7 Light Protein Sources That Are Ideal For Summer

It’s common knowledge that our body’s needs change with every season. Though our bodies need protein consistently, during summer we need to be smarter about the kind of protein we are opting for. Experts agree that during summer, our bodies lose a lot of water due to the heat. Proteins are made up of nitrogen and need more water for proper digestion since they generate heat while being digested. So the higher the protein content of your meal, the more water it will absorb and will also affect your hydration levels and expose you to heat-related issues.

You can’t cut out protein altogether of course, since it’s quite key to our functioning. You can be smart about your daily protein needs and opt for leaner protein sources which are easier to digest. Instead of a really fatty fish or juicy cuts of meat, opt for light and flaky fish varieties like snapper, pomfret, or tilapia. Fish is quick to cook, high in protein, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health. Shrimp is low in calories and fat but packed with protein, making it an excellent choice for summer meals. The same goes for dal, chhena etc. Here are some of the best light protein sources for summer.

Snapper/surmai/Bombay duck/pomfret

If you want to move away from chicken or meat, consider saltwater fish varieties which are nutritious and lean sources of protein. For instance, snapper is a good source of protein, and is rich in various nutrients such as vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium. It’s a lean fish, meaning it contains relatively low levels of fat. 

Pompfret is another common fish which is widely available and has a decent protein content. A typical serving of cooked pomfret can provide approximately 20-25 grams of protein. This makes it a valuable source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall health. It contains relatively low levels of fat, as compared to fattier fish varieties, such as salmon or mackerel.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yoghurt is not only creamy and delicious but also an excellent source of lean protein, making it a perfect addition to your summer menu. Enjoy it as a refreshing snack on its own or incorporate it into smoothies, parfaits, or savoury sauces. Opt for plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt to keep added sugars to a minimum, and top it with fresh berries, nuts, and a drizzle of honey for a sweet summer treat. You can also use Greek yoghurt as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in certain savoury recipes.


Quinoa is a versatile and nutrient-dense grain that's rich in protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. This gluten-free superfood can be enjoyed hot or cold and makes a satisfying base for summer salads, grain bowls, and pilafs. Cook quinoa according to package instructions and toss it with a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, and a light vinaigrette for a colourful and protein-packed dish.

Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp is a low-calorie, high-protein seafood option that's quick and easy to grill; since it’s usua;;y made with butter or brushed with high amounts of olive oil, shrimp dishes are often counted as high-carb dishes. However, there are plenty of ways you can make a healthy shrimp dish at home. 

Thread large shrimp onto skewers and brush them with a marinade of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs before grilling them for just a few minutes on each side until they're pink and opaque. Serve your grilled shrimp skewers with a side of grilled vegetables or a refreshing cucumber salad for a light and flavorful meal.


Edamame, or young soybeans, are a nutritious and satisfying snack that's perfect for munching on during hot summer days. These vibrant green beans are packed with protein, fibre, and essential vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet. Simply boil or steam edamame pods until they're tender, then sprinkle them with a pinch of sea salt for a flavorful and addictive snack. You can also toss shelled edamame into salads, stir-fries, or pasta dishes for an extra boost of plant-based protein.


Chhena is a creamy and versatile dairy product that's packed with protein and low in calories, making it an excellent choice for summer snacking or meal prep. Enjoy it on its own as a simple and satisfying snack, or incorporate it into recipes like homemade sweets or breakfast dishes like chilla, poha etc. Mix it with fresh herbs, diced vegetables, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a light and refreshing appetizer that's perfect for summer gatherings.


Lentils are a nutritious and budget-friendly legume that's a balanced source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them an ideal addition to your summer menu. Cooked lentils can be enjoyed hot or cold and make a hearty base for salads, soups, and grain bowls. Combine cooked lentils with diced vegetables, fresh herbs, and a tangy vinaigrette for a refreshing and protein-packed salad that's perfect for picnics or potlucks. You can also use lentils to make veggie burgers or tacos for a meatless meal option that's both satisfying and delicious.