For most people, the common sources of protein are animal products, such as eggs, chicken, fish, and beef. If you’re vegan, you may be wondering if you can get protein from vegetables. As you know, you must get enough protein every day. So, if you’re on a plant-based diet, you need to know the best products you can eat to get this important macronutrient. So, can you get protein from vegetables?
The Difference Between Plant Protein and Animal Protein
As you know, protein is made up of amino acids, and protein quality can be determined by the amino acids it contains. Remember, our bodies cannot make nine amino acids. For this reason, we must get them from the foods we eat.
Compared to plant protein, animal protein has all the amino acids that your body needs. As such, animal protein is considered complete while plant protein is incomplete.
Can You Get Protein from Vegetables?
As mentioned, plant protein is incomplete. For this reason, most people believe that they cannot get the essential amino acids in plant products. As such, they think that a plant-based diet won’t provide them with good quality protein. However, this belief is a misconception. Keep in mind that there are a variety of vegetables that contain amino acids. Even though they don’t have the nine essential amino acids, you can still get all these essential amino acids by combining different vegan foods.
The best example of this is a peanut butter sandwich. As you know, the grains in bread have amino acids but not all the essential amino acids. The same goes for peanuts. However, if you combine these two foods, you can get the essential amino acids needed by your body.
Other examples of vegan food combinations that result in complete protein are pairing grains with legumes (black beans and rice) and mixing seeds with legumes (hummus).
If you’re still wondering if you can get protein from vegetables, the simple answer is yes. As presented, you can get the nine essential amino acids that your body needs from plant products. However, you have to combine different plant protein sources to ensure that you will get all the amino acids needed by your body.
Food pairing is actually an excellent cooking method. The reason is not only to get good quality protein. Remember, combining different plant products will also enhance the flavor of your food. So, you’re eating delicious vegan foods and reaping their health benefits at the same time.
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