Where Do You Get Your Protein?

It’s easy enough to count the number. 7g here, 15g there. The real stuff of the genre that is protein? Amino acids.

Suffice it to say, from an amino acid point of view, there is no difference between animal and plant foods. Meaning, there’s nothing wrong with vegan protein.

20 core amino acids are used to make every protein in our bodies:

Our bodies can never make… Our bodies can always make… Our bodies can sometimes make…
Histidine Alanine Arginine
Isoleucine Asparagine Cysteine
Leucine Aspartic acid Glutamine
Lysine Glutamic acid Glycine
Methionine Serine Proline
Phenylalanine Tyrosine

Because it’s difficult to know when your body needs and doesn’t need the “sometimes” category, it’s best to ensure you get plenty of the 1st and 3rd columns through diet ( 15 out of 20! ).

Fortunately, and contrary to some “protein experts” you may know, plant-based amino acid needs can be achieved without really thinking.

Quinoa, Protein Superstar


Quinoa provides all of the 1st column ( which is why you here it being called a “complete protein” ), plus tyrosine and cysteine of the 3rd. Just a serving of quinoa will give very significant amounts – plus, it’s gluten-free!

The top food sources for category 3?

Legumes ( which include beans – and technically peanuts ), nuts and seeds, and all vegetables but – in particular – the cruciferous variety. That’s it.

No one food is so concentrated in any of the “sometimes” amino acids that I should make a list. Plus, the point is that our bodies can sometimes make them.

Bottom line: if you eat moderately healthy, you don’t have to worry about the 3rd column.

As far as the 1st column…

Do eat quinoa at least weekly! Other food sources of the “essential” amino acids: legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

There’s a reason that rice and beans go together. What rice misses of the 1st column, beans have – and vice versa. However, you don’t have to pair up your proteins…


…but if you’re feeling it, you can use a chart like this!

All you have to do is eat a variety of protein sources over time (1) 😀  Vegans need not worry!

Take your pick of these high quality sources of amino acids…

Top Protein-rich Foods



Cup of beans, on average: 14g

1/4 cup quinoa, dry: 6g

1/4 cup oats, dry: 4g

1/4 cup brown rice, dry: 4g

1/4 cup lentils, dry: 10g

2 tbsp nut butter, on average: 7g

2 tbsp flaxseed: 3g


Okay. Bye!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s