Can Vegetable Protein Replace the Role of Animal Protein?

"If you want to replace animal protein with vegetable protein, you have to make sure that your body receives complete nutrition including essential amino acids. This is because amino acids are very important for the body and are often rarely found in vegetable protein.

There are two types of protein, namely vegetable and animal protein. Animal protein is also called complete protein because it contains the essential amino acids needed by the body. Meanwhile, vegetable protein is often referred to as incomplete protein, because it does not contain as many amino acids as animal protein.

Even so, vegetable protein has various benefits, one of which can prevent various chronic diseases such as stroke and heart. So, can vegetable protein replace animal protein?

Can Vegetable Protein Replace Animal Protein?

The human body produces about 20 amino acids to build protein, but there are nine essential amino acids that can only be obtained through food.

Animal protein, such as meat, fish and eggs, is a food source that is high in this content. So, because of this, many people are still hesitant to replace animal protein with vegetable protein.

Indeed, vegetable protein does not contain amino acids as high as animal protein. However, by combining several vegetable proteins, it is enough to meet the needs of essential amino acids in your body.

For example, you can eat soybeans, spinach, or quinoa, as these foods offer good amounts of all nine of the essential amino acids, and are considered complete plant-based sources of protein.

This is evidenced in a study entitled Dietary Protein and Amino Acids in Vegetarian Diets—A Review, which found that people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet get more than enough protein and amino acids.

Even so, there are also other deficiencies in vegetable protein, namely, this protein does not contain vitamin B12. So you still need to combine it with animal protein, or if you follow a vegan diet, it is recommended to take vitamin B12 supplements.

Various Kinds of Vegetable Protein Sources

So, if you want to switch to consuming vegetable protein or a plant-based diet, you can try some of the following vegetable proteins:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain that has a crunchy texture. In addition to being a complete protein, quinoa provides more magnesium, iron, and zinc than any other grain.

You can use quinoa as a substitute for rice or process it into porridge. Quinoa can also be useful for the face, you know, to find out more detailed information, please visit this page, "Know the 6 Benefits of Quinoa for Facial Skin Health."

2. Tofu and tempeh

As an Indonesian, of course you can't miss this one protein. Three ounces of tofu has about 8 grams of protein, and also provides calcium, potassium and iron. Meanwhile, three ounces of tempeh contains 11 grams of protein, iron, a source of fiber, as well as potassium and calcium.

3. Chia seeds

To get omega-3 you can consume chia seeds as a vegetable source. Not only that, chia seeds also contain calcium, magnesium, and selenium. Because its jelly-like texture absorbs water so much, you can process chia seeds as pudding or jam.

4. Nuts

You can use any type of nuts as a substitute for animal protein. Try almonds which not only contain protein but also provide vitamin E which is great for the eyes and skin. If you want a cheaper alternative, you can try peanuts which are no less nutritious and contain healthy fats, so they are safer for the heart.

5. Mushrooms

Not only nuts and seeds, sources of vegetable protein can also come from mushrooms. In fact, mushrooms contain a total of 17 amino acids, some of which are essential amino acids.

Consuming mushrooms regularly can help boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and increase the need for vitamin D.

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