P for paneer, P for protein

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah.      .

Protein is a huge game-changer when it comes to vegetarian nutrition! In addition to building muscle, protein in paneer fills you up and is a powerful friend in your weight loss journey. Given that there are a host of protein sources, one of the best sources for vegetarians is paneer which is also known as cottage cheese. The paneer is a rather underrated protein source and it doesn’t quite get its due although it is a mega nutritional giant. It is super adaptable and can be worked in to a host of dishes.

Cottage cheese is the way to go!

Integrating paneer in to your diet helps boost your nutritional profile and health. The benefits of eating paneer are humongous. In principle, cottage cheese is cheese curds. It is a mildly flavored, and it is fresh cheese that’s manufactured by draining the cheese instead of pressing it, and thus it retains moisture and whey.

Paneer is chockfull of protein and is crammed with a whole lot of vitamins and minerals, especially B complex vitamins and calcium. Let’s explore paneer’s nutritional and health benefits.

  • 1 cup of paneer can proffer almost 25 grams of protein and clearly is a colossal protein powerhouse. By and large, the protein in paneer is casein, which gets absorbed slowly and prevents muscle breakdown and keeps you full for a long interval of time. 1 serving of paneer helps you meet half of your everyday protein requirement.  This makes protein a fantastic option to build lean body mass.
  • Paneer is the ideal post-workout food, given that, it promises to encourage muscle-building after your exercise routine.
  • Cottage cheese is also the most amazing breakfast option to keep you fuelled up for longer, more so, if your breakfast tends to be carb-centric and tends to lack protein. Research also shows that cottage cheese is a recommended bedtime snack, since, casein proffers a slow trickle of amino acids into your system, and this preserves and builds muscle during sleep.
  • Paneer also contains probiotics which support gut health and boost immunity.
  • Packed with calcium, it helps maintain bone health; it also provides one-third of your everyday requirement of phosphorous. These two keep your bones strong.
  • Paneer is also a great source of selenium – selenium can help diminish your risk of suffering from diabetes mellitus and depression.
  • This nutritional giant also helps you load up on vitamin B complex, especially riboflavin, which helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats better. It also gives you vitamin B12 – 1 cup provides 40 % of the everyday B12 requirement that keeps your nervous system and RBCs healthy and assists in the production of DNA.

3 fabulous paneer recipes

  1. Paneer butter masala: The beauty of paneer butter masala is the spongy cottage cheese soaking in a gorgeous rich gravy, enhanced perfectly by the sweet and sour from the tomatoes and the heat of the chili. What makes this comfort dish even yummier is Tata Sampann Paneer Masala – which lends the recipe some serious spicy, smoky goodness!
  2. Palak paneer: This one is a fabulous paneer recipe for weight loss and you can effortlessly throw it together in less than half an hour. Paired with paratha, it makes for one satisfying meal! You get the nutrient-dense palak gravy along with the nuanced paneer and a dash of cream! Slowly simmered, palak paneer is a sheer gastronomic delight.
  3. Sandesh: You just can't go wrong with the heavenly Sandesh. This mild sweet can win over anyone, irrespective of their diet. Luckily, it happens to be exceedingly wholesome – packed with protein and having a wonderfully gooey and moist texture with a mere hint of sweetness. The fragrant aromats make sandesh especially satisfying! 

Paneer also makes a delicious addition to continental dishes. It has an impartial taste profile, so you can sweeten or spice it up. Top scrambled paneer with fruit puree for a quick, healthy dessert. You could integrate paneer in to your filling for omelets, pancakes, and sandwiches. It also promises to give you the smoothest smoothies and dips. Paneer also makes a good alternative for mayonnaise, ricotta cheese, and cream cheese in most recipes.

Paneer checks all the boxes for nutrition as well as versatility. So go right ahead and add paneer to your daily or weekly menu lineup!

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition

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