Protein.

28 06 2009

Humans are taught to eat a large amount of protein and to obtain this protein from animal products such as meat and dairy products. Vegetarians worry about lack of protein and substitute meat with tofu, cheese, beans and other meat substitutes.

The person that wants to follow a raw food diet and eat completely naturally will choose nuts and seeds to supply their protein needs.

How Much Protein is Enough?

The idea that a person needs to search for hard-to-find protein sources is a myth! In fact, as long as you eat enough calories to meet your body’s needs for energy, you’ll probably never experience anything close to a protein deficiency.

Think about this: when a newborn baby is growing rapidly, their nutrition requirements are higher than any other time in their lives. This is because the baby’s little body is growing so rapidly. And, nature clearly intended for humans to be able to provide breast milk for their infants. This should give us a clue to the proper amount of protein required to remain healthy. Breast milk contains a meager 6% protein! Interesting and surprising, isn’t it?

This would indicate that less than 6% protein is optimal during other life phases. So, let’s look at the protein content in various raw food choices we have available.

Protein Content of Fruits

Banana:
Papaya:
Peach:
Avocado:
Orange:
Watermelon:

4%
7%
7%
5%
9%
7%

Average protein content of fruit: 5%

Protein Content of Vegetables

Tomatoes:
Cucumber:
Lettuce:
Celery:

17%
21%
59%
25%

Average protein content of vegetables: 20%

Protein Content of Nuts & Seeds

Almonds:
Sesame Paste (tahini):
Sunflower seeds:
Pumpkin seeds:

15%
12%
15%
17%

Average protein content of nuts and seeds: 15%

– Average protein content of a low-fat raw food diet: 7-8%
– Average protein content of human milk: 6%

In fact, some cultures that survive on root-based diets actually obtain less than 5% of their calories from protein, yet remain in better health and live longer than the average American.

As long as you eat enough to meet your caloric needs and you eat a good variety of foods, there is absolutely no need to fear any protein deficiency. A raw-food diet of fruits and vegetables, even if it doesn’t include a lot of nuts and seeds, provides about 7-10% of protein a day.

Excess protein is actually not healthy, just like excess fat.

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