Protein is not that difficult to understand nor is it that difficult to get enough of in your diet. This article will break down what protein is and what are the best sources of protein.
So, let’s make understanding protein simple.
Protein is made up of amino acids. Some are non-essential; meaning we create them inside our bodies, and some are essential; meaning we need to eat them. I’m only going to refer to the ones you need to consume. So, you eat protein, break it down into amino acids and synthesize these amino acids back into proteins to be used in thousands of processes and chemical reactions throughout your body. The most common of these processes that most of us know is to build muscle. That’s it! Lesson over! That’s protein in a nutshell.
Well, if the protein is made up of amino acids then the real question is: Where do amino acids come from? (Remember, I’m only talking about the essential ones.) Answer? Plants. All amino acids come from plants. You either eat the plant or you eat the animal that ate the plant to get your amino acids and therefore get your protein.
And yes, all essential amino acids can be found in plants. You may have heard that only meat has all the essential amino we need, which is true, but what’s also true is that all amino acids can be found in plants and some plants have all of them (buckwheat, some soy, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, for example).
However, the majority of plants don’t have all of them. For instance, peas don’t have methionine but tomatoes do. What does this mean? If you eat a variety of plant foods you will get all the essential amino acids you need…end…of…story.
So, protein is relatively easy and getting your protein is even easier (by the way, protein deficiency just isn’t a thing in the western world) and if you’ve made it this far I’m now going to ask you one very simple question: Where will you get your protein from? The guy who unnecessarily killed an animal for you behind closed doors, then chopped it up nicely so you no longer recognize it as the sentient being it was, so you could buy it nicely packaged on a shelf or from a plant, where the protein came from originally in the first. One choice will involve a victim and the other won’t.
Cut out the middle-man. Cut out the unnecessary murder.
Eat a plant. Go Vegan.