12 Complete Proteins Vegetarians Need to Know About
There are plenty of reasons to eat more meat-free meals: They’re nearly always cheaper, lower in calories, and better for the environment. It’s easy to get enough protein without eating animals, but the doubters often have another concern: Are these meat-free protein sources complete? The term "complete protein" refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids—we need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves. Yes, meat and eggs are complete proteins, and beans and nuts aren’t. Still, some people want complete proteins in all of their meals. Photo: Tattooed Martha 1. Protein: 8 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked A food so healthy that NASA hopes we’ll grow it on interplanetary space flights, quinoa looks a lot like couscous, but it’s way more nutritious. Go-to recipes: 2. Protein: 6 grams per 1 cup serving, cooked 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.