If anyone tells you that you need to eat meat, they are severely mistaken. You can get all the protein you need, and then some, from things that come out of the ground, not a slaughterhouse.
The words “complete” and “incomplete” protein simply mean that a food either has equal amounts of all amino acids (complete) or has less of one or more amino acids (incomplete). It does NOT mean that any amino acid(s) is or are missing entirely from that food, just that some may be present in lower amounts. This means that to get adequate protein (all essential amino acids) from plants, you simply have to eat a variety of different plant proteins and more of them! Who doesn’t want to eat more? And NO you don’t have to make special combinations at every meal, just make sure you’re eating a variety of whole grains and the following throughout your diet:
Quinoa: Quinoa is very high in protein! It is considered one of the complete plant proteins because it contains good levels of all essential amino acids. And it also has good amounts of iron, calcium, B vitamins, and other minerals, so eat some!
Sprouts: when a seed, grain, or legume is sprouted its protein content increases by 15-30%, that’s awesome! This is because during the sprouting process some of the carbohydrate component gets converted into protein. Sprouts are also richer in other nutrients so they are a very good choice, but best eaten raw! Also try sprouting at home! Check out this site.
Soybeans: though they are in the legume family they deserve some special mention, they contain good levels of all amino acids and are high in protein (one of the best sources of vegan protein). It is important to make sure your soy is organic and non-GMO because unfortunately a lot of the ones grown in our world are tampered with! And yes, males can safely enjoy non-GMO soybeans as well and they will not develop breasts, that is a myth! Also my favorite way to enjoy the nourishing properties of soybeans: smoked organic tofu!
Peanuts: they are 20% protein! And did you know that peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut! It is best to refrigerate your peanuts to prevent them from rancidity, and getting them raw is best, or in the form of natural peanut butter (no not the Kraft brand with teddy bears on it, sorry).
Legumes: This includes all peas and beans and lentils! These are a great protein source and are inexpensive! They are great to combine with brown rice and vegetables for a yummy dinner. Or combine them with quinoa for an even bigger protein kick!
So now you know where us vegans get our protein so you no longer have to ask! Thanks for reading 🙂
Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine (21st century edition)”, 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD.