Smart tips for protein
- Every meal must contain some protein
- … either one animal sort OR more vegetable sorts
- … and a different sort in each meal
- The basis is a vegetable one
Protein is the most important component of each meal. Why? Because it is the only nutrient enabling building and recovery of every cell of our body. The only way to get it is via nutrition as the body is not able to produce it on its own (unlike e.g. energy which can be stored in the body and used later).
Why should we keep only one animal sort per meal or combine several vegetable ones? We need to deliver the complete set of 8 necessary components for the cell recovery – essential amino acids – every day. If the body doesn’t get these 8 via nutrition, no cell building or recovery is possible.
Animal sorts contain more types of the essential amino acids (e.g. egg has all the 8) compared to the vegetable ones. So a combination of two or more different vegetable sorts closes the gap (e.g. rice and beans). One animal sort combined with one vegetable sort is also recommendable (e.g. egg and rice).
The disadvantage of the animal protein is that it is more difficult to digest. That is why it is recommened to consume only one animal sort at a time. Plus, limit its consumption to just several times per week.
Sources of protein
Animal protein just several times per week
The best existing protein – after mother milk – is an egg (it has all 8 essential amino acids and sets the quality benchmark for other sorts of protein). Right after that scores tuna and beef. Then other sorts of meat and fish. Meat and fish has not only a high quality in terms of essential amino acids sorts, it also has a high quantity of these – between 20 and 30 grams of protein in 100 grams. Here, one would say that we should eat eggs, meat and fish all the time, but …
… the issue with overconsumption of high-protein foods is that their digestion brings a negative side effect: creation of ammonia/ toxin, which – apart the fact that too much of it overloads our kidneys – creates a pro-inflammation environment. And inflammation is the basis for 80% of diseases.
To cut it short: animal protein is good because of its high quality, however, its overconsumption is a severe inflammation factor.
What is then the right consumption dose? The optimum per week is not more than twice eggs, twice meat and twice fish. Take the best available quality. Why? High quality beef or eggs (bio) do contain a higher amount of essential amino acids because what the animals are fed with has a direct impact on their meat/eggs. If you eat animal sorts, switch quantity in favor of quality.
Dairy products not for everyone
Dairy products is a special category: high amount of good protein, however, their milk sugar lactose or milk protein casein cause troubles to the majority of people. Therefore dairy products are only for those lucky individuals, who surely do not have any intolerance. (You can test yourself by doing e.g. a 40-day-no-dairy-products test). Usually hard sorts of cheese (parmesan) and fermented products (kefir) are digested better.
Dairy products with high protein quality and quantity: parmesan, goat cheese, emmental, gouda, mozzarella, halloumi, feta
The main source of protein should be vegetable based
Why? The body can digest it easier than the animal one, plus it delivers fibre (more on fibre in Principle #4).
There are many sorts – eat it every day several times! As anything, it is about the cook: if prepared well, it tastes heavenly! What is good source of vegetable protein?
Legumes: such as peanuts, soya, edamame, chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas
Fermented products: such as seitan, tempeh, tofu, miso
Nuts and seeds: such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, cashews, wild poppy seeds, sesame, chia and flax seeds, walnut, hazelnut
Cereals: such as oat, rye, wholegrain wheat / spelt, wholegrain rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet
What we should avoid
- Overconsumption of animal protein (more than twice per week each sort)
- Industrially produced meat, especially chicken