At some point, many of us have dabbled with a vegan or vegetarian diet. We’ve heard it is supposed to be good for us, even though those who chose this way of life are quickly dubbed as “health nuts,” or worse yet, mocked and shunned by friends and family.
Maybe you know someone who swears by their fruits and vegetables. You watch them and wonder, and sooner or later, you just can’t resist the urge to ask…
Where do you get your protein?
Maybe you’ve even given this “health nut” way of eating a shot for a while. Or maybe you already made the switch. But sooner or later, caring friends and family start asking…
Where do you get your protein?
Even you diehard vegans and vegetarians seem obsessed with getting enough protein. You purchase expensive containers of highly processed protein powders just to make sure you get enough, or maybe you eventually buckle in and go back to meat because…
Protein panic sets in…!
- Am I getting enough protein?
- Am I going to lose muscle mass?
- Am I going to wither away to nothing?
- Is this way of eating harming me?
Now, let’s take a realistic look at protein panic. Have you ever stopped to wonder why everyone is so concerned about their protein? And everyone else’s? The world seems consumed with getting enough. But, where did this unfounded fear come from?
We’ve unknowingly been programmed to believe we must get enough protein at all costs.
Huh? Say what??
That’s right. There are books written on it. Magazine articles are written on it. The internet is loaded with protein promoting propaganda. Our doctors recommend it. Everywhere we turn, we are told we must get enough protein.
Hmmm…. Could there be an underlying ulterior motive to selling so much protein to the consumer? Could bottom line profits have anything to do with this “subliminal” message we have been bombarded with all our lives?
Who could possibly have such a vested interest as to continually push that we eat our beef, our chicken, our seafood, our pork?
Follow the money. These are ginormous industries who want nothing more than to trigger every consumer to load up their shopping carts with their expensive packaged flesh. And they have the profits to push their “eat your protein” message in every conceivable way.
Let’s dissect this protein thing and come to a clear understanding of what protein is and why, or if, we need it.
First of all, what is a protein? Proteins are made up of amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks that play a major role in the growth and development of the body. Amino acids contain elements of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen needed by the cells in order to repair, heal, and regenerate.
But first, protein must be properly broken down by the digestive process. It’s not like you chow down on a steak, and it immediately goes straight to building your 6-pack abs. First it must be converted into all the different and individual amino acids in order to be utilized by the body.
It is vital that you understand this key point. In order for protein to be utilized by the body, it must be broken down into the individual amino acids of which it is composed.
So there is a conversion process which must occur. Animal proteins, as they are consumed, are not usable by the body in their protein form. The individual amino acids, which make up the proteins you consume, are the usable building blocks of the cells and tissues.
But what happens when the digestive system is compromised? What if there are not enough digestive enzymes, hcl, bile salts, gastric juices, or if the digestive tract is riddled with bad bacteria or inflamed?
Proper digestion does not occur.
Animal proteins are the most difficult to digest of all the foods we consume. It is taxing on even an optimal digestive tract. If you are bloated, gassy, burpy, refluxy… Your digestive system is compromised.
In other words, you will not properly break down proteins in order to extract the individual amino acids needed by your body.
Animal proteins MUST be properly digested and broken down into usable amino acids.
I’m trying to make a very big point here. A revolutionary point that will rock the world of all the flesh-loving fanatics.
We do not need to consume proteins. We need to consume amino acids.
Depending upon whom you ask, there are approximately 20 amino acids. The body needs these in order to grow and function properly. They will form muscles, skin, tissue, organs, hair, nails, etc. They are the precursors of enzymes and neurotransmitters, basically responsible for the metabolic functioning of the body.
Amino acids create a stronger immune system, fight cancer and disease, promote longevity, improve strength, manage sleep, reduce inflammation, manage blood sugar. If you get my drift, amino acids are vital.
Nine of the amino acids are called “essential amino acids.” The body is unable to produce these, and so we must get them from the foods we eat. The other 11 can be synthesized by the body.
Obviously, with all the vital functions of amino acids, the more we consume of all the different forms, the better.
But why bother with a protein-conversion process when you can simply ingest an abundance of healthy amino acids that won’t stress a less-than-optimal digestive system?
But where would you get an abundant source of amino acids to eat? You ask.
Fruits and vegetables. Nature’s gift for healing the body.
No. Conversion. Necessary.
Nature’s healing foods are loaded with all kinds of amino acids. Each contain a different assortment of aminos, so a variety of fruits and vegetables is the way to go in order to flood your body with an abundant source of all the amino acids.
But wait, you say… Don’t animal products contain all the amino acids? Isn’t this what a “complete” protein is?
Yes. This is true. However, back to the “must be converted” dilemma. Poor digestion means poor conversion and this means limited amino acids are extracted from those animal proteins you consume.
Fruits and vegetables, however, require no conversion. No extraction required. They are rich in usable amino acids, not to mention, far easier to digest than flesh products.
So the next time protein panic sets in, stop and consider the facts before rushing out to find a turkey leg. Fruits and vegetables will provide an unlimited source of quality amino acids, no protein consumption required.
But don’t tell the flesh industries I told you so.