In an era where awareness about health, nutrition and fitness has taken centre stage, I am happy to see so many of us break old patterns and take that step towards better living.
Diet is a front runner that facilitates the well-being of not just the body but also the mind. It nourishes and replenishes you and plays a vital role in your well-being. At each stage in your life, the nutrition content required by the body varies and as such, diet needs to be modified accordingly.
A macro nutrient responsible for everything from your toe nail to your lock of hair is protein. Protein is the building block of your body. It is easy to say that every single function of your body is dependent on protein. You cannot monopolise on protein which simply put means that protein needs to be consumed every day in the right quantity. This will help you avoid the myriad of issues that protein deficiency brings with it.
The role of protein is crucial as proteins are the building blocks of life and are responsible for the following functions:-
- It regulates your weight and hunger. A protein rich diet will keep you feeling full through the day and keep those nasty sugar cravings at bay.
- Protein is essential to maintain the muscle mass of your body. Especially as you age it is important to build the muscle mass that you naturally loose in the ageing process.
- A protein rich diet helps you shed unwanted fat.
- Protein boosts your immunity and repairs and builds your cells.
Being a vegetarian and not being able to meet my adequate protein requirement is an ongoing concern for me. This is a common concern for many Indians like me wherein, an estimated 9 /10 Indian individuals are not aware what their daily protein requirement is.
I do try to incorporate vegetarian foods rich in proteins such as:
Grains – Jowar, Couscous, Buckwheat, Quinoa
Pulses & Sprouts – Soy Bean, Mung Bean, Chick Peas, Kidney Beans
Vegetables – Spinach, Mushroom, Peas and Edamame beans
Dairy – Tofu, Yogurt, Cheese and Paneer
Nuts – Walnuts, Soy Nuts, Pistachio and Peanuts
Consuming these sources of protein is great, but was I meeting my daily protein requirement and what would be my ideal protein requirement?
Based on your lifestyle, age and weigh the protein will differ from person to person. I came across the Protein-o-meter that is a free tool to calculate your daily protein requirement. How convenient! Quickly and simply by adding details such as your age, sex, lifestyle and it generates your daily protein requirement.
I was surprised to note that my protein requirement was higher than I would imagine. And then I stumbled upon the Right To Protein campaign, that aims to spread awareness about proteins and how consuming protein rich foods in our daily diet aids better health and overall development. It distinguishes between the vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources of protein and busts common myths surrounding the same.
Having learnt that so much is dependent on this macro nutrient, we cannot discount the importance of actively attempting to meet our protein requirement. You too can easily do this and understand better what your requirement is by visiting right to protein and accessing their simple protein calculator, known as protein-o-meter.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this and if you found that any of the above did impact you positively and made you more aware, please share your experiences by commenting below.