People in India are shifting to plant-based diets and reducing their overall consumption of animal-based products. Plant-based diets are gaining popularity for health reasons and environmental concerns because that encompasses animal welfare.
However, those who follow such a diet often worry about getting enough protein, especially since several types of meat and dairy products that are high in protein.
Pantry staples such as lentils, almonds, and millets are all rich sources of plant protein and can be regularly consumed as part of a healthy, wholesome diet. Almonds for instance, are not only nutrition powerhouses but are versatile in their usage and add a unique texture to a variety of dishes- be it sweet or savory. Almonds are an excellent source of plant-based protein and can be consumed in many ways: almond milk, almond flour, raw, roasted, lightly salted etc.
Emphasizing the rise of plant-based diets, Leading Bollywood Actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “It’s a myth that plant-based diets don’t contain enough protein. Interestingly, I have heard that 100 gm of almonds contains roughly 21 gm of protein and are also rich in over 15 nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, protein, riboflavin, and zinc. I believe in the long run, eating a balanced diet is the key to good health and I always include healthy plant-based proteins such as almonds, chickpeas and tofu in my meals to make them more nutritious and wholesome.”
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “Protein is needed for the formation of tissues, muscles, hormones, and enzymes, and also to repair cells and tissues in the body. It’s critical to carefully plan your diet once you’ve decided to follow a plant-based diet. If you are used to getting your calcium from dairy products, you can now get it from ragi, soybean, leafy greens, and almonds. Nuts like almonds, dals and pulses like toor dal and moong can contribute to the protein requirement for your body if you are on a plant-based diet. Almonds are also a great snack option, especially when you’re hungry in between meals. Almonds are a rich source of protein, a nutrient which known to contribute to growth and maintenance of muscle mass.”
Emphasizing the change in eating patterns and plant-based lifestyles, Fitness Expert and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala said, “As a fitness instructor, I have people constantly quizzing me on one diet or another. Trends come and go; the key is to eat balanced meals and to follow a regular workout routine. According to a study, interventional trials have consistently demonstrated that consumption of plant-based diets reduces body fat in overweight and obese individuals, even when controlling for energy intake. 1 From that perspective, I strongly believe that plant-based diets can help with weight maintenance. One excuse I often hear from clients is that it is difficult to cook a healthy meal. The best part of plant-based diets is that you can eat nuts like almonds which are a powerhouse of a protein, with no preparation required. A handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness. 2 Similarly, you can also eat a bowl of quinoa with slivers of almonds as a breakfast. This will take you less than 5 min to prepare.”
Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi, said, “Protein deficiency is common in India and lack of awareness regarding its importance in our diet is concerning. Nutrients like protein are essential for the human body. They are the building blocks of body tissue. Protein can be found in a variety of foods. For people who follow a plant-based diet, foods like pulses, millets, broccoli, beans and nuts like almonds can be good sources of protein. For instance, a handful of almonds is about 30 grams, provides 4 grams of fibre, 6 grams of plant-based protein and healthy fats, which can provide you the energy to keep you going between meals, as well as help maintain muscle mass.”
Commenting on the need to make informed lifestyle choices, Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach Neha Ranglani, “I think the most important point to be noted here is that a person needs to have strong reasons for shifting to a plant-based diet – it shouldn’t be because their favourite celebrity is a vegan or it’s trending right now. Studies show that people who follow a plant-based diet are at a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer, and obesity. 3 Research shows that almonds, which are a source of protein and high in dietary fibre, can help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, may improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, and help lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods, which affects fasting insulin levels. 4 When you feel hungry between meals, this is a healthy snack choice and a handful of almonds can contribute significantly to your body’s daily protein requirements.”
Renowned Indian television & film actress, Nisha Ganesh said, “I eat a protein-rich diet and include foods like eggs, almonds, milk and dal. Nuts like almonds are convenient to carry to sets, especially while travelling and when you want to grab a healthy snack. Eating a handful of almonds keeps me satiated between meals and keeps my hunger cravings at bay. I make sure I include them in my diet every day as they are known to be a rich source of protein. In addition to that, almonds are a source of magnesium, vitamin E, zinc and other vital nutrients. To make it more interesting, I try out different ways to consume almonds. For instance, I enjoy making Rasam spiked almonds or have them with dark chocolate.”
Speaking on the subject of plant-based protein, Kannada Actress and Celebrity, Priyanka Upendra said, “I am a person who believes that moderation is key. A balanced diet with different kinds of foods including fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein is important in maintaining good health. I also make sure to eat a handful of almonds every day and would recommend everyone to do so as they have several proven health benefits. Almonds help in weight management and promotes heart health 5 There are several ways to add this healthy nut in your diet such as adding it to your smoothie orcrushing it and topping a salad.”
Eat a handful of almonds every day to increase your protein intake naturally!