Proteins are the building blocks of life, playing a major role in your bodily functions. They are essential for maintaining and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, transporting oxygen, and much more.
A common concern among those exploring plant-based diets is whether they are getting all the essential nutrients, particularly protein.
This concern often leads to the question..what really is complete protein?
There are 20 different amino acids that make up proteins, and our bodies require all of them to function optimally. These amino acids fall into two categories: essential and non-essential.
Essential Amino Acids: These are amino acids that our bodies cannot produce on their own, so we must obtain them from our diet.
Non-Essential Amino Acids: These are amino acids that our bodies can synthesize on their own, so we don't necessarily need to get them from our diet.
Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins
A complete protein is a food source that contains all nine essential amino acids. (Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine)
Complete proteins are often associated with animal-based sources such as meat, dairy, and eggs. However, many plant-based foods can also provide complete proteins when consumed together strategically.
Plant-Based Complete Proteins
While individual plant-based foods may lack one or more essential amino acids, you can create complete proteins by combining various plant-based sources.
Take our Complete Protein for example.. not only are we using the best sources for our protein, like yellow peas, but we also enrich our protein with an amino-acid blend. This is to ensure all those gaps are filled.