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 â€œOK, so where do you get you protein?
As soon as I hear this question, I know immediately know that this is someone who doesnâ€™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 youâ€™d have to eat a really messed up, unbalanced diet like nothing but low protein junk foods and certain fruits.
So letâ€™s kill the great myth that plant foods donâ€™t have sufficient proteins to sustain the human body. Personally, Iâ€™ve never met anyone suffering from protein deficiency in Dominica, vegan or otherwise. The great risk here (in the Caribbean) is over-consumption of proteinâ€¦ yes itâ€™s possible!