How Daily Protein Intake Affects Your Body : Top 20 Protein-Packed Vegetarian Foods

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Written by Yoga Mentor Keshav, with facts sourced from Ancient Indian Ayurvedic and Yogic Textbooks, as well as scientific research.

Vegetarians are always in dilemma about what to have in their daily diet to get the maximum protein intake.  We’ll explore everything you need to know about protein, including how much you need, how to get it from the top 20 protein-packed vegetarian foods, and the potential consequences of both protein deficiency and excess. 

Daily Protein Intake Requirements

The Importance of Protein

Protein is a vital nutrient that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. From building and repairing tissues to creating enzymes and hormones, protein is essential for good health.

The word “protein” originates from the Greek word “proteios,” meaning “primary” or “of the first rank.”

This reflects proteins’ vital role as essential components in the body’s structure and functions.

20 Amino acids, which are building blocks of Protein, group together and make protein to build and repair tissues, create hair, and nerves, make enzymes and hormones, and is an essential building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, etc.

But how does your daily protein intake affect your body? Let’s find out.

Protein may Improve your Sleep

Struggling with sleepless nights? You may not need sleeping pills! Consider adding the power of amino acids to your diet for natural sleep improvement.

The key player: Tryptophan. This essential amino acid helps your body produce serotonin and melatonin, both crucial for calming the brain and inducing sleep.

Dairy products like cheese or paneer are excellent sources, as is adding whole grains like lentil dal or logiya (cowpea) to your meals.

This may lead to deeper, more restful sleep. Evidence.

Protein helps to Burn Fat

Research provides convincing evidence that higher protein intake compared to lower protein diets can significantly boost thermogenesis (your body’s heat production, which burns calories) and enhance satiety (feeling full for longer). Evidence.

Protein is like a friend that helps you get a lean, toned body, just like carbs do.

One big way it helps is by burning fat. When you want to lose fat, your body needs to move and use the stored fat for energy.

To do this, it needs certain nutrients, like methionine, which is an important building block. Methionine is an indispensable amino acid (IAA).

Calculate your Body Fat with This Body Fat Calculator

Methionine is not made by your body it needs to be provided by the food you eat.

You can get enough methionine by eating a mix of healthy foods like milk products, whole grains, and nuts.

Now! you know enough about protein let’s move ahead to know how much protein is required for you.

How to Calculate Daily Protein Intake?

You can calculate your protein intake by this Protein Intake Calculator. It will help you to find the approximate protein is required on daily basis. Also what amount of protein you are lacking?

How Much Protein Do We Need?

The amount of protein you need depends on various factors like age, sex, physical activity level, and overall health. 

Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of Protein for different age groups:

Age Group (Body Weight in kg)EAR (g/d)
Adult Men (Sedentary/Moderate, 65kg)42.9
Adult Women (Sedentary/Moderate, 55kg)36.3
Pregnant Women (2nd Trimester)+7.6
Pregnant Women (3rd Trimester)+17.6
Lactating Women (0-6 months)+13.6
Lactating Women (6-12 months)+10.6
Infants (0-6 months, 5.8kg)6.7
Infants (6-12 months, 8.5kg)8.8
Children (1-3y, 12.9kg)10.2
Children (4-6y, 18.3kg)12.8
Children (7-9y, 25.3kg)19.0
Boys (10-12y, 34.9kg)26.2
Girls (10-12y, 36.4kg)26.6
Boys (13-15y, 50.5kg)36.4
Girls (13-15y, 49.6kg)34.7
Boys (16-18y, 64.4kg)45.1
Girls (16-18y, 55.7kg)37.3

Source : ICMR-NIN

For pregnant and lactating women additional protein is required, as given in the above table.

Individuals consuming a cereal-based diet with low-quality protein require 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Also Read : Samak Rice a Food for Weight Loss

For optimal protein quality, it’s recommended the diet consists of cereals, legumes, and milk in a 3:1:2.5 ratio. This means for every 3 parts cereals, you should include 1 part legumes and 2.5 parts milk. This combination helps ensure you get a good balance of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

How does Low Protein Intake affect you?

Not getting enough protein can lead to a variety of health issues such as muscle atrophy and weakness, poor wound healing, and a weakened immune system. These can range from muscle atrophy and weakness to poor wound healing, and even a weakened immune system. Getting enough protein is important! It can help you avoid some health issues.

Also Read: Egg Myth and Realities

How High Protein affects you?

While protein is essential for our health, consuming too much can also have negative effects. Excessive protein intake can lead to digestive issues, kidney damage, and even heart disease. It’s important to find a balance and consume an appropriate amount of protein daily.

Also Read: How to get Vitamin D: Sources and much More

20 Highest Protein Vegetarian Foods

Vegetarian sources of Protein
Highest Protein of Vegetarian Food

For vegetarians, getting enough protein is very difficult but these 20 Vegetarian Foods will help you to get maximum protein intake:

S.No.Vegetarian FoodProtein Content per 100 grams (g)
1Soya bean, white (Glycine max)43.2
2Water Melon Seeds (Citrullus lanatus)34.1
3Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum)26.2
4Mungfali, Ground nut (Arachis hypogea)25.3
5Lentil dal, Masoor Dal (Lens culinaris)25.1
6Field bean, Vaal brownd dry (Phaseolus vulgaris)24.9
7Moong Dal, Green gram, dal (Phaseolus aureus)24.5
8Lobiya, Cowpea, white (Vigna catjang)24.1
9Black gram, Urad dal (Phaseolus mungo)24
10Niger seeds, Ramtil Seeds, gray (Guizotia abyssinica)23.9
11Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia)23.6
12Arhar Dal, Red gram, whole (Cajanus cajan)22.3
13Rajmah, red (Phaseolus vulgaris)22.9
14Chana Dal, Bengal gram Roasted (Cicer arietinum)22.5
15Horse gram, Kulthi Dal whole (Dolicus biflorus)22
16Cashewnut (Anacardium occidentale)21.2
17Almond (Prunus amygdalus)20.8
18Peas, roasted (Pisum sativum)20.4
19Mustard seeds (Brassica juncea)20
20Sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus)19.8



Understanding your daily protein intake and how it affects your body is crucial for maintaining good health. Whether you’re an athlete looking to optimize performance, or someone simply trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, being aware of your protein intake can make a significant difference.

We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights into the importance of protein in our diet. If you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: How much protein do I need daily?

A: The amount of protein you need depends on several factors, including your age, sex, activity level, and overall health. The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for protein varies by age group. For example, sedentary adult men need around 43 grams of protein per day, while pregnant women in their third trimester need an additional 17.6 grams daily.

Q: What are some signs of protein deficiency?

A: Common signs of protein deficiency include muscle loss, fatigue, weak immunity, and difficulty healing from wounds.

Q: What can happen if I consume too much protein?

A: While protein is essential, consuming excessive amounts can lead to digestive issues, kidney strain, and even heart disease.

Q: I’m a vegetarian. What are some good sources of protein for me?

A: There are many delicious and nutritious protein sources for vegetarians! Some of the best options include legumes, masoor, mung, arhar, chana dal, , nuts, seeds, dairy products (milk, cheese, paneer), and whole grains.

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