“Vegetarians are not threatened protein deficiency; it is difficult to imagine a varied vegetarian diet which would not exceed the human needs in proteins”
Paavo Airola, one of the best nutritionists of XX century
The most common «problem» of those who are thinking about switching to a vegetarian diet, is to provide the body with protein. Many people think that by giving up meat, they will experience a shortage of protein.
Most often people ask this question: «Where do vegetarians get their protein? After all, protein and many essential amino acids are found only in meat products!» Of course, this is a false statement and unnecessary question. You can answer it simply: «We take them from the same place from where they get into the meat of animals — from vegetables and fruits.»
Proteins are large molecules built of smaller ones — amino acids. There are 22 amino acids, it is believed that several of them (8 in adults and 9 in children) can not be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food or delivered by intestinal microflora, so they are called «essential». «Complete» refers to the protein that contains all 22 essential amino acids. It should be emphasized that it does not matter how much of «complete protein» can be obtained from a single individual product, but the total amount of amino acids consumed is important.
Our bodies do not need proteins themselves, but namely amino acids, which are not of «plant» or «animal» origin. Therefore, the statement about the necessity of animal protein for human is causeless. Complete proteins with the entire set of all amino acids found in all leafy vegetables, which contain chlorophyll, all types of nuts, in some fruits (pear, persimmon, apricot), as well as in grains of germinated wheat and other cereals. A rich source of vegetable protein is lentils, beans and other legumes, soybeans, and soy products (including such as tofu and okara), edible chestnuts, amaranth oil. Animal proteins are found in abundance in all kinds of dairy products: in cottage cheese, milk, sour milk, in cheese, and so forth..
There is a big variety of meet-free products on the market nowadays, which look and taste similar to ones of meat: sausages, burgers, mince, fillets and so on, they are based on easily digestible wheat protein, soya or mycoprotein (quorn). All these products are even richer source of protein than fish and meat.
Let me remind once more and emphasize that the amino acids are called «essential» not because they only are in meat so the meat is «indispensable», but because these amino acids are most often can not be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from outside, that is, with food.
Herbivores do not eat the “flesh” to make up their supply of «essential» amino acids and protein. From only the hay cows, goats, camels not just get everything they need for their bodies, but even produce such a product, rich with proteins and all nutrients, like milk!
If the animals-vegetarians get proteins in abundance and even share with us, then why should it be a problem for us with the opportunity to eat even more diverse than many of our smaller brothers? After all we are created by vegetarians, and also are a «crown of evolution» (and it sounds proud!).
Compare for yourself the diet of a cow and the human diet: for a cow it is the grass for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and what about us: a limitless range of dishes that can be prepared from milk, cereals, vegetables and fruits. Should we complain about the lack of nutritional value in the diet? Even monkeys, “our closest relatives” according to Darwin, they only eat fruits and do not ask themselves «Where do we find the essential amino acids?» It turns out that all of the essential nutrients found even in the most simple food!
We can often hear the following explanation of someone’s reluctance to give up meat, «I have to do a hard physical work and I need meat for strength.» Although this statement seems reasonable, there is no reason to believe that a vegetarian diet, especially supplemented with dairy products, can not provide even the highest human need for protein and other necessary nutrients.
Using a sufficient quantity of natural products in your diet totally eliminates the possibility of a lack of the protein in the body. We should not forget that the plant world, ultimately, is the source of all kinds of protein. Vegetarians obtain protein directly from the source, rather than from «second-hand», as do those who eat meat of herbivores. So, what is the amount of protein we actually need?
