Proteins cater to a wide variety of functions in the body- right from being the building blocks for muscle building or for the production of enzymes that are used in several metabolic processes in the body. While it is well known that protein in right amounts is necessary to meet the body’s demands everyday, it is also important to note that not all proteins are equal in terms of their bioavailability.
And that is why, most people who cannot include all the food groups in their meals fail to make up for the required protein content through diet. However, this inadequacy can be overcome by including, what are known as Complementary or Complement protein in the diet.
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What are Complementary Proteins?
Complementary proteins are a combination of two or more incomplete protein sources that together form a complete protein. If a particular protein is low in a certain amino acid profile of one kind of food, then this is where a complementary protein provides the missing protein. Together, the two proteins in a complementary do the work of providing you with all the essential amino acids needed by the body for normal function.
Since most plant based proteins are incomplete, it becomes especially necessary for vegans and vegetarians to make more use of complementary proteins in their diet.
How to make the most of them?
As mentioned earlier, essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and hence need to be taken via diet. The essential amino acids include:
Legumes like lentils, beans, peas normally lack adequate amount of methionine, tryptophan whereas whole grains like brown rice, oats, wheat lack in isoleucine and lysine. However, by combining these two groups, you can yield a complete protein.
People who are open to including eggs and dairy products in their diet have a better chance and combining protein as they have the option of combining both animal sources of protein- Eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese, curd/ yogurt, etc.)- Both of which provide complete proteins.
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Listed below are the food groups that combined together to form complementary protein:
- Dairy and grains
- Dairy and seeds
- Dairy and legumes
- Dairy and vegetables
- Grains and legumes
- Grains and legumes
- Legumes and seeds
- Egg and grain
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