If you’re contemplating going vegan or vegetarian in Mississauga, Brampton, and GTA but worried about possible protein deficiencies in your diet, relax – Veggie Planet got you covered. While proteins are essential for building muscle strength, it’s also true that meat foods do score over plant foods in terms of protein content. Fortunately, there’s ample evidence to show that our nutritional requirements can be met by consuming certain protein-rich foods that are purely vegetarian or vegan. But for that to happen, we need to move beyond the conventional veggie pizza or veggie burger. Just as with most other things, we have certain plant-based foods that have a relatively higher protein content. By consuming these vegan and vegetarian foods, we can compensate our body for the potential protein deficiencies that may arise from shunning a non-vegetarian diet.

When you walk into the Veggie Planet Indian street food restaurant in Mississauga you will see the superstars of plant-based foods that are rich in protein with excellent taste!

Green Peas:

Who doesn’t love green peas?  A staple side dish on most dining tables, those little, round, pellet-like vegetables are a great combination of style and nutrition. A cup (approximately 240 ml) of cooked green peas serves up as much as 9 grams of protein, which measures up to the nutrition acquired from drinking a cup of cow milk. What’s more, green peas also provide our body with generous quantities of essential minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.  Green peas are also strong on B vitamin content. Make a quick detour to your neighborhood Veggieplanet for a delightful taste festival with green peas coupled with Kaawa nuggets and Kaawa drumstick to see your protein intake zoom!

Soy Milk:

For vegans especially, cow milk is an absolute no-no. But avoiding animal-milk also means depriving ourselves of a vital protein source. Fortunately for us, there’s a solution in the form of soy milk. Derived from soybeans, soy milk is a superb alternative for those of us who want the goodness and taste of milk in our daily diets. A cup of soy milk contains 7 grams of protein and liberal doses of calcium apart from vitamins D and B12. Abundantly available on supermarket shelves, soy milk can either be drunk on its own or used as an ingredient in a variety of Indian drinks and dishes.

Lentils

Lentils are a staple in Indian cuisine and you can literally smell their delicious aroma when you enter an Indian street food restaurant. Lentils are versatile in that they can be added to many a dish, right from soups to salads. A powerhouse of proteins, each cup (approximately 240 ml) of cooked lentils delivers almost 18 grams of protein. They are also high in fiber content and can provide nearly half our daily recommended intake of fiber. Lentils are also rich in folic acid, iron and manganese, anti-oxidants. Lentils also promote the good bacteria in the colon and thus contribute to better digestion and a healthier gut.

Beans and chickpeas

Beans, of all kinds, are high on protein content. So, whether it’s kidney beans, pinto beans or black beans, you can be sure that your protein requirements are taken care of when you’re consuming beans in ample quantities. Similarly, chickpeas are yet another legume-source of proteins for vegans and vegetarian food aficionados. Cooked beans, as well as chickpeas, deliver as much as 15 grams of protein per cup (approximately 240 ml). These legumes are also brimming with nutrients ranging from folic acid, complex carbs, iron, phosphorus, fiber, and many plant compounds. Beans and chickpeas can be cooked in a variety of ways. Indian cuisine is replete with recipes that are awesome in taste and easy to cook.

Nuts and seeds:

The good thing about nuts and seeds is that you don’t have to cook them. You can eat them as is or use them as an ingredient in other dishes. Small in size but big on taste and protein content, nuts and their derivatives are a veritable storehouse of essential nutrients too. Munch a handful of nuts from time to time to time during the course of your day, and ensure your daily dose of fiber, healthy fats, iron, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, vitamins E and B, and antioxidants too. Ideally, you should consume nuts and seeds, raw because roasting or blanching them strips them of their nutritional contents.

Fruits and vegetables:

Contrary to popular belief, not all fruits and vegetables are deficient in protein. There do exist some varieties that are high on protein and can provide us with sufficient quantities of nutrition. Broccoli, asparagus, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and artichokes are the different vegetables that you can rely upon to dish out your body’s protein requirements. A cup of any of these cooked vegetables contains about 5 grams of protein.

Similarly, we have fresh fruits and berries that are rich in protein content. For example, bananas, nectarines, guava, mulberry, blackberry, cherimoya contain around 5 grams of protein per serving. Including these fruits and vegetables in your daily diet will help take care of your protein requirements.

