What is a complete protein?
Amino acids are the building blocks for protein and there are 20 different kinds of these amino acids. Our body can produce most of these on its own however we need to obtain the 9 essential amino acids from our diets.
In order for a food to be classed as a “complete” protein it simply means it needs to contain all of these 9 essential amino acids.
Whilst it is absolutely achievable to eat enough protein on a plant based diet, it is somewhat harder to make sure we are eating “complete” proteins. In order to do this we need to combine some of our food choices to make them complete. This does not need to be considered at every meal with the food you choose to eat, however ensuring you eat a complete protein throughout the day will keep you reaching your health and fitness goals.
What foods should I combine to create a “complete” protein?
To create a complete protein you can combine:
Liminiting Amino Acid in Food
|Beans||Methionine||Grains (Rice), Nuts, Seeds|
|Grains (Rice)||Lysine, Threonine||Legumes (Peas, Lentis, Peanuts...)|
|Nuts and Seeds||Lysine||Legumes (Peas, Lentis, Peanuts...)|
|Vegetables||Methionine||Grains, Nuts, Seeds|
|Corn||Tryptophan, lysine||Legumes (Peas, Lentis, Peanuts...)|
Are there “complete” vegan protein sources?
If you find the idea of combining different food sources tricky, there are some plant based protein sources which are already complete.
- Planta Force Complete Vegan Protein powder – the ingredients have been carefully selected in order to ensure all essential amino acids are covered
- Tofu and tempeh
In conclusion it is achievable for vegans to eat enough protein but we must make sure we are aware of including all 9 essential amino acids within our diet. This can be achieved by combining different food sources such as rice and beans or eating things such as quinoa.
A quick and convenient way to include all essential amino acids is to use a protein shake such as Planta Force complete vegan protein shake which has been blended to ensure you are covered by all aminos!