In the human body every cell contains protein this is why we need it. Protein is built from a chain of amino acids. They help your body repair cells make new ones during you are sleeping. There are three groups of amino acids.
- Essential amino acids – must be supplied by food, because they cannot be produced by your body.
- Nonessential amino acids – are made by your body from essential amino acids during the digestion.
- Conditional amino acids are needed when you are ill, or if you are stressful.
For the human body is important to have all the essential amino acids to maintain good health. The daily recommended intake of protein for an adult is 0.8 – 1 grams per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 – 0.50 grams per pound. Sportsmen need more protein cca. 1.5 – 2 grams per kilogram of body weight, because they have hard workouts.
What about plant based proteins? Vegans are often asked about where they get their protein. Yes, it’s true, plant based proteins are not complete proteins, because they don’t contain all essential amino acids, or just in small amount, except soy. But do we need every essential amino acids in every bite of food what we eat? No, the important thing is that you take a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day. For example legumes have other amino acids than whole grains’ amino acids and so on. So if you have a combined vegan diet and you care about to eat variously every day, you will have a complete protein vegan menu. It’s not as complicated as it seems at first. Let me show you the essential amino acids and the veggies, grains which contains them.
|Phenylalanine||pumpkin seeds, hazelnut, cereals, soy, sesame seeds, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Valine||soy, mushroom, lentil, sesame seeds, hazelnut, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Threonine||soy, potato, avocado, cabbage, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Tryptophan||banana, dates, peanut, soy, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Methionine||soy, sesame seeds, spinach, corn, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Leucine||brown rice, bean, whole grains, walnut, soy, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Isoleucine||soy, oilseeds, nuts, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Lysine||yeast, soy products, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
|Histidine||soy, out flour, sunflower seeds, carob or locust bean, brown rice, walnut, sesame seeds, popcorn, cornmeal, yellow split peas, wheat meat, kidney bean, flaxseed|
So legumes, whole grains, rices and pastas contain all essential amino acids, but in smaller amount than meat, that’s why vegans have to care about how they build up their menu. It’s not necessary to take multivitamins, because if you eat more raw vegetables and variously, you will get almost all vitamins you need. I said almost because we have to talk about vitamin B12 (cobalamin), which is found in animal proteins, and plant foods don’t contain it.. „The body absorbs animal sources of vitamin B12 much better than plant sources.”* There are B12 vitamins for vegans, which contains high level of cyanocobalamin for the sake of the sufficient absorption, but don’t forget that a healthy adult needs just 3 micrograms of B12 per day.
Vegan sportsmen show us all around the world, that vegans can be healty and have the same energy level as other sportsmen who eat meat and dairy products. There are many vegan protein, which are made from yellow split pea, hemp, soy, wheat and plant based supplements, so you don’t have to give up to have a well-shaped muscular body.