Myth: You can only get amino acids from animal products
Truth: There are many plant sources of amino acids
Amino acids are essential to your body’s functioning and are the building blocks of protein. The body has 20 amino acids that act as building blocks, but can only synthesize 12 of them on its own. That means that 8 of the amino acids must come from food sources. “Nonessential” refers to the amino acids that the body can create and “essential” refers to the amino acids that must come from our diets. Vegans who eat a varied diet, complete in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits and eat a variety of plant protein sources should not have trouble obtaining the essential amino acids. By simply including beans, whole grains, soybeans, lentils, and nuts in your diet you will be covered. In fact, a meal containing brown rice and beans, quinoa, or soybeans will provide you with a complete protein (one that contains all 8 essential amino acids). Protein deficiency is very rare in our culture and we often take in way more protein than needed. (*See Myth #1) Vegans should not be worried about being deficient in their amino acids unless they are not eating a healthy diet and are consuming mostly processed sugars, flours, and junk food, which would bring about many other problems besides protein deficiency.
Myth #3 = DEBUNKED!