Saturday, December 13, 2008

Complementing Proteins

Protein is required for growth, body repair, and maintenance. Serious injuries or illness require extra protein. If we do not get enough protein, our bodies will steal it from our muscles.

Our bodies use 22 amino acids to make 50,000 (that's what it said) different proteins we must have to be healthy. Our bodies can make all but eight. These eight are called "essential amino acids" as we must get them from foods we eat. The only foods which contain all eight of these building blocks are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk products. Soy protein is equivalent to animal protein and has all eight (plus one extra) of the essential amino acids needed to make protein in the body.

Planning meals around these complementary food combinations will provide the complete proteins needed by the body. In many cases it will be better than a meat protein. Complementing proteins should be eaten within the same day.

Wheat + Beans
Wheat + Milk
Beans + Milk
Cereal + Milk
Rice + Legumes
Rice + Milk
Rice + Wheat
Cereal + Legumes
(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 34)

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