Dr. Paavo Airola, a leading specialist in the field of nutrition and natural biology, says: «Twenty years ago it was thought that the daily intake rate of protein is 150g, and now officially accepted intake rate decreased to 45g. Why? Through research conducted in several countries, we now know that the body does not need large amounts of protein and that its daily intake is no more than 30-45g.«
Excess protein intake is not only useless, but also brings great harm to the human body, moreover, it can cause serious diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is not necessary to eat meat for to get 45 grams of protein per day. Full vegetarian diet consisting of cereals, legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits perfectly provides a human with necessary amount of protein». It should be noted that modern science does not consider the issue of necessary intake of this amount of protein the final decision, because in many countries people are getting protein in much smaller quantities. Roshi Philip Kapleau, in his book «A Buddhist Case for Vegetarianism», also dispels the «myth of the protein.» In connection with the study of the problem of low level of protein intake in the third world countries, it was found that the true reason for protein deficiency is ordinary malnutrition.
If there are not enough calories in the diet in general, the symptoms of protein deficiency can continue to occur even under the condition that the body begins to get protein in excess. The reason for that is a protective reaction of the organism to a lack of calories. In result, a substantial part of the protein get “burned” in muscle tissues to extract the necessary energy to the body.
Most scientists agree that in practice it is very difficult to find a diet that would contain insufficient amounts of protein, especially taking into account the fact that the plant food usually contains even more of it than products of meat and fish.
At the use of different products, each of which individually is not a «total protein» it’s possible to receive the whole spectrum of essential amino acids. For example, amino acids that are absent in rice, found in abundance in legumes, which makes the rice dish, in combination with pulses, a source of complete protein.
Such combination of products in times excels meat in quantity and value of the protein contained in it. On top of that, the simultaneous use of legumes and cereals increases the digestibility of protein by the body. If the body can absorb 60% of protein from rice and 65% from the legumes, then in the joint use of them the figure is 85%.
Many indigenous peoples of North and South America existed comfortably for centuries, keeping in their diet simple dishes made from corn, pulses and rice — any combination of them provide a complete protein profile. It is also known that for centuries the main course of Indians is khichdi — a combination of rice and dal (a common name for a number of different beans, resembling lentils), which is also a source of complete protein.
In Japan, which until the middle of the XIX century, in fact, has been a vegetarian country, traditionally the main course was, and is for nowadays, the rice in combination with soy products. The survey of the group of Japanese Buddhist monks, whose strict vegetarian diet consisted mainly of rice and barley with the addition of soy, showed that all of them are healthy and are in excellent physical shape.
China’s population is also existed largely on a diet of rice and beans; and a mixture of millet, corn and soybeans is the main food of the peasants of North China which is another example of high-grade protein source. The main dish of the Caucasian peoples is still lobio — a bean soup, coupled with corn porridge — polenta. Like them, many other traditional peoples existed comfortably for centuries in conditions of «natural vegetarianism» without torturing themselves with the issue of «a sufficient amount of protein intake.»
When 70-year-old George Bernard Shaw was once asked how he felt on a vegetarian diet, he said, «Excellent! I only bother the doctors, who always said that I would die without meat!” When 20 years later the same man asked Shaw about his present state of health, he exclaimed: «Fantastic! You know, all those doctors who were saying in one voice that I would die if I do not eat meat, are dead themselves, so no one else bothers me any longer!«
We should just accept the fact that the meat-eating doctors have always been and will always be against vegetarianism precisely because of their bias, even in spite of the existence of objective facts, and the reason for this is well explained by Doctor of Medical Sciences, State Prize Laureate, Professor Ivan Pavlovich Neumyvakin, who has worked more than 30 years in the system of medical help to astronauts: «Be careful not to fall into the hands of doctors, not because they are bad, but because they are prisoners of their own delusions. Someone was beneficial to create a system in which the fewer patients, the lower is the salary of doctors and the less working positions are for them. Unfortunately, the medicine does not need healthy people, it needs as many patients as possible. The patient – is the provision of work for a vast health care industry, medical and pharmaceutical industry, which means for the market, who lives at the expense of patients. «
RANS Academician Alexander Orekhov continues:
«… So, no matter how cynical it sounds, medicine and doctors interested in making people sick, otherwise they will not work. The idea is that the main direction of health care should be the prevention of diseases and reduction of sickness rate. In fact, our whole medical system is built on the principle «the worse for the patient, the better for the doctor.» When I wanted to hold a series of preventive measures one officer said: «Your health programs are in conflict with the interests of the health care system. After all, if the sickness rates decrease, then workplaces decrease and the funding reduces.«
It should be recognized that the presence of meat, tobacco and alcohol industry allows states to maintain an acceptable level of morbidity and mortality in the country, as in the present situation there is no government in the world who would be interested in the fact that pensioners lived to 100 or 150 years.
