Why We MUST Have Abundant COMPLETE Proteins

A protein is a very, very long and complex chain of components - a collection of many smaller amino acids - the 20 or so building blocks of our proteins and some other readily available elements. Together they comprise the many varied types of COMPLETE proteins we MUST be able to create automatically, EVERY SECOND, to maintain health and continuous healing.

A simple example of this need for essential amino acids is best described by Dr. Joe Dispenza at: 'Short Story Long #161 - Becoming Supernatural' at 10:15 and then at 15:40.

Many people are turning away from a meat / fish / poultry / diary based diet because of considerations for the environment and animals’ welfare. Some New Year’s resolutions, some weight loss concepts,some budget concerns, some detox diets and many health claims - true or false - elevate and celebrate vegetarianism and  veganism as the only way to eat right and responsibly.
Some folks expound on how meat / poultry / fish causes cancer and reduces our ability of returning to optimum health. Some claims have some validity, in my opinion, and some make the Ridiculous List. 
The question is always - where’s the practical and proven biological science that examines our body's mechanisms at the cellular level - - not where’s the emotional, politically correct opinion AND ALWAYS follow the money for authenticity (including scientists)!
There is a wide range of science and research that guides us to how much a sedentary versus a physically active person needs. How much more essential protein does someone healing from cancer need? What is your metabolic type? Do you need to support the sympathetic or the parasympathetic nervous system or are you a balanced type of person living a peaceful life with organic foods and clean air, no worries and no healing requirements? The individual answers vary widely - and it's essential to know your NEEDS. It's obviously not about being politically correct (that's not a nutritional or healing protocol) ... it's an equal opportunity conundrum ... NO ONE is excluded from this!
That's why one person thrives on an Atkins, carnivore, paleo or ketogenic diet and another on a well-thought-out vegetarian diet (with a few supplements). 

Even though I don't care for the 'eat for your blood type' diets, we DO know that different bodies, even within the same families, can have VERY different needs.

Once on a protein restricted diet, more focussed attention and creativity needs to be paid to obtaining the basic necessary and sufficient ESSENTIAL amino acids to take care of even just the minimal basics. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from our food or special IVs and/or through the breakdown of bodily tissues in an emergency, so our bodies can still grab what it needs. . The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. The more restrictive our diet, the more important the care, knowledge and attention to each meal and knowing which of the amino acids needs including to make all-round NECESSARY proteins.

Where confusion sets in, is when one or several amino acid(s) are deemed to be in a food and then this food is incorrectly deemed to be a protein. Yikes! More often then not this fundamental error occurs in vegan and vegetarian on-line conversations, product promotions, TV ads, PC dogma, nutrition school promotions and environmental politics.
One or several amino acids together is obviously NOT a protein... as it takes 9 essential amino acids.
It's a simple science to measure each amino acid that is resident in each and every food. There is no need for disagreement - science has given us pretty exact details we can trust. There is no need therefore to "trust" claims... much better to "check-out" claims in regards to food content. 

So! the amino acid content of food should not be a politically correct ballpark opinion. It is truly a measurable factoid - useable - so we can plan our health, healing, shopping and meals. If we can put people on the moon, then we can find the amount of exact amino acid content in our meals or in individual items such as broccoli or lettuce or spinach. 
So buyer beware as to how fanatically seeming gurus (that own vegan selling websites, promote vegan recipe books and/or run vegan health retreats and who have many $'s and warehouses full of product at stake) explain away, lack of exact details while vegan 'uber' claims are made. 

Some foods contain A FEW amino acids that are constituent parts of what will become a complete protein molecule if the OTHER essential amino acids - all of them, can also be present in another food or is already in abundant supply in our bodies, waiting to be paired up.
Each complete protein is unique, made of a select number of our 20 amino acids, strung together in a uniquely made-to-measure and on-the-moment biologically specific useful manner. 

Proteins are involved in every aspect of our body's functioning. Proteins are an important component of every cell in our bodies. Our body uses protein to build and repair tissues - including hair, nails, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. We use protein as an integral part of making the miraculous enzymes, hormones, and numerous other body chemicals. Protein has been shown to mitigate the damaging side effects of prescription drugs (especially through liver detoxification with appropriate enzymes) and improve overall health tissue repair.

Here is just one organ's need to have an unabated supply of complete proteins to make health-saving enzymes - the liver and it's essential detoxing, which is made easier by lots of B vitamins, C, E. Folic acid. Glutathione, flavonoids, phospholipids, and CYP450 (see below)

The phases of metabolic detoxification are performed by three sets of enzymes (made from proteins), called the Phase I (functionalization) enzymes, Phase II (conjugation) enzymes: the P450s are an inter-related group of enzymes that are found in numerous tissues throughout our bodies.
All enzymes are made in the pancreas. Many do their wondrous work in the liver. The P450s are important for the detoxification of many foreign substances, including environmental toxicants and medications. The P450s are integral and important in controlling the levels of different molecules produced in the body such as the synthesis and breakdown of our hormones, natural steroids, and multiple other molecular structures. A small set of these enzymes are involved in the degradation of the chemicals that we consume including medications. These enzymes have different substrates, and each is determined by it’s specific function / activity -  and their names are ‘in code’: for example Cyp1A2, Cyp2A6, Cyp2C9, Cyp2C19, Cyp2D6, Cyp2E1, and Cyp3A4/5. These metabolize polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are found in cigarette smoke, many industrial pollutants, carcinogens, as well as progesterone, serotonin and neurosteroids, medications (such as NSAIDs, warfarin, diazepam, omeprazole, sertraline, antidepressants, SSRIs, opioids andantipsychotics, and tamoxifen, to name a few - however all medications need detoxification).  

