Protein is important for everyone, regardless of gender or nationality but it holds utmost importance for women as they go through multiple hormonal changes in every phase of their lives, whether it's their puberty, pregnancy or menopause.
Why Protein is Important for Women?
- Supports Healthy Hair: Protein is crucial for hair health as it provides the building blocks (amino acids) for the structure of hair. Adequate protein intake can help prevent hair loss and promote strong, shiny hair.
- Nourished Skin: Protein is essential for skin health. Collagen, a protein, keeps the skin firm and youthful.
- Supports Reproductive Health: Protein is important for the overall health and well-being of women, especially during pregnancy and lactation.
- Balances Hormones: Hormonal imbalances can lead to various health issues in women, such as irregular periods, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and menopausal symptoms. Protein helps regulate hormones and can contribute to better hormonal balance.
- Aids in Weight Management: Protein is known for its satiating effect, meaning it helps you feel full and satisfied. It can reduce overeating and snacking on less nutritious foods.
- Supports Muscle Health: It helps women maintain a healthy body composition and good metabolism.
- Enhances Immunity: A well-balanced diet that includes adequate protein helps support a strong immune system.
- Promotes Bone Health: Protein plays a role in maintaining bone density and strength. Women are more prone to osteoporosis, and ensuring an adequate protein intake can help support healthy bones.
- Menstrual Health: A diet rich in protein can help regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) for some women.
Top 10 Vegetarian High-Protein Indian Dishes
Indian cuisine offers a wide range of vegetarian dishes that are not only delicious but also rich in protein. These Indian foods can certainly be a part of a weight loss plan. You can enjoy these Indian recipes without any guilt and they can become part of your diet.
- Chana Masala: Chana masala is a North Indian dish made from chickpeas cooked in a tomato-based sauce with a blend of aromatic spices. Chickpeas are high in protein and fibre.
MOMS TIP - If you are looking to reduce weight with masala, you can add it without any guilt but make sure you use less oil for cooking. You can even eat chana chaat (salad) with lots of vegetables and fruits if you are looking for a protein-rich diet food.
- Tofu Tikka: Tofu Tikka is a vegetarian version of the famous chicken tikka. Cubes of tofu are marinated in a spicy yoghurt mixture and roasted or grilled until they are charred and flavorful.
MOMS TIP- If you are a vegan, and you miss paneer tikka, try tofu tikka with amazing flavours and protein.
- Dal (Lentil Curry): Dal is a staple in Indian cuisine and comes in various varieties like masoor dal (red lentils), moong dal (split yellow lentils), green moong and many more. It's a rich source of protein and can be prepared in numerous ways.
MOMS TIP - You can either make protein-rich khichdi, or a rice porridge( Extra dal and less rice) with your choice of vegetables to make a one-pot comfort dish.
- Palak Paneer: Palak paneer is a creamy spinach curry with chunks of paneer (cottage cheese). Paneer is a protein-rich dairy product, and spinach adds vitamins and minerals to the dish.
MOMS TIP - Vegan people can replace paneer with mushrooms to enjoy Palak mushrooms for its vitamins, and other nutrients.
- Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry): Rajma is a North Indian dish made from kidney beans cooked in a thick tomato-based gravy. It's a great source of plant-based protein. It serves as a great source of protein for those aiming to shed excess weight.
MOMS TIP - If you fancy rajma with its perfect partner, rice, prefer brown rice for its extra content of protein and nutrients.
- Soya Chunks: Soya chunks, also known as textured vegetable protein (TVP), are a high-protein meat substitute. They can be used in various curries and dishes to boost protein content. Soya chunks curry is a great dish to enjoy with your choice of bread. It serves as a great source of protein for those aiming to shed excess weight.
MOMS TIP - Add vegetables of your choice like beans, peas, carrots, and cauliflower to make your soya vegetable pulao extremely healthy for you and your children.
- Quinoa Pulao: Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that can be used as a substitute for rice in dishes like pulao. It's a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. Instead of plain water, use vegetable or chicken broth to cook the quinoa. This will add extra flavour to the dish. It makes an excellent protein-rich food for weight loss.
MOMS TIP: Before cooking, rinse the quinoa under cold water to remove the bitter coating called saponin. For added texture and flavour, consider adding toasted nuts (like almonds or pine nuts) or seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds) just before serving.
- Paneer Bhurji: Paneer Bhurji is a spiced scramble made from crumbled paneer and various spices. It's a quick and protein-packed dish often eaten with bread or as a side. Incorporate a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and peas to bulk up the dish without adding excessive calories. They also add fibre and nutrients.
MOMS TIP - Opt for low-fat or reduced-fat paneer instead of the regular full-fat version. This significantly reduces the overall calorie content. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eating smaller portions can help you enjoy the dish without consuming excessive calories.
- Black-eyed beans curry: In Hindi and Punjabi language, black-eyed beans are called “lobia” and “rongi”. In the Marathi language, these beans are called “chawli”. Being a storehouse of protein these beans are faster to cook than your chickpeas or kidney beans.
MOMS TIP - You can choose to have black-eyed beans, Lobhia salad with crunchy vegetables, and a slice of lemon. Do not forget to sprinkle nuts and seeds for extra protein and crunch to your salad. It is just like chana chat but easier to make.
- Veggie Kebabs/ Cutlets: Veggie kebabs can be a good source of protein, but the level of protein content depends on the ingredients used. These kebabs are made with a variety of colourful vegetables like bell peppers, peas, onions, zucchini, paneer(cottage cheese) or tofu, besan, and chickpeas.
MOMS TIP -Bake them, or roast them instead of frying them to make them a healthier option, Consider offering a flavorful dipping sauce like a yoghurt-based tzatziki, a peanut sauce, to add an extra layer of taste.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!