High-Protein Indian Foods

15 High-Protein Indian Foods, Benefits, and Ideal Diet

Dec 13, 2023

Protein is a key component of our diet and serves as a fundamental building block for the body. As an essential macronutrient, its significance lies in being a primary nutrient for building and maintaining muscle mass and repair. You would have also heard about people losing or gaining weight talking about their protein intake. Protein also plays a pivotal role in diverse metabolic processes. India has a treasure trove of foods that are incredibly rich in protein. Adding these high-protein Indian foods to your diet can play a crucial role in providing the body with adequate quantities of this vital nutrient.

For fitness enthusiasts, incorporating high-protein Indian foods into their routine helps increase protein intake, aids in lean muscle development, regulates weight, and boosts both stamina and metabolism.

Benefits of High-Protein Indian Foods

Protein plays a crucial role in numerous bodily processes, contributing significantly to the well-being of your bones, skin, and hormonal balance. Proteins, which comprise essential amino acids, perform several essential functions, with each amino acid carrying out distinct and vital tasks. Vegetarians often struggle to find protein-rich foods - we have several high-protein Indian foods on our list to serve their needs.

* Help Suppress Appetite and Hunger

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, even with reduced food consumption. This macronutrient can diminish ghrelin levels, the hunger hormone, while elevating peptide YY levels, contributing to an enhanced sense of fullness. For those aiming to shed weight, consider substituting a portion of carbohydrates and fats in your diet with protein. High-protein Indian foods that help suppress hunger and appetite include chickpeas, besan, paneer, fatty fish, and moong dal.

* Increase Muscle Growth & Prevent Muscle Depletion

    One widely recognised advantage of following a high-protein food diet is its capacity to support muscle building and prevent muscle loss. Protein plays a pivotal role in muscle growth and repairing micro-damage to muscles, making it easier for individuals who want to enhance muscle mass. Adhering to a high-protein diet can guard against muscle loss, particularly during the calorie restriction or weight loss phase. This is significant as the loss of muscle mass can adversely impact your metabolism, physical performance, and overall health. High-protein Indian foods that increase muscle growth and prevent muscle depletion include beans, legumes, paneers, sprouts, soya, nuts and nut butter, and eggs.

    * Enhance Metabolic Rate

    Eating high-protein Indian foods helps burn more calories by elevating the overall metabolism. As your metabolism accelerates, weight loss becomes more achievable. Several studies suggest that an increased intake of this nutrient can lead to burning an additional 80-100 calories daily. High-protein Indian foods that can help boost metabolism include eggs, flaxseeds, and lentils. Paneer helps burn fat.

    * Preserve Bone Density

    Ensuring an adequate protein intake is crucial for sustaining a healthy bone structure, as proteins play a key role in regulating calcium levels, essential for optimal bone health. Incorporating high-protein foods into your diet proves advantageous in preserving bone mass and concurrently reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. This is particularly pertinent for women who face an increased risk of osteoporosis post-menopause and ageing individuals, where it aids in mitigating muscle loss. High-protein Indian foods that can help preserve bone density include milk and tofu.

    * Support Skin, Hair & Nail Health

    Protein plays a vital role in fortifying tissues, particularly those subject to continuous wear and tear, such as the skin. Collagen, a fibrous protein, imparts essential strength to skin cells. The youthfulness of the skin and the absence of wrinkles are closely tied to the levels of collagen within the body. Buy Collagen. Consuming a diet rich in high-protein foods contributes to maintaining radiant skin and promoting the health of hair and nails. High-protein Indian foods that support skin and hair health include eggs and fatty fish.

    High-Protein Indian Foods and their Nutrient Breakdown


    Chickpeas are one of the high-protein Indian foods, rich in protein and fibre and packed with nutrients that promote heart and bone health. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index, indicating that the body digests this legume slowly. This characteristic helps you stay full for an extended period and prevents abrupt spikes in blood glucose levels.


    Beyond being a protein-rich beverage, milk is an abundant source of calcium, promoting robust bone health, strong teeth, a resilient immune system, and radiant skin. Opt for skimmed varieties that are fortified with vitamin D instead of full-fat versions, maximising the protein benefits in milk.


    One of the high-protein Indian foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is fatty fish. Salmon, a fatty fish, not only provides essential nutrients but is also an excellent protein source. Including salmon in meals can contribute to increased satisfaction and a sense of fullness.