In recent times there are also many new and unconventional food sources making their way into Indian cuisines, especially in localities such as Brampton, Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area – GTA. Ingredients like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and seitan have made their way from the far-east, and are now a regular choice of vegan and vegetarian food lovers. These foods are high on protein and many a time used as a substitute for meat.

Seitan:

Also known as wheat meat, seitan is made from the principal protein in wheat – gluten. When cooked, its look and texture have an uncanny resemblance to meat. 100 grams of cooked seitan provides about 25 grams of protein, making it the richest source of plant protein. Seitan can be cooked in many ways – sautéed, grilled or pan-fried. It is easily available in health food stores. People with gluten sensitivity should avoid seitan.

Tofu, Edamame, Tempeh:

Derived from soybean which is rich in protein, Tofu, edamame, and tempeh are all derived from soybean which is rich in protein. The manufacturing methods differ and so does the taste of each of these soybean products. Tofu is made from bean curds in a process that is similar to the one used for making cheeses, it does not have any distinctive taste and acquires the cooking flavors of the recipe. Similarly, tempeh can also be used in naanza, soups, burgers and other recipes such as the planet special poutine.

Edamame is basically immature soybeans that are sweet to taste with a hint of grass. They must be boiled or steamed before eating them whole or in soups.

Visit Veggie Planet Today

If you’re in Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, and the rest of Greater Toronto Area, remember there’s Veggie Planet Naanza waiting for your palate pleasure! Veggie Planet offers convenient online ordering via the website (https://veggieplanet.ca) and flexible delivery options, including delivery within a 15-kilometer radius available in Mississauga and GTA.

For in-restaurant pickups, Veggie Planet is located at 6985 Davand Dr. Unit #1, Mississauga, ON L5T 1Y7 and can be reached at (905) 795-7950 for all vegetarian and vegan restaurant menu items.

If Indian cuisine is renowned for its colors and tastes, we can give credit to the unique spices and herbs that are used in the recipes. From garam masala to ginger and nutmeg, you name it and you’ll find the liberal use of these exotic ingredients – be it at high-end restaurants or Indian street food in Brampton, Mississauga, Etobicoke or the Greater Toronto Area.  Apart from flavor and color, these herbs and spices are also known for their health benefits. Talking of unique ingredients, we can safely say that turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a unique Indian ingredient that has captured the attention of the international scientific community, for the array of health benefits it delivers. So, let’s look at turmeric in more detail….

Turmeric decoded

Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric is an herb that is basically grown in India. The golden-yellow herb is primarily used in a variety of Indian dishes. Once it is harvested from the plant’s rhizome, turmeric has to be dried and powdered before use. The weather conditions in India are perfect for the herb and so turmeric is generally not commercially cultivated elsewhere in the world. In fact, India is the only major exporter of turmeric. When used in cooking food, turmeric imparts a yellow hue, mustard-like aroma, and a typical hot-bitter flavor to the dishes. So, you know what to look out for, the next time you venture out to a Veggie Planet outlet in Brampton, Mississauga or the GTA.


Health properties of Turmeric

Apart from Indian cuisine, turmeric is also used in traditional Indian medical formulations (Ayurveda) to treat health conditions ranging from inflammations to cancer. The healing properties of turmeric are attributed to the curcumin component that the herb contains. Turmeric is a powerhouse of nutrition and health-enhancing elements. In addition to substantial amounts of proteins, calcium, vitamins B6 and C, sodium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and dietary fiber, a tablespoon of turmeric also provides close to 24 calories.

Turmeric against Alzheimer’s

As we all know, Alzheimer’s currently has no cure; it can only be delayed. Turmeric, with its powerful anti-oxidant properties, is being seen as a weapon in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The curcumin in turmeric can delay the onset and progress of cognitive dementia. Studies have shown that senior citizens experiencing age-related memory and cognitive issues are benefitting from the use of turmeric supplements. For vegan /vegetarians, a pinch of turmeric in their Kaawa Nuggets and Kaawa Drumstick could be just what the doctor ordered.

Turmeric against Cancer

In recent times, the anti-cancer properties of turmeric are garnering attention from the medical and research communities, worldwide. Lab studies conducted on mice, at the Tata Memorial Centre in India, have identified the herb’s potential to protect the body from cancers of the skin and stomach. Similarly, other research studies have unearthed turmeric’s potential in treating colon cancers and restricting the growth of tumors.

