Ever wondered why when you join a gym, the instructors there tells you to increase your protein intake? This is because when you exercise you lose a lot of muscle mass and tear and break your muscle fibers apart, this is where proteins help. It helps in cell and tissue growth and contains amino acids to repair and build new muscles. Proteins are needed not just by people who exercise but by everyone in general. Loss of protein in the body can lead to a variety of problems including hair, skin, and nail problems. Where can we find healthy sources of protein? Protein is available in everything that we eat, it’s just that some foods have higher amounts of protein than others. Although in recent years food items like protein bars and snacks have come to light, not everyone can afford them. Also, protein bars and snacks vary greatly depending on the manufacturing company, not all of them are healthy sources of proteins. Also see: Consider these 6 factors before buying protein powders. Here are a few healthy and cheapest sources of proteins that you can include in your diet. 1. Sources of healthy and cheap proteins for vegans. Vegans are people who do not eat or use anything derived from animals, and surprisingly most of the natural sources of proteins are either animals or animal products. So, what should a vegan do in this case? Leave eating proteins? Absolutely Not. Here are a few foods that vegans can include in their diet to increase their protein intake. 1. Quinoa Quinoa (Keen-wah) is a flowering part, which is rich in protein, dietary fibers, Vitamin B, and dietary minerals. It contains a large number of amino acids, which our body can’t make on our own. Although, we don’t eat the flowering part of Quinoa but rather the seeds of it. The seeds are easy to digest and gluten-free. One cup full of Quinoa provides at least 10 grams of protein to the body, and eating it regularly means 70 grams of protein in a week without even spending excess money. Also see: 8 Healthy Benefits of Quinoa 2. Soy milk Soy milk is a complete plant-based protein produced by soaking and grinding soybeans. It contains much less fat than ordinary cow milk. One glass of Soymilk provides 9 grams of protein which means drinking 1 glass of soymilk every day for a week will provide the body with 63 grams of protein. 3. Chia seeds Chia seeds are tiny round or oval seeds that are black, white, or brown. They are another rich source of protein obtained from a flowering plant called Salvia Hispanica, belonging to the mint family. Chia seeds provide a much larger amount of protein than any other food source. It provides a minimum of 16 grams of protein and a maximum of 19 grams per one cup. Also see: Chia Seeds For Weight Loss. 2. Sources of cheap and healthy proteins for vegetarians 1. Lentils Lentils are another amazing replacement for animal-based foods. They are abundant in proteins and fiber and are obtained from Leguminous plants. There are a variety of lentils available in the market and all of them have abundant proteins in them. A bowl full of lentils provides at most 20 grams of protein and if included in the diet can cover up to 5% of the total proteins needed by the body. 2. Chickpea Chickpeas are round yellow edible seeds that are slightly extensive in size. They are highly rich in protein and if included in one’s diet can fill up a large requirement of protein. Adding 1 bowl of cooked chickpea to your meal can pack up to 40 grams of protein in a day. 3. Tofu Tofu’s are white small blocks made out of condensed soy milk, they are a lot like paneer but contain less fat and more proteins. It is tenuous and thus can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. 100 grams of tofu contains a minimum of 8 grams of protein and inclusion in the diet can cover up a large number of protein needs of the body. 4. Oats Oats are a type of whole grain and contain abundant proteins which makes them a fairly good option to be included in the diet. Oats can be cooked and eaten in various ways but to sustain the protein, it is advisable to eat it in a less processed form. A bowl full of oats can provide up to 10-12 grams of protein and makeup to 3% of the protein required by our body. 3. Sources of healthy and cheap proteins for meat eaters. 1. Tuna fish A tuna fish is a saltwater oily fish, which is rich in several nutrients including protein. Tuna fish is one of the best and cheapest sources of proteins that you can avail yourself of. A 100 grams tuna fish contains 26 grams of protein which covers up to 50% of the recommended daily amount in the body. Other than that, tuna also helps in reducing blood pressure and weight loss. 2. Chicken The most expected, delicious, and common source of protein. If you are a non-vegetarian then including chicken in your diet is a must. Chicken has a very high protein content and including it in your diet alone can cover more than 60% of the required protein amount. 100 grams of the chicken breast alone contains 25 grams of protein, imagine how much protein an entire chicken can provide? Also See: Undercooked chicken? Avoid it at all costs. 3. Prawns While not everybody eats prawns, they are undeniably another best source of protein. They are extremely low in calories and help in controlling cholesterol. 100 grams of prawns contain 25 grams of protein, the same as what a chicken or tuna fish provides. 4. Eggs While talking about proteins, how can we leave eggs behind? Another common and delicious source of protein. Although eggs as a whole contain 6-8 grams of protein, the yolk contains more protein than white. Suppose an egg has 7 grams of protein, then 5 grams will come from the yolk and 2 from the white. These are a few of the best, cheapest and healthy sources of proteins that can be included in our diet to increase protein intake.