There are about 50,000 different proteins. These proteins are all combinations of 22 amino acids. Of these 14 amino acids are produced in the body itself and they are called non-essential amino acids.
The remaining 8 are called essential amino-acids and these have to be obtained from dietary sources. The body needs the essential amino acids to make the non-essential amino acids.
Vegans abstain from eating animal products like meat, fish, diary products or eggs. Animal products are considered to contain the highest source of protein. An important problem of vegan diet is low protein quality of food. The risk associated with the protein quality of plant foods is due to the lack of certain essential amino acids that are found in natural combinations in animal protein.
Healthy vegetarians must take care to meet protein requirements adequately and they must be more sensitive to their body’s needs.
The following is a list of high protein foods from vegetarian sources:
1) Spirulina: It is one of the rare vegetarian sources that provide all the essential amino acids for the body. Spirulina is 85-95 percent digestible and easy for the body to digest and assimilate
2) Bee pollen: Bee pollen contains more protein than any animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese of equal weight.
3) Soy products: Soy protein is the only plant protein that contains all the essential amino acids in the right balance to meet the body's needs.
4) Beans and legumes: Beans do not contain all the essential amino acids. Beans need to be combined with other protein containing vegetable foods. Dietary combination of beans and grains provides complete protein.
5) Dairy products: Milk, yogurt and cottage cheese are excellent sources of protein.
6) Protein powder: Processed protein foods like Whey protein powders are excellent sources of protein. They can be consumed as an occasional snack or during breakfast.
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