CHAPTER 1. PROTEIN
This will be long but interesting, please bear, since I have tried to debunk various Myths associated with protein especially the ones marketing agencies use to sell their products.
WHAT IS PROTEIN
In simple words: Protein is a macronutrient and the most essential nutrient that is required for the maintenance and building of body tissues and muscles. Now these are made of small compounds called amino acids. Although there are hundreds of amino acids that exist in nature, we humans use only 22 of them. Now comes the interesting part, Humans can produce all but nine of these amino acids it needs. These nine are called essential amino acids and these have to come from food. Now all food generally contains a combination of amino acids in various permutations and combinations but if we speak in general terms animal proteins like dairy, meat, and eggs contain all these nine essential amino acids.
For VEGANS there’s a challenge to have all these nine essential amino acids in one food, Only Soybeans (Tofu, Edamame, soya milk) and Quinoa can be termed as complete as these do have all 9 in the same, for the rest a bit of research needs to be done and so a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods can provide sufficient protein for the body’s needs.
Almonds, Chickpea, flaxseeds, walnuts, moong dal, peanuts, beans etc., are rich in some amino acids but may lack others. So, a combination of two or more may be required for example a combination of Almonds and flaxseed (Flaxseed has all the essential amino acids except for Lysine and is quite low, whereas Almond has good quantities of Lysine) or a combination of Almond and Chickpea.