Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Incomplete vs. Complete Proteins
Protein is an essential part of a diet to maintain balanced nutrition. It performs many important functions such as building lean body tissue and creating digestive enzymes. However, not all protein is created equal, as there are complete and incomplete proteins, which are found in different food sources. Some contain more amino acids than others, and some contain all the amino acids necessary for optimal dietary needs. Meals that combine a variety of protein foods can provide all the essential amino acids that may be lacking from one particular source.
A complete protein contains an adequate amount of all of the essential amino acids that should be incorporated into a diet. A complete protein must not lack even one essential amino acid in order to be considered complete. The following foods are examples of complete proteins:
An incomplete protein is any protein that lacks one or more of the essential amino acids in correct proportions. The following foods are examples of incomplete proteins:
Combining Incomplete Proteins to Create Complete Proteins
By combining foods from two or more incomplete proteins, a complete protein can be created. When eaten in combination at the same meal, you are providing your body with all the essential amino acids it requires. By learning what foods complement each other, it is possible to create a perfectly balanced meal with the proper proportions of proteins. This will ensure that your body is getting all the essential amino acids it requires for optimal bodily functions.