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Proteins are the building blocks of our body, making them one of the most essential parts of our diet. They help in repairing damaged cells and building new ones. Food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products are high in proteins. However, when you are on a plant-based diet or vegan diet, with no meats, milk or diary products, fulfilling your daily quota of protein might be a tough cookie. Although plant-based foods have less protein content as compared to animal-based food, there are some vegan protein sources that can help you meet your body’s protein requirements.

The vegan proteins

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Some of the common plant-based sources (fruitsvegetables, and vegetable products) that are rich in proteins are listed below:

Sr. No. Food description Quantity of food Protein (g) in the given quantity of food
1 Soybeans mature seeds (raw) One cup (186 g) 67.87
2 Soybeans mature seeds roasted with or without salts One cup (172 g) 66.31
3 Defatted soy flour One cup (105 g) 54.03
4 Winged beans One cup (182 g) 53.96
5 Mature and raw mungo beans One cup (207 g) 52.18
6 Hyacinth beans (mature or raw) One cup (210 g) 50.19
7 Mature and raw mung beans One cup (207 g) 49.39
8 Raw lentils One cup (192 g) 47.29
9 Red or pink raw lentils One cup (192 g) 45.91
10 Peas One cup (196 g) 45.32
11 Oil-roasted peanuts with or without salt One cup (147 g) 41.17
12 Frozen tofu One cup (155 g) 18.46
13 Potato flour One cup (160 g) 11.04
14 Frozen concentrate of unsweetened and undiluted orange juice One cup (262 g) 6.29
15 Passion fruit One cup (236 g) 5.19
16 Raw avocados, Florida One cup (230 g) 5.13
17 Dried and uncooked figs One cup (149 g) 4.92
18 Seeded raisins One cup (165 g) 4.16
19 Guavas One cup (165 g) 4.21
20 Dried and uncooked plums One cup (174 g) 3.79
21 Deglet Noor dates One cup, chopped, (147 g) 3.60
22 Jackfruit One cup, sliced, (165 g) 2.84


Daily recommended protein intake

On average, adult men or women are recommended to consume the food equivalent of 0.75 gram of proteins per kg of their body weight each day. The amount of protein intake varies with height and weight. The requirement of proteins is high during our teenage years, as this is the age we attain puberty. Boys hit a very speedy growth and build the maximum muscle mass during this age whereas girls start menstruating and build skeletal strength. The required protein intake as per the age of a child is listed below:

Age in years Protein in g/kg to be taken each day
 10-12  1
 12-14  1
 14-16  0.95
 16-18  0.90
10-12  1
12-14 0.95
14-16 0.90
16-18 0.80

The protein demand of the body increases during pregnancy to maintain maternal tissues and to promote fetal growth. After the birth of a baby, the protein requirement in lactating mothers is very high since infants live exclusively on breast milk for the first six months of their life. After six months, the infants are fed other foods along with breast milk, so the requirement diminishes somewhat. The protein intake requirement during the pregnancy and lactation period is listed in the in the following table:

Requirement Protein (g/day)
Full activity 6
Reduced activity 6
First six months 17.5
After six months  13


It is commonly said that eating is a need, but smart eating is an art that keeps you healthy. Follow the words of Jim Rohn, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Intelligent eating habits will protect you from various health complications, boost your immune function, increase your muscle mass, and ensure a well-nourished body.

Here is an easy vegan breakfast recipe for you!

Picture courtesy: Lisha Aravind/

Brown Rice Idly

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Ingredients: Cooked brown rice, Fenugreek seed, Long-grain rice, Sea salt


  • Add long-grain rice and fenugreek seeds to a large bowl, cover with water, and soak for a minimum of 5 hours. Soak urad dal in a separate bowl also for a minimum of 5 hours
  • After soaking, rinse both the soaked rice and dal and wash until water runs clear.
  • Using a food processor, grind the urad dal, adding small amounts of water, as needed, to get the consistency of a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Clean the food processor and use it to grind the long-grain rice, fenugreek seeds, and cooked brown rice, adding small amounts of water, as needed, to get the consistency of a smooth paste.
  • In a baking pan or oven-safe vessel with well-fitting lid, combine the urad dal paste and rice paste and fold gently. Fold in the salt. The batter will have a thick consistency.
  • To ferment the batter, preheat oven to 200°F / 93°C. Once it is preheated, turn oven off and place batter in the oven, covered, for about 2 hours.
  • Remove batter from oven, mix well, and let rest in the refrigerator, covered, overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking the idlis to allow batter to reach room temperature.
  • Fill the bottom of a traditional idli cooker or steamer with just enough water to reach just below the idli stacker or poacher. Oil the idli stacker and pour the batter to the brim. Place the filled stackers into the idli cooker or steamer and steam for about 15 minutes, until idlis are cooked through. (If you don’t have an idli stacker or poacher, you can use a cake pan instead.)
  • Allow idlis to cool for a few minutes then carefully remove the idlis from the stacker using a knife. Serve hot
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