One of the questions I get asked the most is this… Where do I get my protein from?
This a very valid question, and today, I want to share the answer because it is possible to get plenty of protein AND stay alkaline at the same time.
With my 7 favorite plant-based proteins list, you will never have any trouble fulfilling your body’ requirements!
Now I do NOT consider myself a vegetarian even though I eat a plant-based diet 99% of the time. In fact, there are vegetarians out there who are some of the sickest people on the planet.
Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
So many vegetarians I come across are pastatarians, or carbohydratetarians, and the end product of that way of eating is SUGAR.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that SUGAR is ACID. It’s terrible for your body and your health any way you slice it.
I consider myself a conscious eater – I live the alkaline lifestyle, and when you live something day to day, it is not a diet.
So the question I want to answer today when it comes to protein is not where do I get my protein from, but HOW much protein do I really need?
That is a better question, and the answer is most Americans are getting way too much!
The research shows Americans get twice the amount of protein that we really need, and excess animal protein is linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers.
Have you ever heard of The China Study? All you need to know was that it was the largest comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted, and was done so by the NIH, the National Institutes of Health. The study included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, 6,500 adults, and when done, there were 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables. To summarize: people who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. Interesting, isn’t it?
It was concluded that a 10% increase in animal protein turned on the cancer promoting ability of certain genes. When they compared that to the same amount with plant-based proteins, it was an inverse relationship. In other words, the opposite happened. Pretty amazing!
Now, If you enjoy meat, no problem. I'm not telling you that you can't have it and not to eat it. My motto no matter where or what I'm eating is always “good, better, best.” Quality is most important so always go for grass fed, organic and free-range.
Meat is okay in moderation, but the fact of matter is meat it is still acidic and requires a lot of energy for your body to break it down. So most importantly, if you are going to have meat or fish, you want the portion size to be the SIDE SHOW and NOT the main event.
So what is the right amount of protein? My answer to this is everyone is different, and first and foremost, listen to your body and what your body tells you. The average American consumes 50-70g of protein per day. I always like to approach these questions with common sense.
At what stage in our life do we grow the fastest and therefore require the most protein? That’s right, a baby. And get this, breast milk has only 3-5% protein, so in her infinite wisdom, that is all that Mother Nature chose.
So take a deep breath, if you are eating 80% alkaline (remember my 80/20 principle), you don’t have to be worried. Your body is most likely getting all the protein that it needs.
Look at some of the largest and strongest mammals on earth that eat a plant-based, alkaline diet – cows, hippos, elephants, gorillas, and my favorite, the rhino. These are powerful animals and their bodies get all the protein that they could ever need.
Remember, animal proteins are not our bodies’ only sources of protein. In fact, you’re better off the more variety you can get.
So here’s a list of my TOP 7 ALKALINE COMPLETE PROTEINS (contain all 9 essential amino acids):
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #1: Chia Seeds
Protein per 2 tbsp.: 5 grams
Chia is one of my favorite foods and I use it all the time, especially with all of my running and marathon training as it is so versatile in what it can do.
It is considered a complete protein because it contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs.
Thanks to chia seeds blood-sugar stabilizing ratio of protein, fats and fiber, they’re the perfect HUNGER-BUSTING addition to your diet, and can help you lose inches in your waistline.
But that’s not all…
Chia seeds are one of the highest plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids which research shows can decrease the risk of heart disease, and they contain more fiber than flax seeds or nuts.
They are 50% omega 3 fatty acid, and 20% protein which is why I consider chia one of the most perfect foods.
Chia is also a powerhouse of iron, calcium, zinc, and antioxidants, but the best thing about these little seeds is that they form a goopy gel when combined with milk or water. This makes them fantastic for making healthy puddings, thickening smoothies, or replacing eggs in baking.
Dr. Daryl’s Eat This Tip: I add chia to every smoothie and green drink I make. One of my favorite healthy desserts is chia pudding, which is so easy to make, and you can find 5 different variations of chia pudding in the get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse.
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #2: Hemp Seeds
Protein per 2 tbsp.: 10 grams
Studies show that Hemp, the kind you eat and not smoke (yes there is a difference) can fight heart disease, obesity and metabolic syndrome, likely because they’re rich in protein and fiber.
They contain significant amounts of all nine essential amino acids, as well as plenty of alkaline minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium.
They’re also a rare vegan source of essential fatty acids, like omega-3s, which can help fight chronic inflammation and depression as well.
Dr. Daryl’s Eat This Tip: Simply sprinkle the hemp seeds into salads and cereals, or add hemp protein powder to your post-workout shake, or your morning smoothie to jump-start your day.
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #3: Quinoa
Protein per cup: 8 grams
Quinoa is actually not a grain like most think, but actually a seed from a plant related to spinach, Swiss chard, and beets.
Quinoa comes to us from South America where the ancient Incas and the Indians of the Andes mountains cultivated and revered it, calling it “the mother grain”.
