This Article is About
protein
raw vegan diet
protein amino acids
essential amino acids
recommended daily allowance
beans and legumes
animal protein
proper diet
vegetarian diet
Can You Get Enough Protein From Plants?
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One of the biggest questions people have about eating a raw, vegan, or vegetarian diet is, "How do I get enough protein?" We've been led to believe that protein only comes from meat and other animal sources, but the truth is, every living cell contains protein. Plants contain protein! Fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, seaweeds, algae, beans and legumes...all contain protein.

Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are a fundamental part of our diet. There are 22 amino acids that can be manufactured by the human body, but there are 9 others which cannot. We need to get these from food. These "essential amino acids" can easily be provided by a balanced raw vegan diet.

The Recommended Dietary Daily Allowance for both men and women is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. People with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get a little more. That's roughly 46 grams per day for women and 56 for men. (Of course, this will vary depending on a number of factors, i.e. body type, activity level, bone structure, etc. )

A proper vegetarian diet will provide for plenty of protein to meet the recommended daily allowance. One cup of black beans, for example, provides 15 grams of protein. One cup of soybeans provides 28 grams! 3.5 ounces of cashews contains 15 grams, and one cup of lentils contains almost 18 grams. These are just a few examples. There are dozens of plants that are high in protein and dozens more that contain at least a gram or two. As you can tell, getting roughly 50 grams of plant protein a day is easy with the proper diet.

There are many benefits from getting your protein from plant sources. Most importantly, unlike animal protein, amino acids from plants DON'T come with harmful fats, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, etc. that your liver has to work hard to filter before the protein can be absorbed into your body. Too much animal protein has been directly linked to the formation of kidney stones and has been associated with colon and liver cancer. Eating a diet high in fruits, veggies and other plants can actually reduce your chances of cancer and other diseases.

Protein also affects the way that calcium is absorbed into your body. The more animal protein you consume, the less able your body is to absorb calcium. The reason is because calcium is used to buffer against acidity, and animal protein is highly acidic. So, the more protein that is consumed, the more calcium is depleted from your body to fight its acidity. Research has actually shown that the countries with the highest consumption of meat and dairy are also the ones with the highest rates of osteoporosis. There are many other negative consequences to a high consumption of meat and dairy as well.

Perhaps this is surprising news considering the messages we’ve been taught since our youth that meat and dairy is essential for strong muscles and bones. However, this is propaganda that has been perpetuated by the meat and dairy industries who are less concerned about the health of our nation and more concerned about how much money ends up in their pockets.

The protein in plants like vegetables, nuts and seeds is amazingly sufficient to provide us with all of the essential amino acids that our body needs to be healthy and strong. If you are interested in transforming to a high raw food diet, you need not be concerned about a protein deficiency, or calcium or iron for that matter, if you eat a well-balanced diet. There are many plant sources that will provide plenty of these essential nutrients.


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