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Complete Proteins???

AziahAziah Raw Newbie

I recently told my Naturopath that we had all “gone raw”. She said she thought it was a good idea but suggested I use a protein supplement as there aren’t any “complete proteins” in raw foods. I told her I had hemp powder and she thought that was ok.

What is that all about? Do our bodies need complete proteins? Is the raw diet truly lacking somewhere? If so, how much hemp powder should I be giving my kids and how often? I don’t want them to be deficient in anything. (I will say that as of right now it is hard to get “greens” into their diet. They aren’t too keen on the green smoothies I have been making so far)


  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    buckwheat, chia, and hemp are all complete proteins…

  • Even when you eat complete proteins, your body needs to break them down into amino acids and rearrange them into USEFUL, human-specific proteins. It’s like…building a chair out of legos. A cow-chair won’t be right for a human, but if you take all of the legos apart and rearrange them, you can make a human-chair. Eating plants, however, is like starting with a box full of loose legos. You can build without tearing anything else down. Silly example.

    The advantage of complete protein is that you know you’re receiving all of the amino acids in one shot. All plant foods have these amino acids, but they’re not always lumped together. For example, one vegetable may have six or seven different amino acids, and another nut may have the other twelve or thirteen you need. (I can’t remember if there are eighteen or twenty-one.) As long as you eat a varied diet, you’re sure to get them all. Where do the herbivores get THEIR complete protein? They certainly don’t eat beef or take supplements.

    I have to emphasize variety, though. Living on apples and bananas will not provide adequate protein.

    I hope that helps!

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    evigail—thank you for that great information!

  • great thread! this has been a big concern of mine too. i never have to worry if i’m getting enough veggies though~

  • This site should help if you’re worried: www.nutritiondata.com

    Each food page has a “protein quality” chart. It lists the nine amino acids that can NOT be produced by the human body and MUST be obtained through food.

    Here’s the link for bananas.

    The graphic shows how much of each “essential” (one of the nine) amino acid is present in the food, and the link directly beneath it will take you to a complementary food that will fill in the gaps.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    So, if you don’t have all the amino acids… does your body store them until you get them all? ...or does it get rid of them?

  • sprout quinoa !

  • Current research says that excess amino acids are passed in the urine, and not stored the way fat is. That’s why malnourished people tend to lose muscle; since the needed amino acids aren’t available for vital functions, they’re taken from less important tissues. Again, that’s why variety is so important.

    Now, I haven’t been able to find how long it sticks around. Long enough to bind to what’s already there would be my best guess, but guessing isn’t science. I’ll keep looking, but it would be great if someone here already knew. Hint hint hint.

    pomegranate – Glad you like it. ;) I can think of about sixty better examples offhand, lol. And that is the biggest hamster I’ve ever seen! Then again, I always had dwarves…

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Those grains aren’t digestible to me (even buckwheat) and chia seeds don’t go through me that well either. Instead, I eat brewer’s yeast mixed with water and glug it down (I am 12, so I understand your situation). As bad as yeast tastes, it is not raw but easy to digest and healthy. For bet tasting, get the Twinlabs brand.

  • Luna bluLuna blu Raw Newbie

    Red star nutritional yeast is by far the very best. It is the only one out there that can garantee the b12 as well! Added bonus.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    i like chia seeds. they have protein as well. tips for green smoothies: start with just a leaf of green then gradually add more and more green each day. the taste takes some getting used to.

    here is a blog of a raw toddler’s diet: http://rawtoddleralex.blogspot.com/

  • AziahAziah Raw Newbie

    Thanks for all the info.

    Evigail…your info was invaluable. Thank you!

  • Did you know that spirulina is extremely high in protein and it is the only protein that is alkaline and easy to digest plus it has heaps of other benifits, lots of b vitamins including b12 plus lots of other good things but we are here for protein so I will just focus on that.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Thanks for the reply Evigail. Great info!

  • I just used hemp protein powder for the first time! Not so much out of a need for protein, but just to bulk up my smoothie and I figured it wouldn’t hurt. The stuff is so good! It gave it a nice nutty flavor, I was afraid it would taste freaky. The container I got says a serving is four tablespoons…haha I used one tablespoon and even that looked like a lot. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I get any results from using hemp, but at least it tastes good!

  • KarenK-you beat me to it…Spirulina is a fantastic supplement, I feel more energy after taking it. Loveskale- I never thought to sprout Quinoa, it was one of my favorite cooked foods

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