Living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and staying healthy isn’t absolutely intuitive, is it? We have dishes that we eat because of health and otherwise because of taste. When our plate is made up of taste, we might miss the “complimentary” portion we need. It is the combination of plant protein sources that create the strength of a vegetarian meal. An example is the combination of grains and beans. Grains are deficient in lysine, an essential amino acid which supports formation of collagen. Beans are a great source of lysine and at the same time beans are deficient in cysteine (stabilizes skin oils) and methionine (strengthens skin and its appendages; hair and nails). With this knowledge, or less by just knowing to eat grains and beans together because they compliment one another, we can eat smarter and healthier.
“Amino acids are just great
When sitting on your plate.
Your body needs all twenty kinds
To build your bones and minds.
But there are eight that we can’t make:
Essential ones to take
Within your food so you’ll be set,
But some are hard to get.
Three limit others’ usefulness
If you consume much less.
Combine these foods to get them all
So you’ll grow big and tall:
Whole grain with milk or grain with bean
Or peas with seeds between
Or maybe try all three or four
If you want something more.”
Lappé, Francis Moore. 1991. Diet for a Small Planet. 20th Anniv. Ed. Ballantine Books, New York.
“Complementary Protein.” Biology at Clermont College – University of Cincinnati. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. .