I meet more and more people who are vegetarian each day. Although i do not particularly believe Veganism is a proper way for us ( humans) Omnivores to eat, at least i believe if you are to eat this way you had better have a balance of Cereal and Legumes. The proper diet including these two groups will provide your body with the proper balance of the essential Amino Acids you need to synthesis protien intake.
Think Red beans and Rice.
Below is a bit of discussion on this topic for those interested
Rice is a good choice for a healthy diet. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates and can help you achieve a reduced fat diet.” – American Dietetic Association
Rice is the staple food for two-thirds of the world’s population. Rice is a wholesome and nutritious cereal grain and it has qualities that make it ideally suited for special dietary needs.
- Contains 103 calories per half-cup serving of white rice and 108 calories per half-cup serving of brown rice.
- Is cholesterol-free.
- Has only a trace of fat.
- Is sodium-free.
- Is a complex carbohydrate.
- Is gluten-free and non-allergenic.
- Is easy to digest.
Rice is a complex carbohydrate, an important part of the human diet, used to fuel the body. Complex carbohydrates are stored in muscles and released as energy when needed. Nutritionists recommend that over half the calories we consume should come from complex carbohydrates.
Rice protein, when compared to that of other grains, is considered one of the highest quality proteins. It has all eight of the essential amino acids, necessary building blocks for strong muscles. Rice is also a good source of other essential nutrients – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, and potassium. Rice is healthful for what it does not contain as well. It has no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium. This along with being non-allergenic and gluten free, makes rice especially well suited for persons with special dietary needs. Most of the white rice consumed in the United States is enriched. Rice naturally contains thiamin, niacin and iron. However, during the milling process, the quantity of these nutrients is reduced. To bring the nutritional level of the milled product up to that of the whole grain (brown), rice is enriched with thiamin, niacin and iron. All enriched rice is additionally fortified with folic acid.
Legumes contain relatively low quantities of the essential amino acid methionine. That is why some vegetarian cultures – in order to get a balanced diet, and almost in an involuntary manner – combine their diet of legumes with grains Grains, on the other hand, contain relatively low quantities of the essential amino acid lysine, which legumes contain. Thus a combination of legumes with grains forms a well balanced diet for vegetarians. Common examples of such combinations are dal with rice by Indians, and beans with corn tortillas, tofu with rice and peanut butter with wheat bread (as sandwiches) in several other cultures, including Americans.
Dietary proteins provide amino acids to build and maintain tissues, and to form enzymes, some hormones, and antibodies. Proteins function in some body regulating processes and are a source of energy. Proteins, unique among the energy nutrients because they contain nitrogen, are composed of amino acid units that are linked in chains. Essential amino acids cannot be manufactured by the body; therefore, they must be provided by dietary protein. All of the eight amino acids must be present at the same time and in the right proportion in order for protein to be synthesized. The protein in rice is well balanced because all eight amino acids are present and in proper proportion. Therefore, rice is a unique cereal grain. The protein content of rice, while limited (ranging from 2.0 to 2.5 mg. per 1/2 cup of cooked rice), is considered one of the highest quality proteins to that provided by other cereal grains.
Biological value is a measure of protein quality, assessed by determining the extent to which a given protein supports nitrogen retention. The most perfect protein by this standard is egg protein (biological value 100); this has been designated the reference protein by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rice protein has a biological value of 86. Fish fillet protein has a biological value of 75-90. Corn protein has a biological value of 40. Generally, a biological value of 70 or above indicates acceptable quality.
Essential amino acids
Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in the food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body’s proteins—muscle and so forth—to obtain the one amino acid that is needed. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use—the amino acids must be in the food every day.
The 10 amino acids that we can produce are alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is produced from phenylalanine, so if the diet is deficient in phenylalanine, tyrosine will be required as well. The essential amino acids are arginine (required for the young, but not for adults), histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are required in the diet. Plants, of course, must be able to make all the amino acids. Humans, on the other hand, do not have all the the enzymes required for the biosynthesis of all of the amino acids.
(*) Essential only in certain cases