Often times, when follow the vegan diet, you must take extra caution to ensure that your body receives the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Even with the restrictions of the vegan diet in place, it is still possible for you to enjoy a wide variety of delicious and nutritious foods. In order to ensure that you receive the protein your body needs on a daily basis, you should make an effort to include a variety of unrefined grains, organic leafy green vegetables, and a number of different legumes.
Amino Acids – The Building Blocks of Protein
Amino acids serve to form the foundation for the construction of protein. In addition to building muscle in the human body, amino acids assist the human body, in some form or another, in almost every cellular process. They also help to catalyze chemical reactions in the body’s cells. If your vegan diet does not provide you with enough amino acids, it can cause a variety of different health problems, from growth retardation in young children to fatigue and weariness. Anemia and some reproductive orders have been directly linked to a lack of amino acids in the diet.
Amino Acid Production In the Human Body
There are 20 amino acids in all that the human body needs to maintain ideal health. Of these 20, there are 9 amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Therefore, these amino acids must be obtained through food consumption. If your current vegan diet does not provide these 9 amino acids, then your body will rob your muscle mass of its protein to obtain the amino acids it needs.
Sources of Amino Acids In the Vegan Diet
Food consumption is the only method of obtaining the amino acids that your body needs that it cannot produce. Protein that is obtained through animal meets contains the missing 9 essential amino acids, but since vegans cannot consume meat, they must look for alternative sources. Complete sources of protein that are considered suitable for the vegan diet include spinach, quinoa, and soybeans.
Combining Multiple Proteins
A follower of the vegan diet is going to need to pay close attention to proteins that contain low levels of essential nutrients. For example, legumes maintain low levels of methionine, while most grains are low in lysine. Lysine and methionine are both essential amino acids. Combining different proteins together is one method of getting the amount of essential amino acids that your body requires. For example, this would mean that you would need to consume legumes with vegetables. However, you do not need to eat the same foods day after day. Instead, your focus should be upon incorporating a wide variety of different foods into your diet, including nuts, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and unrefined grains.