I love homemade food. Everyone who reads my blog knows how passionate I am about food. As I read more about food, I have realized how important it is for us to consume a well-balanced meal all the time. Each meal should contain all the nutrients i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
I often find that we in India consider carbohydrates to be our enemy and denounce them from our diet thinking that it will make us lose weight faster and help in maintaining body weight. But, there is a very important nutrient in our diet which we often miss. The nutrient that is ignored in Indian cooking is protein.
Think of poori sabzi, upma and some of our other traditional breakfast and meal options and you will find them rich in carbohydrates, but low in proteins. Furthermore, if you are a vegetarian, then it may be a bit difficult to completely satisfy your protein requirements just by eating homemade food.
Let’s try and understand protein a bit better:
Protein is very important for the growth and maintenance of our cells and tissues. Our skin, hair, nails, body tissues are made up of protein. Proteins are also essential for formation of hemoglobin, hormones, enzymes, muscles and antibodies (required to maintain a healthy immune system). Thus, our body needs adequate proteins on a daily basis to function appropriately. Hence, if your diet is low in protein, you may experience dryness in skin and your nails and hair may become weaker. It is said that our bodies need 1.0g of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. Therefore, protein is considered as a wonder nutrient that is absolutely crucial for our bodies.
One other very important fact about protein is that it cannot be stored in the body, unlike carbohydrates. Hence, the body does not have any reserves to fall back upon in times of need. This is the reason why you must meet all your protein requirements from your diet every day.
Since I got to know these essential truths about protein, I have become more conscious of incorporating it in every meal e.g. boiled egg with upma or veg paratha with curd. I have increased the quantity of dal, pulses and lentils consumed in every meal. And of course, for those times after my workout or when I have not had protein in my food, a protein shake like Protinex helps take care of any protein deficiencies that might occur in my diet on a regular basis. I have read that protein supplements based on milk protein -whey are the best to consume.
Are you having enough protein in your diet? Check out this Calculator to see where you stand.
Here are my results
Do let me know how you handle protein deficiency in your diet?