Not only do proteins build and re-build muscle tissue (including veins, arteries, tubules), but they also help build some brain connective tissue, skin cells, help in the repair of our gut tissue and are an important part of our heart tissue functioning. Almost everything in our body is made from proteins and their constituent amino acids!

An example had me gobsmacked recently while watching CNN - I'm naive enough to think they fact-check all but the politicians on that TV channel... However, a very handsome, tanned and toned fireman and his father were interviewed because they were the inspiration to President Clinton's switch to a vegan diet and were flogging their best-seller (My Beef with Meat)... and high-end health retreats in Arizona... and they offered up testimonials, case studies and crazy claims to help them do this. From fellow firemen (making feel-good claims - not science facts, but subjective benefits) to little old ladies who lost their wrinkles....

Of course we feel good, initially, while cleaning up one's diet, while adding lots of minerals and roughage from the increased eating of vegetables and fruits and adding the gentle scrubbing effect of one's intestines with more fiber)!!! We all agree that vegetables - well chosen - raw and gently cooked - are awesome for our health. And we can coast, for a little while, with limited, incomlete or no proteins, especially when we are well.
But the claims made in the above book interview..!!! OMG!!! Apparently vegetables such as spinach have 50% protein - don't you know! This is the worst torquing of the truth I had ever heard! But book sales are good. Mission Accomplished. And CNN looks good, too!

Spinach, btw, is an awesome vegetable - full of significant nutrients - a good choice for everyone. It's also a good vegetable to explain my pro-vegan "check what you're told" point of view.
The protein claimed to be in spinach is as actually a tiny amount. Of all the vegetables for us to purchase it DOES have the best cross-section of the nine essential amino acids - but a few of these are in VERRRRY tiny proportions - ie. contains all 9 essential amino acids!!! GREAT!!! (rather than just a few essentials aminos as with most other vegetables) but some in mere snippets. In one cup of spinach one finds a lot of water, minerals, vitamins and fiber, and a few calories. And .1 grams of fat, 1.1 grams of carbs and .9 grams of all the amino acids combined.
Some of these essential aminos are at 50% or less of some of the other aminos in the spinach. So in one cup of raw packed spinach one has 50% of .9 grams of proper complete protein. (Raw spinach also contrains oxalic acid and blocks certain minerals from absorption - better when subtly cooked.)
For an average sedentary person with a modest protein requirement, only 30 cups of this vegetable would be required per day to meet very minimal basic needs. For a tall, muscular and busy fireman it would be double! (an average of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is considered standard government issue and personally I consider 1/2 of this sufficient)

For someone who needs to heal or is a growing baby through to toddler through to teenager, more is required, too. These complete proteins serve as precursors for many biologically active molecules, such as neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine, serotonin, GABA, epinephrine), local mediators (such as the allergy mediator histamine), regulators of gene expression and cellular signalling, the oxygen-binding molecule ‘heme‘, DNA bases called purines and physiological processes that are related to growth, maintenance, reproduction and immunity and for ALL of our hundreds of enzymes.
Our body's magic can re-configure ALL twenty amino acids into any kind of required protein - as long as the merely NINE essential amino acids are present to work with too. Eating non-essential amino acids is great - BUT THOSE ESSENTIAL ones MUST be present in our food choices or deficiencies start to form.. 

Which vegetables MUST I include daily to get my needs for basics met?
I find this website very handy: http://nutritiondata.self.com. It shows the protein content of vegetables broken down into the specific amino acids and other components such as minerals and then what a cup of that vegetable / fruit / nut / meat / lentil actually contains. And the site pretty well has analysed every food known to man. Spinach is at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2626/2

I love the comparisons of cows and giraffes (both herbivores). This leaves me wondering about the lions and the tigers who wouldn’t be caught dead with leafy greens in their jaws. Neither would the hyena, nipping at the heals of the vegetarian, foraging zebra. It seems mother nature creates all varieties of digestive systems - so beware of food gurus who pick the examples that suit their persuasive needs! A cow can't eat like a lion and a hyena can't eat like a giraffe and us humans are at least creative enough to be able to pick and choose to satisfy our NEEDS as well as our BELIEFS.

General Requirements for Everyone
The minimum amount of protein required for an average adult (neither a full-out construction worker nor bedridden person) who is moderately active is 1/3 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day - a teensy amount - a very minimal amount that most science agrees on. We can coast a bit on reserves, but not for long. A toddler needs twice as much and a new born babe even more. So a 150 pound person needs 50 grams of protein per average day. 

