Protein is one of the most crucial nutrients to the human body and a little bit of protein can go a long way in improving varying aspects of your health. From the strength of your body to that of your hair, skin, and nails, protein’s amino acid chains perform vital tasks within your body that make it a prime nutrient to be sure you get enough of. Protein is also essential for healthy neurotransmitter function, along with overall energy levels. While carbs and fats have their place in a diet, most everyone knows that protein is a nutrient we shouldn’t leave out.
Luckily, all foods contain a little protein, and a large variety of plant-based foods provide many of the essential amino acids once believed to only exist within animal-based foods. Essential amino acids are amino acids that are the building blocks of protein that our body can’t produce by itself. In other words, if we don’t eat them, we won’t get enough of them. But steak, beef, chicken, eggs, pork, and milk are not the only sources of essential amino acids; plants have plenty of them our bodies can use the same way.
Out of the 22 amino acids that exist, nine are essential and 11 are non-essential. Below are a list of the nine essential amino acids and plant-based foods that are good sources of each. Some sources of amino acids, like chia and hemp seeds, also offer all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein, though remember that all plant-based foods can form complete proteins within the body once ingested.
Source: one green planet