by Philemon kwizera, RN

Proteins are the basic material of every body cell. By the age of 4 years, body protein content reaches the adult level of about 18% of body weight. An adequate supply of proteins in the daily diet is essential for normal growth and development and for the maintenance of health.
In Rwanda, the beef industry is developing followed by high cost of beef which charges the consumer RWF 3500 for one kilogram, While the other food markets are looking to develop plant-based alternatives.

Proteins are found in both animal and plant foods. The animal food sources provide the highest quality of complete proteins. They include meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and cheese.
While the proteins found in plant foods are incomplete proteins and are of a lower biologic quality than those found in animal foods. Even so, plant foods are important sources of protein such as rice and beans, both they make complete protein .

These plant protein sources provide 65% of the world supply of edible protein and are generally divided into cereals, legumes, soy food and other vegetables, fruits and nuts

The recommended daily protein intake for adults is 0.8 g per kg of body weight.
For example, if you weigh 65 kg, you would multiply 65 x 0.8 = 52 grams of protein for your
daily need.



  1. Lentils
    Lentils known as Inkori in Kinyarwanda also known as the best plant based protein which provides 9 gram of protein and 101 calories per half of cup or 125 gram of lentils
  2. Black, Pinto and Red Kidney Beans
    Beans the only one Rwandans favorite food which is rarely cannot found on meals in different household, beans provides 8 gram of protein and 115 of calories per 125 gram.
  3. Chickpeas
    Chickpeas can replace red meat in the diet with good source of fiber and it is believed that can help reduce weight, 125 gram provides 7 gram of protein and 134 calories
  4. Peas
    Peas known as Amashaza in Kinyarwanda, are a good source of fiber and protein. reduce the increase in insulin and blood sugar after a meal, and reduce blood triglycerides. 125 grams of cooked peas contains 5 grams of protein and 67 of calories.


  1. Soybeans
    Soybeans have been used to treat protein deficiency diseases for Rwandan Children due to its high protein quantity of 28.6g and 298 calories in 172 g of soybean
  2. Tofu
    Tofu is made from condensed soy milk using a process similar to cheese making. is high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs 125 gram of tofu provides 8 gram of protein.


  1. Pumpkin seeds
    Pumpkin seeds known as Inzuzi in Kinyarwanda are packed full of valuable nutrients, small amount of them can provide you with a essential quantity of healthy fats, magnesium, zinc and protein of 9 g and 159 calories in 30 gram.
  2. Flax Seeds
    Flax seeds are good sources of many nutrients such as omega-3 fat and have 6 g of protein and 140 of calories in 30 gram.
  3. Sunflower seeds
    Sunflower seeds are excellent sources of several nutrients including vitamin E and selenium known as antioxidants, they have 6 g of protein and 140 calories in 30 gram.
  4. Chia seeds
    Chia seeds are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain such as fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein of 5 g and 138 calories in 30 gram.


  1. Peanuts or Groundnuts
    Peanuts are most often consumed roasted, sauce or as peanut butter. Peanuts are rich in fat, and various healthy nutrients and protein of 7 grams and 188 calories in 30 gram
  2. Almonds
    Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein and various important nutrients. Especially for protein have 6 gram and 163 of calories in 30 gram.
  3. Walnuts
    Walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative damage in your body and omega 3 fat for protein have 4 gram and 185 of calories


1. Spinach

Spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels on top of that has protein about 3 g and 41 calories in 100 grams

2. Asparagus

Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable that is an excellent source of essential vitamins A, C and K. and minerals, especially folate about protein they have 2.5 gram and 22 of calories in 100 grams.

3. Mushroom

Mushrooms are low in calories but pack plenty of nutrients. They are also high in protein and vitamin D, and they’re a source of vitamin B12. About protein, have 3 g and 21 calories in 100 grams


1. Oat

Oat provide healthy fibers, magnesium, manganese, thiamine with protein of 5 g and 153 calories in 100 grams

2. Wheat

Wheat are key ingredients in baked goods, such as bread, Capati, pasta, noodles, Ndazi and so on, it has also protein about 6 g and 126 calories in 100 grams

3. Rice

Rice is the favorite food for many different people, White and brown rice have similar calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content but different to fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 100 grams of rice have 2.4 gram of protein and 130 calories

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