We need to ensure that our body receives all the essential proteins within a 24 hour period so that we function at our most efficient level. As vegetarians and vegans we need to be mindful that not all the 9 essential amino acids are contained within one plant food. That’s why we need to ensure that we mix our vegetarian protein’s right! How? You can find out in this blog..
The quality of protein’s
The quality of protein’s are determined by the amount of the essential amino acids a food group contains – the more the food has, the better the protein.
Animal Sources of Protein
Animal sourced proteins are considered to be a “good source” because they contain all the 9 essential amino acids. This means you do not need to worry about missing out on any of the 9 essential amino acids when you eat animal proteins. This does not necessarily mean that they are healthy as they also come packed with saturated fat, salts, growth hormones and are usually sourced from ill animals which are pumped with antibiotics. But purely looking at the “protein factor” it is considered good.
Vegetarian Sources of Proteins
Vegetarian sourced proteins such as legumes, nuts, grains or tofu are considered to be an “incomplete protein” because one plant source of protein only offers a few of the 9 essential proteins in one hit.
My dear vegetarian friends, don’t worry!!! We still can get all our essential amino acids within the span of 24 hours. You only need to be aware of them and that you need to mix’em up! It’ that simple.
How to get your Complete Vegetarian & Vegan Proteins
Below you find the 9 Essential amino acids together with an example of a vegetarian source so you are aware as to where you can find which amino acid. You will see, that many are included in one food source, so it’s not really that hard to combine them!
Essential Amino acid // Veggie Food Source
- Histidine // Apple, beetroot, Celery or garlic
- Isoleucine // Nuts, seeds, tofu and grains
- Leucine // Nuts, Beans, Seeds and Soybeans
- Lysine // Grains, nuts and seeds
- Methionine // Legumes, grains and nuts
- Phenylalanine // Soybeans, grains, nuts & seeds
- Threonine // Grains, tofu, walnuts and hazelnuts
- Tryptophan // Legumes, soy, wheat or pumpkin
- Valine // Legumes, Nuts and Cereals
Vegetarian/Vegan Meals // Combination of Proteins
Here are some meal ideas you can combine in order to get all the proteins you need within the 24 hours.
***Note if you exercise make sure to eat more plant based protein’s in order to recharge your body!
Legumes with grains // Chickpea Spinach Masala served with brown rice
Legumes with nuts & seeds // Falafel Burger with hummus, spinach & cashews
Nuts or grains & tofu // Vegan Pad Thai with tofu und peanut
Legumes with dairy // Pita Bread, Hummus and some Feta cheese
Conclusion about combining Proteins
There you go! Vegetarians and vegans won’t suffer protein deficiencies and are able to eat all the essential amino acids without any need for meat or animal products! You just need to know where to find them and how to combine certain proteins with each other. That’s all!
I hope this blog has provided you with the knowledge on how to combine your vegan and vegetarian proteins and that you can start or be a healthy vegetarian/vegan with no lack of proteins what so ever 🙂