A can of tuna contains about 30 grams of protein, just to give an example. An egg contain about 8 grams of protein. A slice of average commercial bread may contain 2 grams of protein. A cup of raw spinach has less than one gram - and by that we are calling a protein as having the full range of all ESSENTIAL amino acids. 
Quinoa has 9 grams per cup of cooked quinoa which contains all the essential amino acids in the right amounts and a lot of starch .

Most animal sources (meat, dairy, eggs, seafood, etc.) provide what's called these "complete proteins" all together and in abundance. 
Vegetable sources, except for a few exceptions such as the spinach and quinoa mentioned above, miss some or almost all of the essential amino acids or actually all of them! For example, rice, lentils, corn and beans are all high in some of the essential ones but not all of the same ones. So you would have to include enormous amounts of these in your diet each and every day - in a mix and match fashion, so as to maintain a complete protein noutishing supply coming in. You don't want any essential ones to be in deficit. 

These are the essential amino acids that together make up a complete protein: tryptophan, lysine, methionine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, phenylalanine, histidine.
The following foods contain all of the above essential amino acids: meat and poultry, fish and shell fish, dairy, eggs, dried spirulina, seaweed and most nuts.
There are tiny amounts of all of all of these in oats, seeds, lentils, grains (such as wheat and quinoa) and most beans.
There is a smidgen (1% to 5%) in avocado, real chocolate/cacao, coconut meat, potatoes, spinach, pineapple, bananas and dates.
Isoleucine, leucine, and valine have a number of duties and are also responsible for making muscles.
Tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan are, amongst other things, rudimentary for the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.
Lysine plays many roles including an important part in absorbing and conserving calcium and in the formation of collagen.

Good news:
Spirulina and chlorella (broken cell) have all the essential amino acids and 1 cup can give you 65 grams of complete protein. This would be a staple in my diet if I were a raw vegan - daily - and I wouldn’t skimp on quality!
There are a lot of green drinks on the market (check the labels for soy and GMO).
Nuts are a good source of all-round essential amino acids. They can sustain you for a while on a hyper-restricted diet!

So a raw meal of broccoli (1 cup offers 2 grams of some amino acids), cauliflower (1 cup offers 2 grams of some other amino acids), spinach (1 cup offers .9 grams of most amino acids but one), sprouted lentils (1 cup offers 7 gms but is missing tryptophan), sprouted beans (1/2 cup offers 3.5 grams), a handful of Brazil nuts (8 grams and some lysine missing) and 2 Tbsp of sesame paste made into a dipping sauce with water, salt, lemon and garlic would be almost 6 gms, would be a somewhat complete meal. 
Do add healthy nuts, hemp, brown rice, chia, or hemp protein to shakes, smoothies, or even nut-flour pancakes to make sure you are getting an extra dose of slow-burn protein.

There’s a well promoted, restricted-diet fad at the moment pushed by a vegan guru and his young family with a mega vegan product business in California and a foreign vegan retreat with a total focus on becoming skinny that claims: “if you keep at least 80 percent of your calories coming from mostly complex raw carbohydrates - 10 percent from protein - and no more than 10 percent from fat, you'll pretty much automatically end up eating only whole raw fruits, vegetables and a very limited quantity of fats and fulfill the BS requirement for "fighting cancer”, with a heavy dose of hybris. This fellow has many devoted followers in various states of disrepair and misery.
When 10% of your calories come from fats and 80% of your calories from complex carbs, that would mean that you would have to eat a very peculiar diet that has nothng to do with cancer; leaves the hormones gasping for more fats and leaves one with a very compromised repair ability, with no enzymes to speak of and discombobulated hormones... For example, phospholipids are present in almost all foods, yet it would take an immense amount of vegan eating to get to take in enough to cater to our phospholipid needs as nature designed and intended our intricate bodies to work. Egg and dairy products are especially good sources. 

Here are a few people whose metabolism and physical make-up were compromised with prolonged vegan diets: 
'My vegan diet brought on early menopause': She's a poster girl for the meat-free revolution. But in a shocking confession, this cookery author and social media guru admits it ruined her health (so she's eating burgers!)


Dana Shultz, Minimalist Baker, writes a vegan recipe blog and was inundated with criticism when she announced she was going back to animal products after suffering digestive issues and hair loss - https://minimalistbaker.com.

Jordan Younger, 'The Blonde Vegan', https://www.thebalancedblonde.com, received virulent attacks on social media, including death threats, after revealing her eating disorder and her decision to give up veganism. 

Another vegan vlogger, the ‘vegan prince’, Youtuber and athlete Tim Shieff, 31, reports he’s abandoned his plant-based diet because it was making him ill and interfering with his orgasms. ‘I had some joint issues, chronic fatigue, and mild depression,’ he said. ‘My whole body felt like it was shutting down.’

So when we decide to eat according to vegan guidelines, we need to plan, calculate and be creative in the kitchen! AND LISTEN TO OUR BODIES!

Bon Appétit!

Merrie Bakker,

Bon Appétit!

Merrie Bakker,

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or text me.
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