    Eggs are a complete source of protein containing all essential amino acids and stand out as an excellent inclusion in your dietary choices. They have essential nutrients and healthy fats. Eggs are high-protein Indian foods that can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, scrambling, or poaching. Incorporating eggs into diverse dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and sandwiches provides a protein boost.

    Cottage Cheese (Paneer)

    Paneer holds a special place in Indian cuisine, akin to the global significance of cheese. Abundant in casein, a slow-digesting dairy protein, paneer not only provides a substantial amount of calcium but also promotes prolonged satiety and helps burn fat. Whether added to vegetable dishes, tossed into sautéed vegetables, or consumed as is, incorporating paneer into your diet allows you to enjoy the benefits of protein.

    Lentils (Dal)

    Indispensable in Indian meals, lentils - be it arhar, urad, or moong dal - are among the high-protein Indian foods that offer a convenient and cost-effective means to increase your intake of protein, fibre, and essential minerals. Pair them with rice or roti for a well-rounded meal.

    Green Peas (Matar)

    Few vegetables rival the protein richness of this winter staple. Frozen green peas are one of the high-protein Indian foods that also provide a good source of protein and fibre, making them a convenient addition to your freezer.

    Mixed Seeds

    Seeds contribute both crunch and a significant amount of protein to your meals. Whether opting for sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or poppy seeds, these choices are rich in protein and healthy fats. Beyond salads, incorporate them into raita, cereal, or homemade granola for added nutritional value.

    Chicken Breast

    Chicken breast is a lean and protein-rich food source. Widely embraced in bodybuilding diets, chicken breast is a timeless staple. Due to its lean protein content, chicken breast delivers a significant amount of protein with relatively few calories.

    Soy Protein

    Soy stands out as a popular plant-based protein source due to its classification as a complete protein, a trait typically associated with animal-based sources. Like pea protein, soy is an excellent alternative for individuals allergic to whey protein or dairy as high-protein Indian foods.


    In addition to being a high-protein Indian food source, oats provide complex carbohydrates. Raw oats can be easily prepared as oatmeal, offering versatility by allowing individuals to flavour them with various nutritious foods such as fruits and nuts.


    Despite being legumes, peanuts and peanut butter are highly beneficial for the body since they are rich in proteins and essential nutrients like magnesium, folate, and vitamin E. They are also more filling and can assist in preventing spikes in blood sugar levels as high-protein Indian foods.


    Tuna stands as an exceptional and readily accessible protein source. Additionally, it serves as a valuable source of heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids. Include tuna in salads, sandwiches, and snacks to enhance flavour and nutritional value.


    Broccoli stands out among vegetables for its relatively higher protein content. While it may not be considered a high-protein food on its own, individuals prioritising protein intake might opt for broccoli over other vegetables.


    Almonds are a quintessential example of plant-based protein. Incorporating almonds into your daily routine or adding them to salads can offer significant health benefits, as they are rich in essential nutrients such as fibre, manganese, vitamin E, and magnesium. Other healthy nuts like pistachios and cashews can also be included for added nutritional value.

    Protein-Rich Food Diet Plan

    The food sources of protein can be classified into plant sources and animal sources. All animal sources or proteins are complete source proteins that don't lack any amino acid in their composition, whereas plants lack a few. Cereals have a limited amount of lysine, threonine, methionine, and valine. On the other hand, pulses are limited in methionine, tryptophan and cysteine. Combining pulses with cereals or cereals with milk makes the food a complete source of protein. For example, milk dalia, khichri,  daal and rice, and daal with cereals all have ample protein. Moreover, egg, chicken, milk and milk products have a high biological value of protein that is completely used by the body. It must be included in the diet in the form of egg salad, chicken salad, and paneer salad, which require less cooking and do not destroy or denature the protein. Curd can be used in salad dressing or can be taken in the form of raita with vegetables and fruits. Our meals can be divided into three major ones, with each including at least 15-30 grams of protein to fulfil the daily protein requirement.

    Proteins are important to perform various bodily functions. They protect us from cell damage and help in muscle growth and repair. High-protein Indian foods help boost immunity by fighting foreign particles in the body. All brain cells are made up of proteins. Hence, protein plays a vital role in performing several bodily functions. A high-protein diet is required for optimal health, which should include milk and milk products, eggs, chicken, fish, legumes, and pulses, amongst others. So, take advantage of India’s food variety and include high-protein Indian foods in your diet for a healthy lifestyle.