It is a common myth that dietary protein is only obtained through animal sources like chicken, beef, salmon and cheese. Surprisingly, to most Canadians, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains are considerable sources of dietary protein, especially dark green leafy vegetables. Protein plays an important role in numerous functions in the body and is an important part of a balanced diet. However in the Acid & Alkali food list all meat is acidic forming and most vegetables especially dark greens are alkali forming foods in our bodies. Unfortunately our Canadian diets have made meat the center of our meals.
There are plenty of reasons to eat more meat-free meals: They’re nearly always cheaper, lower in calories, more health benefits. It’s easy to get enough proteins without eating animals., but the doubters often have another concern: Are these meat-free protein sources complete?
The term “complete protein” refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids which we need to eat because our body can’t produce them. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts. You need to combine the right types of food to get a complete protein. You can combine legumes with whole grains like rice and beans, lentils with barley, and nut butter with whole grain bread. Also legumes with nuts and seeds provide a complete protein.
The benefits of consuming plant based protein is illustrated by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book, Eat to Live. Dr. Fuhrman explains that when compared calorie-to-calorie, plant sources provide the same amount of protein as animal sources, and in many cases even more! For example, Dr. Fuhrman shows that 100 calories of broccoli contains 11 grams of protein while 100 calories of steak contains only 6 grams of protein. Not only does broccoli contain protein, but it is also providing significant amounts of fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Steak provides none of those nutrients and contains cholesterol and saturated fat.
One way to add more plant-based protein to the diet is through protein powder supplements. Plant-based protein powders are most commonly derived from pea, hemp, and rice powders which are easily mixed with water, non-dairy milk or put into a smoothie. They can be consumed within every day if your not sure you are getting enough protein in your day.
There is another aspect of eating meat from Dr. Peter D’Adamo which is a Naturopathic doctor. He has written a book called “Eat Right for Your Blood Type“. He has done medical and genetic research which reveals blood type is the key to your biochemical uniqueness. Without getting into full detail O & A blood type are the most common in people. The O blood type people are the only ones who can digest beef successfully. A blood types should be vegetarians. I know from being an A blood type it is really hard for my body to breakdown meat protein. Then on the other hand I have talked to people that are O blood type that have tried to go vegetarian and they get sick because they need their beef.
Important thing if you do need to eat meat do smaller portions plus eat meat and vegetables that are organic, which are the best choice to get more nutrients with no harmful chemicals to support a healthier body.
by Mary Brickell
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