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Building Complete Proteins from Nuts, Grains and Legumes

Dec 1, 2009

Proteins, and more importantly, complete proteins are needed for the growth, development and manufacture of hormones, antibodies and tissues.  It is also needed for the development of bones, muscles, skin, cartilage and blood. Hair and nails are also made up of proteins. Lack of proteins in the diet can cause serious problems for the smooth functioning of the body. You can supplement it with drinks and shakes or include the natural source in your diet.

What Are Complete Proteins?        

Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are also called the building blocks of all proteins. These amino acids are present in different combinations in the body. A complete protein consists of all the essential amino acids. The essential amino acids are those which the body cannot make on its own and has to be supplemented through diet.

How Can We Get Them?

All the animal proteins are complete proteins. Meat, chicken, milk, fish, eggs and dairy products are all good sources of complete proteins. For the vegetarians, there is soy, amaranth, hemp seed and quinoa. To get the wholesome benefits of consuming complete proteins, you could try combining various protein rich foods. By including a combination of two or more foods which have incomplete proteins, you can have a healthy complete proteins-rich diet.

Combination of Nuts and Grains

A healthy combination of nuts and grains can help you meet your dietary requirement of complete proteins. A helping of granola (contains oats) and a handful of mixed nuts is one healthy choice. Any nut butter, like almond butter, walnut butter, or cashew butter, when had with whole grain crackers would provide the complete proteins. You can try to include nuts as a snack too for those in-between meal times’ cravings.

Combination of Grains and Legumes

This is one combination which is popular as well as easy to follow. You can try as many variations as you can think of. Try having a meal of rice and beans or lentils, or pasta and beans. You can try combining any of the grains like whole wheat, oats, rice, pasta or corn, with legumes like beans, peanuts, lentils or even soy. Or maybe just a sandwich of whole wheat bread with peanut butter or even veg lasagna could provide you with the complete proteins. Have a bowl of hot split pea soup, and have all the complete proteins you need!! Black beans and kidney beans with quinoa, rice or pasta is a complete meal full of complete proteins. 

Combining Nuts and Legumes

Using this interesting combination of nuts and legumes, you can stir up exciting dishes which are rich sources of complete proteins. Make an exotic dish combining chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste) and prepare your own hummus. Another irresistible source of complete proteins could be a cup of soymilk with a few freshly baked chocolate chip walnut cookies!

The combinations are unlimited. All it needs is some imagination, innovation, and there you have a healthy diet of complete proteins on the table!

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