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Protein is required by our body to repair old cells and build new ones. It helps to keep our body healthy and strong in multiple ways. To encourage people to shift to vegetarian sources and save animals by going meat-free, every year, the World Vegetarian Day is celebrated on 1 October. The day also highlights the benefit of going vegetarian and how the shift can lead to the improvement of wildlife and rainforests  .
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegetarians are less prone to diabetes and heart-related diseases and live longer compared to non-vegetarians. Protein from the plants helps lower the weight, improves kidney function, prevents cancer, soothes the pain of arthritis and keeps us away from other diseases  .
Daily Protein Intake
Daily intake of protein is necessary but that doesn't mean you should miss out other essential nutrients. The daily intake of protein should be around 2g/kg of body weight. The amount is about 140-160 g per day. For old people above age 65, the protein intake should be 1g/kg of body weight which is about 68-80 g/day. Also, the amount of protein intake for pregnant women is approximately 1.1 g/kg body weight  .
Sources Of Plant-Based Protein
The amount of protein mentioned for each plant-based protein source is per 100 g of serving.
1. Artichoke: The globe-like edible flower buds of artichokes contain 3.27 g of protein. It is mainly steamed or braised for vegetables. Artichoke also contains a good amount of fibre and minerals like calcium, iron and potassium .
2. Triticale: A cross hybrid whole grain of wheat and rye, triticale contains 13.05 g of protein and essential minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and potassium  . Triticale is either boiled in water and spread on a salad or used in place of rice.
3. Quinoa: Rich in all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is gluten-free and has 14.12 g of protein along with dietary fibre and nutrients like calcium and iron. It is either grounded to flour or boiled and added to soups or vegetable  .
4. Lentil: A legume famous for its lens-shaped edible seeds, lentils are packed with 24.63 g of protein and other nutrients like fibre, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Lentils are mixed with soups and stews for a better taste  .
5. Chickpeas: They contain 20.47 g of protein and minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorus. Chickpeas often blend with a variety of curries and hummus made of chickpea paste is used widely as an alternative for butter  .
6. Navy beans: These small dry white beans contain 22.33 g of protein and a rich quantity of fibre and minerals like potassium, iron and calcium. Navy beans mix well with many vegetables and soups by enriching their taste and nutritional value  .
7. Tofu: Dried and frozen tofu contain 52.47 g of protein and adequate amount of fibre and minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus. It is used widely in a variety of recipes and as the best alternative for meat products as it absorbs the flavour of the ingredients  .
8. Tempeh: This Indonesian soy product contains 20.29 g of protein and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Tempeh is made by cooking and fermenting soybeans and used in multiple recipes worldwide  .
9. Edamame: Frozen edamame contains 11.22 g of protein and rich in dietary fibre, calcium, folate and potassium. The beans inside edamame are either mixed with salad or cooked with vegetables for better taste  .
10. Pumpkin seeds: Packed with 19.40 g of protein and minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, pumpkin seeds are nutritious both in raw or cooked form. The seeds are used majorly in Mexican dishes like soups and salads and in India, they are often cooked and eaten with rice  .
11. Chia seeds: Dried chia seeds contain 16.54 g of protein and are loaded with essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. The seeds also contain all nine essential amino acids and are used best as a smoothie or protein-based shake  .
12. Hemp seeds: Hemp plants are basically a relative of Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds of the hemp plant called hemp seeds contain 31.56 g of protein and a rich amount of magnesium. They are either sprinkled on salad or oatmeal or cooked with veggies  .
13. Oats: Dry cereal oat contains 13.15 g of protein and a huge amount of fibre, potassium and phosphorus. They are used best as a porridge for an instant satiating breakfast. Oats are also used in a variety of recipes like a veg burger and oatmeal  .
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