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A vegetarian’s first worry
Am I getting enough protein?
That’s a common question, and rightly so. There is some confusion surrounding the issue of “protein”. I like the way Valya Boutenko puts it:
“One common belief about this mysterious substance is that it is part of a cow, pig, chicken or fish. When you cut open an animal, your naked eye will see fat, muscle, bone and protein, right?
T. Colin Campbell, author of the acclaimed book The China Study, writes: ‘There are hundreds of thousands of different kinds of proteins. These proteins are constructed as long chains of amino acids, of which there are fifteen to twenty different kinds.’ ”
Educate yourself on vegetarian diet and nutrition:
Protein comes from animal and vegetable sources.
The problem with animal protein is that the amino acids are arranged in the incorrect order for humans, putting extra strain on the body as it tries to rearrange it.
Plant protein is easily assimilated by the body, with the right combination of amino acids.
Dark leafy greens are the best source of vegetable protein.
Eating greens every day as a meatless alternative helps your body repair tissue, build muscle and bones, and creates enzymes and hormones.
Super dense forms of vegetarian protein include algae like chlorella, spirulina and blue green algae, and seeds like chia and hemp seeds.
Soy products might not be a good protein option because:
a) most is genetically modified
b) is processed and loses it's whole food value
c) high amounts may be harmful
Soy contains isoflavones - weak estrogens, which can have a toxic accumulative effect. Choose your soy wisely (better in whole form ie: natto or miso, over soy burgers or soy cheese.)
“The Chinese and Japanese have known about the toxicity of soy for centuries. Soy contains a variety of toxic chemicals, which cannot be fully metabolized by the body, unless it undergoes a long cooking, or fermentation process.”
Read the full article here.
Main meatless alternatives:
• Organic vegetables (root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets or turnips are filling and nutritous) and wild edibles.
• Mineral rich sea vegetables.
• Protein dense foods: algae, hemp, chia, bee pollen.
• Pulses: beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
• Good fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, coconut oil, etc.
• Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, kamut, millet, buckwheat, etc.
• Sprouts, which have some of the highest levels of antioxidants.
• Ripe fruits and super foods to snack on.
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My Vegetarian Recipes
Learn how to prepare yummy and healthy vegetarian recipes in minutes. Plus, discover everyday vegetarian cooking and nutrition advice.