The following is input from a visitor to our healthy eating website. We appreciate hearing from our readers with questions, comments or guest blogs since the compendium of healthy eating information is large and complicated and is growing and changing all the time.
Please feel free to add your feedback in the comments section if you have information or questions that will help further our pursuit of a healthy eating lifestyle!
Thank you to everyone who has contributed!
Importance of Complementary Proteins
What is the importance of complementary proteins?
This is a great question and especially important to those who are pursuing a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Proteins are made up of chemicals called amino acids. There are about 20 common amino acids. Nine of them are called “essential” because the body is unable make them, and so they must be provided by the foods you eat.
If your diet does not contain enough of these essential amino acids, you will suffer the negative effects of protein deficiency.
Foods that provide all of these essential amino acids are called “complete proteins." Foods that supply complete protein foods generally come from animal sources. Plant foods do not usually have complete proteins, but by eating combinations of plant foods, called “complementary proteins,” you can obtain a complete protein.
For example, when you eat any kind of beans with rice, such as is often found in Mexican food, you are obtaining a complete protein. The beans and rice "complement" each other, since each has certain essential amino acids and when eaten together, you will have all of the essential amino acids.
Here are some combinations that will provide a complementary protein.
Grains... with Dairy
Legumes... with Nuts
Legumes... with Grains
Legumes... with Seeds
Legumes... with Dairy
Nuts/Seeds... with Dairy
Nuts/Seeds... with Legumes
Dairy... with Nuts/Seeds and Legumes
Nutritionists used to say that we had to eat these complementary protein foods in the same meal, but now tell us that eating them in the same day will provide the needed benefit.
Health problems are associated with not enough protein.
Protein is a vital nutrient, and depending on the level of protein deficiency, a person who does not get all of the necessary amino acids may suffer from any of the following symptoms:
-Dry skin or skin lesions
-Heart attack - wasting of heart muscle
-Inability to maintain body temperature
-Lack of growth in children
-Loss of appetite
-Loss, thinning or discoloration of hair
-Malnutrition - poor absorption of nutrients
-Slow development in children
-Susceptibility to infections and disease
-Weight loss _______________________________________________ Hope this helps answer your question and thank you for your interest in eating healthy and for visiting our healthy eating website.
In order to cover the cost of maintaining this free website, revenue may be generated by ads and links to other sites. However, although we encourage you to click on those ads that interest you, providing ad space for the sake of revenue is by no means an endorsement of any product or service, unless the endorsement is specifically stated.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided with the understanding that the author and publisher are not providing medical or nutritional counseling, and that it in no way replaces consultation with a health care professional.