Vegans are vegetarians that do not consume any animal products, or any products of animal origin whatsever. It can therefore be challenging to get the required protein that your body requires for good health, but certainly not impossible. Vegan protein comes from a variety of sources, including legumes and lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Protein is broken down into what we call amino acids, and it is these amino acids that our bodies require to build and maintain tissues, hormones, hair, skin, nails etc.
Animal sources of protein (such as eggs and meat) contain all of the essential amino acids our bodies require, therefore they are called complete proteins. Plant based proteins however, do not contain all of the essential amino acids, and are called incomplete proteins. Each plant has a different amino acid profile, and will contain some of the essential amino acids, but not all of them. This means that to get a complete protein from a plant based diet, you need to consume complementary proteins. Complementary proteins include combining grains and legumes, and this means that when you consume them together, you are getting all of the amino acids required to make a complete protein. It isn’t always necessary to consume them in the same meal, but you need to consume complementary proteins over the course of the day.
Complementary proteins include the following groups of foods eaten together:
· Grains and legumes
· Legumes and nuts/seeds.
· Grains and nuts/seeds.
Some meal options if you choose to protein combine in the same meal:
· Black beans or chickpeas and brown rice/quinoa
· Sunflower seeds and pepitas mixed with vegetables and buckwheat/brown rice
· Tempeh with stir fried vegetables and brown rice/quinoa/millet
· Whole oats with almond milk, berries, sunflower seeds, almonds and flaxseeds.
Being armed with the correct information makes it a lot easier to get the nutrients that your body requires.
If you would like any further information on vegan protein combining please contact me.
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