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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

Recently while riding the bus to work, I overheard someone discussing the benefits of being a vegetarian. One thing I have notice when people who are vegans, tell other people that they are vegetarians often the first question that comes out their mouth is “OK, so where do you get you protein?

As soon as I hear this question, I know immediately know that this is someone who doesn’t know much about plants. The idea that plant foods are somehow not enough to sustain the body is nothing but a myth.

Plant foods are generally abundant in protein. For example, lettuce gets 34% of its calories from protein, and broccoli gets 45% of its calories from protein. Spinach is 49%. Cauliflower is 40%. Celery is 21%. Beans range from 23% to 54% depending on the variety. Grains are 8% to 31%. Nuts and seeds are 8% to 21%. Fruits are the lowest at around 5-8% on average.

The human body can only suffer from protein deficiency, if you have seriously restrict total calories (i.e. starve yourself), or you’d have to eat a really messed up, unbalanced diet like nothing but low protein junk foods and certain fruits.

So let’s kill the great myth that plant foods don’t have sufficient proteins to sustain the human body. Personally, I’ve never met anyone suffering from protein deficiency in Dominica, vegan or otherwise. The great risk here (in the Caribbean) is over-consumption of protein… yes it’s possible!

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Comment by Steve Foerster
2009-10-05 21:41:13

As a vegan, I’ve gotten that one too. The only thing humans need that can’t be had from plant-based foods is vitamin B12, and it’s easy to find that either as a supplement or as an additive to soymilk, ricemilk, etc.

Comment by Trudy
2010-03-17 06:48:34

Great blog Steve love to see this info get out. When I started as a vegetarian scientists thought you had to eat complimentary proteins; now they know the body has the inate ability to compliment the proteins we eat over the day. Protein is not an issue for vegetarians or vegans unless they are eating an atrocious diet. I feel too much protein is the issue of the day.

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