It is an agrarian economy who is interested in the high life expectancy, but not an industrial one.
All this should be borne in mind in order to understand why the official medicine, even contrary to the objective facts, still insists on eating meat products. However, American scientists Davis Rubin and Dr. Walter Willett, just like thousands of their colleagues around the world, all in one voice say that «the optimal amount of meat required for the person is zero!» Not only adults but also children as well as pregnant women may, without any damage to health, follow a vegetarian diet. A study of Dr. Mervyn Hardinge and Frederick Stern from Harvard University have shown that even the most strict vegetarian diet can provide the high needs of children and pregnant women in protein and essential amino acids.
Doctor Stanley Davidson in his book «Human nutrition and dietetics» wrote: «It is proved that the consumption of vegetable protein in correct proportions can replace animal protein with success in the diet of the child.»
The magazine «The Lancet» — the most authoritative British medical publication — refutes the earlier existed view about superiority of animal protein over vegetable one: “Formerly the vegetable proteins have been considered to be less valuable,» second-rate” in relation to animal protein. Today, this division in general proved to be untenable”.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that the protein, obtained with the right combination of sources of vegetable protein, provides indicators of growth and development of the child’s body in no way inferior to similar indicators in children receiving animal protein from milk and other animal products. Children can grow, develop and differ excellent health, even without drinking milk provided that their diet contains an optimum combination of necessary vegetable proteins. «
Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA) reports that the IQ of young vegetarians is on 17 points above average, and their growth is higher. If from the early years the child eats vegetarian food, then his/her puberty comes a little later than average (considering acceleration), but it’s for the better.
The fact is that when puberty begins too early, it often leads to cancer. In particular at girls who do not eat meat, the risk of breast cancer is 4 times lower. Doctors often have to admit the sad fact: already at preschool age a child may get atherosclerotic deposits on the arteries. But not at children-vegetarians. At people who eat vegetarian food form their birth, the likelihood of cardiovascular disease is reduced by 10 times!
It is difficult to find a child who has not suffered colds, ear infections, stomach aches. Once they start their baby nursery or pre-school group it all begins … But it could be much less troubles. For this, you just have to stop giving your child meat, which poison his young body with toxins!
The famous American naturopath doctor Herbert Shelton says the following about it: «Of course, neither meat, nor meat broth or eggs should be given to a child until he is 7-8 years old. Before this age he has no power to neutralize the toxins.«
In the international bestseller, a guide for young parents “Baby and Child care”, Dr. Benjamin Spock appeals to all parents with request, even if they are not vegetarians, do not give meat to their children, at least until they are 5-7 years old. Children-vegetarians are not only better developed intellectually and physically, but also much less prone to stress.
Many of my friends are vegetarians from birth, and neither they themselves nor their children ever had any problem with haemoglobin, because they regularly give their children buckwheat and lentils, where there are at times more of easily digestible iron than in meat.
After all, billions of people for thousands of years nurtured their children on only one milk-vegetable diet and those children were graceful and with excellent health. Vegetarians always give birth to a very healthy and strong children. Physicians constantly celebrate their good and fast development. Meat has never been necessary to either children or adults — unlike cow’s milk. As they say “Children, drink milk and be healthy!”
This article is based on several chapters of the book of Alexander Usanin “A pass to the third millennium” that we would strongly recommend you to read.
Author’s website usanin.com