Not only is quinoa higher in protein than other whole grains, but it provides a complete protein – again, meaning all 9 of the essential amino acids we must obtain through our diet, are present.
Quinoa is a brilliant food and one of my absolute favorites! It’s versatile and can be used to make breakfast porridge, soups, salads, to thicken stir-fries, and is a much better option to rice.
Dr. Daryl Eat This Tip: Quinoa works great with beans to create a well-balanced meal. You can mix it in the morning with some gluten-free oatmeal, or you can up you can up the flavor and nutrient content of your favorite green salad with a scoop of quinoa. I also love to use sprouted quinoa in healthy granolas.
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #4: Ezekiel Bread
Protein per 2 slices: 8 grams
Ezekiel Bread is made with sprouted healthy grains which absolutely increases the breads fiber and nutritious vitamin content, and makes it much easier on your digestive system compared to most other breads.
Some examples of the sprouted grains are barley, beans, lentils, millet, wheat, and spelt - It also contains and impressive 18 amino acids.
This includes all of the nine essential amino acids making Ezekiel Bread a complete protein, something most other bread products can’t claim.
I absolutely recommend Ezekiel Bread as your new go-to sandwich base instead of white bread.
Yes, there is a small amount of gluten in Ezekiel bread which I would call its ONLY downside, but having 2 slices of this is a MUCH better option than most breakfast alternatives out there.
It will also ensure you get at least 8 grams of complete protein every time you sit down for breakfast or lunch.
Dr. Daryl’s Eat This Tip: Use Ezekiel Bread any way you’d use traditional bread; it’s extremely versatile. You can have as toast with some raw almond butter, a drizzle of Manuka honey and some cinnamon to top, OR you can have some Ezekiel toast with some sliced avocado, drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, cumin, sea salt, lime juice, cilantro, tomato, and some jalapeno if you want a kick.
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #5: Hummus
Protein per 2 tablespoons: 3 grams
Hummus is a classic, and when it’s made fresh, not only is it packed with protein with 3 grams for every 2 tablespoons, but it’s also alkaline.
Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are high in lysine, and tahini is a rich source of the amino acid methionine.
Individually these foods are incomplete proteins, but when you combine the two together to make hummus, they create a complete protein.
Just be aware that not all store-bought hummus brands contain tahini, and they potentially can have a lot of other acidic ingredients.
Dr. Daryl Eat This Tip: Spread hummus onto sandwiches in lieu of mustard, mayo and other spreads, or use it as a dip for raw veggies. It is also an awesome snack when you are doing the Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse!
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #6: Edamame
Protein per cup: 8 grams
Steamed soybeans are rich in essential amino acids and fiber. Soybeans also provide another solid hit of complete proteins, giving 8 grams per cup. They are also a high source of the alkaline mineral magnesium.
But here is my caveat with edamame and any other soy based product for that matter. Soy is healthy when you know your source. But 90% of the soy that people buy is Genetically Modified, which is why you should stay away from edamame in most sushi restaurants.
When you buy them yourself, you can be in full control and if you don’t see organic and GMO-Free on the label, stay far away from it!
Dr. Daryl Eat This Tip: You can eat roasted or steamed soybeans by themselves, or as a great on-the-go snack, or add them to a homemade trail mixes. One of my favorites is GMO fee soybeans steamed with some toasted sesame oil and healthy sea salt.
COMPLETE ALKALINE PROTEIN #7: Beans
Mung (14g) Adzuki (17g) Lentils (18g) Navy (16g) Black (15g) White (17g) Kidney (15g)
Besides their obvious high protein count, here is why beans are so great. They are also high fiber and antioxidants, and are relatively inexpensive if you are on a budget, and their shelf life goes a long way, so if we have any preppers out there, add this one to the list.
Beans contain iron, zinc, calcium, selenium and folate and are low on the glycemic index which makes them very alkaline.
Dr. Daryl Eat This Tip: Beans ae knows as the magical fruit! To avoid this, try these tips. You can also add a large strip of dried Kombu Seaweed to the pot of beans and water prior to boiling, or try adding a slice or two of ginger, fennel, or cumin seeds.
Here are some other high powered plant-based proteins to consider:
Spinach – 5 g/cup
Lentils – 18g/cup
Peas – 8g/cup
Almonds – 4g/2 Tbsp.
Cashews – 5g per ¼ cup
Nut butters – 7g per 2 Tbsp.
Sunflower seeds – 6g per ¼ cup
Tofu – 12g per 5 oz.
Dark green leafy vegetables – 3g per cup
Here’s the deal….
As long as you’re eating a few good, plant-based protein sources throughout your day, you’re going to be in great shape, protein-wise.
If you are looking for some GREAT alkaline recipes that are packed with all of the proteins I just mentioned, then you must check out the Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse.
The holidays are here and we all know how that goes, so make sure you take care of you during this fun but stressful time.
Cleanse your body, or if you ae not up for the full program, use the 105 delicious recipes to eat 80/20 rule in between the holidays.