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What Are Complete Proteins?

Eggs, good for you!Simply put, complete proteins are proteins that contain all 8 or 9 essential amino acids.  Understanding the importance of this requires a few more details.

When proteins are eaten, they can be broken down into their 22 amino acid building blocks.  There are 13 of these amino acids that we are able to make.  Since we can make these, they are considered non-essential to our diets.  Then there are 9 essential amino acids.  Think of these 9 as being essential to the diet because we are not able to make them.  Once we ingest the 9 essential amino acids, we are able to make all of the rest.

List of Amino Acids

The list of amino acids that are non-essential: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.

The list of amino acids that are essential: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

Beans & RiceThe egg is best source of complete proteins!   Beans with whole grain rice, or beans with quinoa or beans with sesame seeds are also excellent sources of complete proteins.  Most people eat a plate full of rice with a little beans on top.  Notice that, in order to consider this a source of complete proteins, we suggest a plate full of beans with a little rice mixed in.  To ensure that you do not get tired of eating eggs and beans, begin collecting many recipes and restaurant dishes that contain these two precious foods.

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