Protein Index: Immunity Boosting Protein Rich Food Guide for The COVID Era
New Delhi | Jagran Brand Desk: The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped up to become a global health crisis, believed to be the world’s largest challenge since the time of World War II. India is now known to be among the worst-hit COVID-19 hot-spots in the world. Even though the government and the citizens are actively exercising caution to curb the spread of the disease, India continues to battle with a spike in the coronavirus cases each day. Now that the lockdown has been relaxed in different parts of the country, the country may slowly resume regular operations, which calls for more safety measures besides social distancing and hygiene measures. One of which is staying in good health.
Only few take in to account the role that a strong immunity plays during such times. The immune system is known to keep the body healthy or at least safer against health risks and nutrition is a critical factor of a good immune system– like most things, immunity functions better when it’s well-nourished. If the body does not have enough building blocks, there is likely to be a significant impairment of immunity.
Protein is a determinant of an individual’s nutrition and immune response, so in times like these, eating protein-rich food has become the utmost priority, boosting immune system and giving people the best chance to fight a virus. Right To Protein, a national public health awareness initiative has been focusing on increasing awareness about adequate protein consumption for overall better health and nutrition, while debunking several myths around protein consumption in India. One of the efforts of the Right To Protein initiative includes sharing the Protein Index, which includes information about protein rich food sources. Here are the top 5 categories of protein rich foods from the guide that should be included in daily Indian diets:
- Pulses – The Protein Index features several protein rich pulses such as mung beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, etc. The ingredient with the highest protein content that features on this list is soyabeans. Per 100 grams of soyabeans contains 52 grams of protein. Soyabeans can be used in vegetable preparations, curries, salads, dosa preparations and more.
- Nuts – In the nuts category, the protein index enlists ingredients such as walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts, and pistachios. Among these peanuts contain 25.8 grams of protein per 100 grams. Peanuts can be used in salads, dal, and as ingredients in breakfast/snack preparations such as poha, idli, uthappam and parathas. Peanuts can also be used to make peanut butter at home which can be consume in many ways.
- Seafood – On this seafoods list, the protein index contains pomfret, crabs, lobsters, squid, mackerel, etc. The food with the highest protein content is tuna - 29 grams of protein per 100 grams of tuna. There are several innovate methods to add tuna to the Indian diet, a few include preparations such as tuna kheema masala, tuna stir fry, tuna fish vegetable, tuna in cold salads, sandwiches etc.
- Poultry & Meat – Besides chicken, the protein index features several protein rich meats such as duck, turkey, pork, mutton and lamb. These foods easily contain approximately 20 grams of protein for 100 grams of meat. These can be prepared for both heavy meals – curries, roast preparations, and lighter meals in sandwiches, salads, etc.
- Seeds – The seeds category from the protein index features top protein rich edible seeds such as sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds and more. On the top of the list is Hemp seeds, which contains 30 grams of protein in the quantity of 100 grams. Hemp seeds are complete sources of protein and provide all 9 amino acids essential for protein. Hemp seeds can be used in cereals, salads, cookies, pudding, etc.
This pandemic has only heightened the awareness of being prepared to tackle such health scares to prevent falling prey to the risks associated with contracting the virus. Besides the recommendations from WHO and CDC to use disinfectants, wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing, one of the best defenses against COVID-19 is to maintain good health. There has never been a better time to engage in an on-going habit of better health and lifestyle management to practice prevention from health diseases, by optimizing the human body’s most basic defense mechanism - immunity. For which, along with several other nutritious foods, one must remember to consume adequate protein, at least 25 per cent of the plate in every meal. Log on to www.righttoprotein.com to learn more about adequate protein consumption.
(DISCLAIMER: The article is written by the Brand Desk.)