From everything I've read we need complete proteins and essential amino acids. First, there are 8 essential amino acids and they are:
The amino acids are essential for every part of our bodies including mood, hormones, skin, blood, bones. Our bodies can create some of the amino acids, the the other essential aminos can only be derived from
food. The nutrients in protein are made up of some of the amino acids, and eating different foods will give you some of the aminos you need. For example Soy Beans and Quinoa are considered to be Complete Proteins because they contain all 9 essential amino acids. When you eat some things together, which by themselves are incomplete protein (confused yet?), like brown rice and black beans, you will get a complete protein.
The old understanding on this issue of complete vs. incomplete proteins and food combining to make complete proteins, has been disputed. The new thinking is that our bodies are very smart (imagine that) and they will store amino acids and pull from that storage, when needed, other aminos to create the essential aminos.
Braggs Liquid Aminos contains all 9 essential aminos, and can be used in cooking like you would use soy sauce and often times, salt. You can put it in salad dressings or just quirt some on brown rice.
Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin you cannot get from a plant based diet and everything I've read points to the fact that vegans should take this supplement. You can get B12 if you eat whole wheat sourdough bread, but it has to be the kind of bread that is made the old fashioned way, with a sourdough starter (which is fermented flour and water that pulls yeast from the air and gives sourdough its rise) not by using active, dry yeast which is how most commercially made sourdough bread is made. There are a whole host of benefits from eating whole wheat/whole grain sourdough...Because it is a fermented dough, it pre-digests the starches, it has the ability to lower insulin response in the body, which improves your glucose tolerance, many people with wheat allergies have no problem eating sourdough bread, and contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional Yeast is something that vegans love as it is a deactivated yeast that is commercially produced, is a complete protein and contains a lot of vitamins, including B Complex but excluding B12. I use it in place of cheese in recipes, as a popcorn topping (air popped of course), on potatoes and anywhere else you can think to use it. You can buy it in the bulk food section of stores like Whole Foods or right off the shelves.
That's the lesson for today.