Proteins are complex polymers of sub-units called amino acids. These are the workhorses of the cell, and perform numerous important tasks. All cells and all forms of life contain proteins. Humans need protein in their diet, and a way to get the amino acids you need to make your body is to get more proteins and other important molecules to plants consume. If your diet plan correctly, you can actually get all the protein you need from plants.
Functions of Plant Protein
In plants, just as in humans, proteins perform a variety of important tasks. Some proteins catalyze or accelerate chemical reactions, these are called enzymes, and they help synthesize important molecules such as chlorophyll in plants. Other proteins play structural roles or as a pump to ferry ions and solutes through membranes. Still other proteins bind to regulatory regions of DNA that turn specific genes on or off, and some proteins play an important role in DNA replication, transcription and translation.
Human Dietary Needs
Your body needs protein from the foods you eat to get it supplied with amino acids. There are nine amino acids that your body can not synthesize on its own: these are called essential amino acids. Many plant foods are low in essential amino acids and are so called incomplete sources of protein. Beans, nuts, peas, seeds and grains, while nutritious otherwise, all incomplete sources.
The combination of Vegetable Proteins
Soybeans are the only plant that is a complete protein source, meaning they are the only one that contains all the essential amino acids to obtain the required amount to human health. By combining certain other incomplete vegetable proteins, but you get adequate amounts of all essential amino acids must come from plants. Rice and beans combined, for example, provide all essential amino acids, as well as a combination of corn and beans or wheat grain.
Animal proteins v. Vegetable Proteins
Meat and fish are as complete sources of protein and usually contain more protein than plant foods. Meat and fish dishes are usually muscle tissue – muscle tissue just like in humans – is rich in proteins such as myosin, which play key roles in muscle contraction. According to the American Heart Association, but most Americans already consume more protein than they need, so that the average American is not in danger of eating too little protein. It is quite possible for vegetarians and vegans all the protein they need to obtain from vegetable sources, though it may require meal planning, to ensure the correct amount is related to the essential amino acids.