If you are a vegetarian you most likely have received the question-where do you get your protein? conventional wisdom suggests that we should get large amounts of protein from meat and animal sources a chicken or egg. Although the medical community agrees that a vegetarian diet has distinct health advantages the question about wear a protein is acquired continues to be hotly debated. The assumption that people cannot get proteins from plant sources is wrong and harmful.
Protein is an essential building block to human health. Our hair, muscles, fingernails, skin and Oregon’s are mostly made up of protein. And, as you may have noticed, there are differences between how our muscles are made and are fingernails which implies that not all proteins are alike. In the same way that there are 26 different letters in the alpha that we have 20 different amino acids which combine to form different proteins.
Interestingly, the recommended daily allowance of protein is not as high as the most individuals who meet a standard Western diet believe. More people eat more protein than the body actually needs. The approximate recommended daily allowance for protein is only 47 g for women and 54 g for men. In metric terminology this recommended daily allowance is 0.8 g per kilo of body weight.
Brenda Davis, R.D., and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D., consider a 0.9 g per kilo body weight per day to be more ideal for individuals who are vague and eating only whole plant food. By multiplying 0.45 grams by your body weight in pounds will give you the approximate proteins need for your body.
Of course these needs go up that various times of your life when stress may require a greater number of amino acids in order to maintain health. These times may be during pregnancy or breast-feeding, recuperating from surgery or during intense athletic periods.
Vegetarians will get their proteins from a plant-based diet that includes a wide variety of whole foods such as beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Those who think that plant proteins is inferior somehow to animal protein may be surprised to know that plant proteins contain the same 22 amino acid at animal proteins.
For instance, 1 cup of cooked lentils has 18 g of protein or one veggie patty has 13 g. Many vague and get much of their proteins from nuts and seeds; one quarter cup of almonds has 8 g of protein, one quarter cup of sunflower seeds has 6 1/4 cup of cashews has five. Vegetarians can also find protein in spinach, broccoli, potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat bread, soybeans, black beans, chickpeas and quinoa.
Many vegetarians have learned to combine foods in order to ingest whole proteins. For instance, beans are low in the amino acid lysine while brown rice is rich in lysine. This may explain why a meal of beans and rice is such a popular whole proteins food in Third World countries. Other complementary proteins include beans and tortillas, peanut butter sandwich, macaroni and cheese, hummus and pita bread and chickpeas and rice.
However, these proteins do not have to be eaten at the same meal. As long as you eat a variety of plant foods and include brown rice, corn, nuts, seeds and whole grains within a 24 hour period your proteins needs will be easily met.
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