If you’re a vegan, you may want to pay closer attention to the types of protein sources you consume because many plant-based foods are incomplete proteins. Not to be worried, but as long as you eat a variety of protein sources every day you’ll be just fine.
So, what makes a protein complete?
Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein and there are 22 in total. Our bodies naturally produce 13 amino acids, but the 9 others need to be sourced externally. A protein is considered ‘complete’ when it has nine essential amino acids in somewhat equal amounts.
Combining proteins to make it complete
It’s easy to combine two incomplete protein sources to get the nutrients you need. For example, brown rice has several of the essential amino acids, but not all nine. Beans, lentils and chickpeas have essential amino acids that brown rice lacks. Simply pairing rice and beans will give you a vegan-friendly meal with complete proteins.
Still worried about your protein profile?
Here are 8 plant-based foods or food combos that are considered complete protein sources:
- Buckwheat (12g per 100g)
- Amaranth (14g per 100g)
- Chia Seeds (16g per 100g)
- Pumpkin Seeds (25g per 100g)
- Nut Butter Toast (7g per serve)
- Tofu (15g per 100g)
- Hummus & Pita (7g per 1 pita & 2 tbs hummus)
- Beans & Rice (6g per 100g)
You don’t have to eat complete proteins within the same meal. If you’re eating a variety of different plant-based foods and protein sources, you’re likely to be doing just fine without too much effort.
Shagun, Yoga Superfuel
Getting enough complete protein is a key reason we use superfood sources such as buckwheat, amaranth, nuts and seeds sumptuously in formulating all our cookies! So that our Vegan, Gluten Free cookies can be a source of balanced protein for healthy snacking.