Turmeric and Heart Health

The abundance of curcumin coupled with the presence of vitamin B6, in turmeric makes it a great aid in the war against cardiovascular disease. Curcumin equalizes cholesterol levels by flushing out excess LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol from the blood vessels and arteries, to prevent atherosclerosis.

On the other hand, vitamin B6 controls homocysteine production that is responsible for cell-wall damage. Weakened cell walls combined with high blood pressure and plaque deposits can lead up to a variety of cardiac complications.

Turmeric and Brain Health

Turmeric’s strong anti-oxidant properties are also put to use in traditional medicine (Ayurveda) to stimulate brain functions such as cognition, concentration, and memory retention. Modern research has also validated the herb’s ability to defend the neural pathways against plaque deposits and oxidative stress. What’s more, turmeric is also found to display anti-depressant properties in lab research.

Turmeric and Liver Health

The components in the liver are known for their ability to stimulate the lymphatic system and flush out toxins. Lower toxicity levels lead to better liver functioning and health too. In fact, various researches have concluded the efficacy of turmeric as complementary in containing liver damage and the treatment of diseases such as fatty liver and cirrhosis.

Turmeric and Weight Control

Turmeric is also finding wide use in the weight-loss industry which is using the herb’s ability to boost metabolic rates and thus fight obesity. It is also recognized as a weight-loss supplement because it reduces the LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Whether you’re gorging on naan or veggie pizza, you can be confident that turmeric is a good thing to have as a dressing.

Anti-inflammatory properties of Turmeric

For long used in ayurvedic medical formulations for its anti-inflammatory properties, modern research is also endorsing turmeric’s ability to reduce inflammations. Even topical application of a turmeric-based salve is found to significantly reduce the inflammations that are caused by hemorrhoids.

 

Turmeric for Health

The health benefits of turmeric encompass almost all parts of the body. Turmeric is an active ingredient in medications prescribed for topical application to reduce gout, arthritic pains, and injury-related muscle pain. Similarly, turmeric supplements are found useful to treat anxiety, stress, mood swings, and hormonal imbalances. Turmeric is also known to prevent the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is also used in treating gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation. Many women find that turmeric-laced soups, Indian drinks, and snacks such as veggie burgers provide relief from menstrual discomfort, excessive bleeding, and other problems such as cramps.

 

Turmeric in Cosmetics

For ages, Indian women have been applying turmeric paste to their face as a natural cosmetic and skin tonic. Turmeric has been found effective to control the outbreak of pimples and acne by controlling bacteria growth and secretions of the sebaceous glands. The curcumin in turmeric acts as an oxidant to fight the free radicals and reduce the onset of wrinkles and fine lines of the skin. The modern cosmetic industry has unabashedly embraced turmeric to fill the market with a host of skincare and antibiotic creams, soaps and lotions.

If you’re looking for some home-made solutions for cosmetic problems, turmeric can make your day!

Despite its propensity to stain cloth, turmeric is a great way to rid your teeth of stains. Mix some turmeric with baking soda and coconut oil and you have a great tooth stain remover, made at home.

And if the sunburn is your problem, simply mix turmeric with aloe vera gel or yogurt to dish up a sunburn soother. You can also make skin moisturizer by mixing turmeric with coconut oil. You can experiment with face masks by combining turmeric with yogurt, honey or olive oil, lime juice and so on.

The best part about Indian vegetarian fast foods and street foods is that restaurants have re-engineered themselves for the modern foodie and the growing influence of vegetarianism. No longer do you have to sacrifice taste and pleasure at the altar of good health. If you’re in Etobicoke, Brampton, Mississauga, Toronto and the rest of Greater Toronto Area, remember there’s Veggie Planet Naanza waiting for your palate pleasure!

Veggie Planet offers convenient online ordering via the website (https://veggieplanet.ca) and flexible delivery options, including delivery within a 15-kilometer radius available in Mississauga and GTA.

For in-restaurant pickups, Veggie Planet is located at 6985 Davand Dr. Unit #1, Mississauga, ON L5T 1Y7 and can be reached at (905) 795-7950 for all vegetarian and vegan restaurant menu items.