Why do we need protein anyway?
Proteins are the building blocks body tissues, hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Even though, protein could be used as an energy source, it is usually spared. Our body can’t produce amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Therefore, we must get them from food sources.
How much protein do I need?
The minimum recommended daily intake is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. This means that if your weight is 70kg, you should consume at least 56 grams of protein daily. Depending on your fitness goals, you need a little more than that.
How do I know if I am getting enough protein?
A rule of thumb is to eat protein-rich foods with every meal. If you are vegetarian you may struggle meeting your recommended daily intake, especially if you also restrict eggs and dairy products. If you are not sure, you may want to track your food intake for a few days to calculate your calorie and protein intake (use an app like myfitnesspal or calorieking).
Can I get enough protein from plant sources?
Yes, you can. However, because plant sources don not contain all the essential amino acids, you will need to combine a variety of vegetables, legumes and grains in order to meet your requirement.
What are the best vegetarian sources of protein?
Eggs, milk, and dairy products are on the top of the list. However, pulses such as beans and lentils and nuts and seeds also offer a good amount of protein per serving.