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Posts Tagged ‘raw foods diet’

Where Do I Get My Protein on a Raw Food Diet?

Raw Food Protein Sources

Amino Acid Illustration - Protein and SuperfoodsSince I started my raw foods diet in June 2010, one of the most frequently asked questions from my friends was where I would get my protein from? Recently even my brother expressed his concern about my protein needs. It was then I realized how important this question really is, I feel that it is my responsibility to fully explain the protein sources to those who are interested in raw food diet or maybe are concerned for themselves or their friends or family members.

Let's first look into what protein actually is…

We have all learned in school that our body consists to more than 65% of water, making up for our primary building block. The second most abundant building block of our body is protein. Our hair, skin, nails, organs, muscles, bones, and every single cell is made up of protein molecules. All protein molecules consist of a chain of amino acids. You may have heard the term "essential amino acids" – these are amino acids that cannot be used by a human body. Up to today we know about20 essential amino acids that we must include in our diet to receive the full protein requirement. (apples contain 18 of these amino acids) All plants have at least some protein because all of them contain at least one or more amino acids; the building blocks of protein.

The difference between complex proteins found in meat, dairy, and fish and the individual amino acids found in plant food is explained very well by Victoria Boutenko in her book "Green for Life:"

"It is clear that the body has to work a lot less when creating protein from the assortment of individual amino acids from greens, rather than the already combined, long molecules from protein, assembled according to the foreign patterns of a totally different creature such as a cow or a chicken"

When you eat leafy greens and other vegetables that contain lots of protein, you get  custom made amino acids for your body, freshly made with sunshine and chlorophyll, which the body will use to repair and to rebuild its parts according to your needs. Your body is a perfect working machine in need of the right fuel; you wouldn't put diesel into a Ferrari tank would you?

Myoglobin - Animal ProteinBut this is exactly what happens when you feed your body with complex animal proteins. Your body has a hard time trying to make a perfect molecule of protein out of someone else's molecules, which consist of totally different combinations of amino acids.  In addition to this already bad result, your body will most likely also receive a lot of unnecessary parts that are hard to digest and do more harm than they would do good. These parts would be floating around in your blood similar to waste for a long time, causing allergies and many other health problems. Just look at the picture; honestly, who would want to eat something that looks like that?

Soy proteins are meanwhile also known to do more harm than good and you should not consume soy products more than twice a week, The best plant based proteins are found in Spirulina, in Chlorella and in Seaweed. Spinach and other Leafy Greens from the superfoods section are also very good protein sources. And we should not forget Raw Cacao and Fresh Coconuts. If you don't mind eating an egg every then and when; organic eggs are near to 100% protein and totally healthy, especially for people who are exercising a lot and try to build some muscles!

Stay Healthy and Merry X-mas to you all!

Pictures by Yassine Mrabet and Aza Toth