diabetic-friendly, Heart friendly and great for weight watchers.
Have a look at the range of these multigrain flours to help you satisfy yours and your kid’s protein requirements. The options include Multigrain High Protein Flour, Special Unrefined Multigrain Flour and Gluten-Free High Protein Flour. Choose the one according to your requirement, taste and palette.
Try our High Protein Products.
Rashmi Gulrajani (Freelance Dietician)
Reach out to us through -
Call: +91 11 41734447