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Protein Complementation & The Plant-Based Diet

While most plant protein is incomplete - that is, it lacks ALL the essential amino acids the body needs - there are a few noteable exceptions: soybeans (tofu, tempeh, edamame), quinoa, hemp and chai seeds, buckwheat, and amaranth.

That being said, if you follow a plant-based/vegan diet (or even eat plant-based several times a week), this does not mean you can't get an adequate amount of the EAAs your body needs.

Just by varying your diet and making sure you ALSO include foods like beans, rice, lentils, pasta, bread, hummus you provide your body with a complete protein and the EAAs it needs, ie. protein complementation.

Furthermore, you do not need to plan complementary proteins at each meal. If you are eating a varied diet with adequate protein and energy intake then this is not necessary. Issues with health can arise when a diet is limited to include only a few plant foods and/or main plant protein sources, or relys heavily on processed plant-based foods with little nutrient value.

A final point, while the protein needs for each individual will be different - healthy active adult will have different needs from a strength athlete - the idea of having a diverse diet with plant protein rich sources and combinations, however, remains the same.

🌱 Eat your veggies!

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