Immunity has never felt like such a responsibility before. Thanks to medical advancement, we have become extremely reliant on vaccines and drugs for immunization and treatment against lethal diseases. But the past year has set a new precedent of self-care and individual accountability towards overall health and well-being. Immunity is no rocket science, and yet, not everyone gets that there is more to it than popping pills and getting jabbed.
A balanced diet, good and clean habits and regular exercise maintain the immune system. But a gamechanger in this cycle is protein. Despite being vital for building immunity, muscle strength and crucial enzymes, global research reveals how countries have been facing challenges with protein deficiency for a long time. In India, staple diets lack a sufficient protein quota. A 2017 survey pegged the average protein intake for an Indian adult at 0.6 gm per kg body weight, against the recommended 0.8 to 1 gm per kg body weight. India’s overall protein consumption too is much lower than the 48 gms/day, as suggested by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Ever wondered if your protein intake is right? Use the Protein-O-Meter by Right To Protein to find out.
Well-known protein sources are mostly animal-based, like meat, eggs, fish and dairy products- which are also complete proteins, that is, they have all 9 essential amino acids that the human body cannot produce on its own. That’s great news for all non-vegetarians, but what about vegans and vegetarians? Not to worry, soy comes to the rescue!
Soybean is the only plant-based source of complete protein that helps meet daily protein requirements and aids metabolism. It further enables growth, repairs tissue, builds muscle, renews cells, improves cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. (Fun fact- it has more protein than chicken too!)
Soy foods like soybean, soy nuts, edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk and soy flour enrich the diet while pleasing the taste buds. Adding soy-based foods to the diet is not that complicated. You can make simple changes to your regular dishes and voila! You are good to go. Here are some tips (dig the internet for more fancy treats):
1) In your next salad or a sandwich, don’t forget to add roasted soy nuts and some edamame for that extra dose of healthiness.
2) Workouts mean smoothie time! Replace regular milk with soy milk in smoothies in your post-workout smoothie. What’s more, soy milk goes well with tea, coffee, cereal and yoghurt too.
3) For that constantly twitching sweet tooth, use soyflour while making the next batch of breads, pancakes, cakes, brownies, cookies and all things confectionary.
4) Indian food lovers- soybean and tofu make for great additions to curries, bhurjis, pulaos and kebabs.
5) Binge eating on chips during unannounced cravings does no good. Try roasted soybeans/soysticks (don’t forget the delicious flavours) for those regular hunger pangs.
Right To Protein aims to educate people on the importance of adequate protein consumption by fostering behavioural change and spreading nutritional awareness. The #RightToProtein initiative aspires to create resources on protein sources, especially plant protein, to meet larger nutritional goals.
It recently introduced April as ‘Soy Month’ to draw attention to soy foods. FSSAI and Eat Right India along with several brands, organizations, government bodies and initiatives also participated by encouraging people to consume soy foods during this campaign. The Soy Protein for Better Immunity campaign by Right To Protein encourages the consumption of soy foods for long-term immunity building, as was recently recommended by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Government of India.
Join the #RightToProtein movement by rethinking your diet and making it protein-rich by embracing options like soybean.
Click here to find out more about the Right To Protein initiative.