You know, all of us mean well with our efforts of self improvement. For the most part we aim to improve our well-being by making the right dietary and health choices. To that end some of us become vegetarian, vegan and follow macrobiotic diets. These are all valid attempts at doing what is best for our bodies and environment. However, it is important to note that following a strict diet that focuses on certain foods can have negative effects if important complementary exchanges are not made. All of the aforementioned diets are carbohydrate focused and while carbs are good, protein also plays a vital role in our bodies
Within our bodies proteins support growth and maintenance, build enzymes and hormones, build antibodies, provide energy and glucose, and promotes blood clotting. However, a person’s health and the quality of protein consumed determines that person’s response to protein. The body can handle whole proteins which it then breaks down into pieces and digestibility is important to measuring protein’s quality. The human body hasn’t changed much since the early years of cave dwelling so for reasons beyond our control, animal based proteins are easier to digest and absorb with the proteins of legumes coming in next.
If you consume a well balanced, well-fed diet then you’re probably getting enough of protein in your diet and additional supplement is unnecessary. In fact, over supplementation can cause serious kidney problems. Unfortunately, many vegetarians complain of feeling tired and run down due to too little dietary protein. Animal proteins are complete and smaller amounts tend to keep us satiated longer.
Some vegetarians underestimate the amount of complementary proteins they have to eat to maintain adequate levels. Proteins become complementary when they are combined to contain all the essential amino acids the body needs i.e. rice and beans. However, it doesn’t mean that you have to eat these complementary meals together as long as you do eat them throughout the day.