6 Unexpensive Protein-Rich Foods For A Budget-Friendly Diet

Among all the nutrients required for a healthy body, protein is the most crucial. Protein is a fundamental building block for muscles. Besides, they are also essential components of cell structure and function. They are involved in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, transporting molecules in and out of cells, and facilitating various biochemical reactions within cells. Protein also acts as chemical messengers that helps in the regulation of several physiological processes. Protein also plays a vital role in the immune system. 

Not just this, proteins like hemoglobin in red blood cells help transport oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body. It is also essential for the repair and maintenance of various body tissues, including skin, hair, and nails. It is also important to consume an adequate amount of protein in your diet to support these functions and to maintain good health. But are expensive sources the only way? Well, NO! Have these six cheap and low-cost protein-sources in your diet.   

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India offers a wide range of low-cost protein sources that are readily available and commonly consumed by its diverse population. If you're looking for affordable protein options in India, consider the following: 

Legumes and Pulses 

Pulses and legumes are amongst the unexpensive protein of protein in India. Lentils and legumes like moong dal, chickpeas, kidney beans and others are an excellent source of protein. Best part? They are versatile and can be used in various dishes like dal, curries, and salads. 


When talking about cheap protein sources, how can we miss talking about soybeans? Soybeans are protein-rich legume and often used to make soybean chunks or granules, which are affordable and a good meat substitute. The best plant-based protein source for vegans and vegetarians, soybeans can be used in curries, stir-fries, or even ground into flour for various recipes. 


Paneer is hands down, one of the most used ingredients in Indian kitchens especially for vegetarians. Apart from other minerals that it possesses, it also contains protein and is relatively affordable. It's used in a variety of Indian dishes and snacks.


Easily available and much affordable, eggs are an excellent source of protein. They can be prepared in numerous ways, including boiled, fried, scrambled, or used in curries and snacks. Not just protein, it also contains several essential nutrients.


Drinking milk is a ritual in Indian households. Milk is a cost-effective source of protein and is widely consumed in India. Other dairy products like curd, buttermilk are also affordable sources of protein. 


In coastal regions and areas near freshwater sources, fish can be a relatively affordable source of animal protein. Smaller varieties of fish are often more affordable than larger ones. It could be a boon for better eyesight.

Combining different protein sources, including plant-based and animal-based options, can help ensure you get a well-rounded intake of essential amino acids and nutrients.