The Protein Myth
We all tend to throw around the word protein a lot when speaking of nutrition. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the general perception of protein every since its discovery in 1838, specifically animal protein, is that it is the end-all, be-all for nutrition and building muscle. I’ll further assert that animal protein is widely considered to be not only the best source of protein, but the only real source.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Protein (nitrogenous built structures) is actually the wrong conversation. It’s really not about the protein. It’s about the amino acids or nitrogenous compounds required to build the tissues and muscles. The body can only assimilate simple amino acids – those found in fruit and vegetables, unlike in animal flesh.
Animal flesh is an inefficient, secondhand way to get the simple amino acids the human body requires. The metabolic process necessary to break down complex, already “built” animal protein into simple amino acids or the smaller nitrogenous compounds requires additional chemical processing in the body. This additional processing robs the body of energy and the acidic by-products from it begin building up in the tissues and joints, causing inflammation (heat) and go on to lead to stiffness, gout, arthritis, etc.
Plant proteins on the other hand, are simple amino acid structures that the body can use without an over expenditure of energy. Their metabolic process is also alkaline and doesn’t produce toxic substances for the kidneys and lymphatic system to dispose of. This allows for the direct utilization of the amino acids for the building of our own structure or proteins – i.e. muscles and connective tissue.
There are many herbivore animals that do not consume animal protein, yet “miraculously” seem to build muscle perfectly fine – clear evidence that it isn’t necessary to kill and consume the meat of another animal to grow strong and healthy. However, fitness experts and medical doctors seem to ignore the following examples of herbivores in nature when encouraging the consumption of animal protein:
Furthermore, there have been many studies that show the benefit of a meatless diet on blood pressure and heart disease. Animal proteins, such as meats and dairy are very mucus forming – a natural immune response to ingested toxins. You may have experienced mucus at the back of your throat almost immediately upon eating a heavy protein meal or dairy. That’s because the body creates mucus to protect its organs from the toxicity of these foods. This mucus is processed by the lymphatic system, which can easily become congested with the continual mucus response and cholesterol production (the body’s natural antacid) required to neutralize the acids.
In short, the amino acids from fruits and vegetables are much more efficient to assimilate and beneficial to the alkalinity of the human body than animal protein. Not only will they provide the protein you need, but they will also help detoxify and heal any damage caused by the consumption of a high animal protein diet.