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Complete vs Incomplete Protein

The basic structure of every cell in the human body is protein. Protein is needed to make new cells, repair damaged ones, digest food, provide energy, and perform numerous other body functions. This is accomplished by the body’s ability  to break down protein into amino acids. There are ten amino acids that are essential for humans. The body cannot make essential amino acids therefore it must be obtained by the diet. The and the two types of protein are:

  • Complete protein
  • Incomplete protein

A complete protein (or whole protein) contains all of the essential amino acids your body requires daily. Health-promoting complete protein sources include:

  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame
  • Buckwheat
  • Hummus & Pita
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Peanut Butter & Whole Grain Toast
  • Hemp
  • Black Beans & Brown Rice
  • Chia Seeds
  • Ezekiel Bread
  • Spirulina
  • Lentils

An incomplete protein contains some, but not all, essential amino acids. Examples of health promoting incomplete protein sources include:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

Hemp

is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Calcium, and a very good source of Protein and Iron.

29%26%45%
CarbsFatsProtein

Lentils

are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Iron, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Folate.

68%3%29%
CarbsFatsProtein

Black beans

are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and a very good source of Folate.

75%3%22%
CarbsFatsProtein

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