“Where do you get protein?” and other favorite questions of meat-eaters to a vegetarian

Why is protein needed?

Protein (protein) is an important component of our body: it is a key source of the formation of human body tissues. Part of the necessary element is produced in our body without intervention, however, for the stable operation of all systems, its supply should be regularly replenished with food.  


Everyone knows that the cellular system is regularly updated – old cells are replaced by new ones, due to which the structure of the human body changes. Each of these cells consists of protein, so the deficiency of this element in the body leads to negative consequences. This can be explained simply: if at the moment when a new cell is formed, there is not enough protein in the body, then the development process will stop. But its predecessors have already completed their cycle! It turns out that an organ in which dead particles are not replaced by new ones in time will suffer.


Most of the hormones that affect a person’s well-being, performance and reproductive function are composed of protein. It is logical that the lack of the required amount of this element will lead to hormonal failure and other problems.

transport and respiratory

The hemoglobin protein is responsible for the function of respiration: it helps the oxygen entering the body to start the oxidation of tissues, and then returns it to the outside in the form of carbon dioxide. These processes replenish vital energy, therefore, if they are not “turned on” in time, anemia develops in the body. It also leads to a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is involved in the proper absorption of protein ingested with food.


All components of the musculoskeletal system also consist of protein.


The element helps the work of all human senses, including thinking, vision, perception of colors and smells, and others.


Thanks to the protein, antibodies are produced in the body, toxins are eliminated, and foci of infections and viruses are destroyed.

What is the benefit of vitamin B12?

B12 (cobalamin) has a cumulative property: it is synthesized inside the body with the help of microflora, and then remains in the human kidneys and liver. At the same time, the vitamin is not absorbed in the intestines, which means that its amount must be replenished from the outside. The element is of extreme importance at a young age, since it participates in the correct formation of all systems, stabilizes the nervous state, prevents anemia, and promotes energy production. It is also necessary for all adults to consume the vitamin with food, since none of the most important internal processes can do without it, for example:


· reproduction

work of the nervous system

Formation and support of immunity

normalized pressure

and much more.

1. Atrophic gastritis

2. Parasitic invasion

3. Gut dysbiosis

4. Diseases of the small intestine

5. Taking anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, ranitidine.

6. Insufficient intake of vitamin from food

7. Alcoholism

8. Cancer process

9. Hereditary diseases

Doctors determine the standard rate of cobalamin obtained from food – from 2 to 5 micrograms per day. Both meat eaters and vegetarians need to monitor their B12 levels in the blood: the norm is considered to be from 125 to 8000 pg / ml. Contrary to myths, a large amount of cobalamin is contained not only in animals, but also in plant products – soy, kelp, green onions, etc.

What food should you eat?

Anna Zimenskaya, gastroenterologist, phytotherapist:

Many plant foods are rich in protein. The leader in protein content and the balance of essential amino acids are soybeans, which can be consumed both sprouted raw and fermented (in the form of miso, tempeh, natto) and cooked thermally. They have a lot of protein – about 30-34 grams per 100 g of product. Other legumes also help to saturate the body with this element, for example, lentils (24 g), mung bean (23 g), chickpeas (19 g). Flax protein is close in its composition to the ideal protein and contains 19-20 g of protein per 100 g of seeds. In addition to high-quality protein, flax also contains a high concentration of omega-3 – unsaturated fatty acids that protect blood vessels and prevent the development of cancer. A sufficient amount of protein is found in pumpkin seeds (24 g), chia seeds (20 g), buckwheat (9 g). For comparison, protein in beef is only 20 to 34 g, in sausages – 9-12 g, in cottage cheese – no more than 18 g.

It is very useful for vegetarians to regularly consume flax porridge or jelly, legumes two to five times a week – both raw sprouted and stewed with vegetables. Bean monodishes are not suitable for people who have problems with the gastrointestinal tract. But if you add them in small quantities to vegetables or buckwheat, they will be useful.

Vitamin B12 is no less important for humans. Its deficiency can be suspected by changes in general well-being: weakness is felt, memory worsens, thinking slows down, tremors of the hands appear and sensitivity is disturbed, appetite decreases sharply, glossitis may disturb. To clarify the situation, the level of the vitamin in the blood, homocysteine, is checked.

In nature, B12 is synthesized exclusively by microorganisms in the form of natural forms: adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin. In the human body, it is formed in sufficient quantities by intestinal microflora. From the point of view of modern science, the vitamin cannot be transported through the intestinal barrier in the lower gastrointestinal tract, but must be absorbed in the small intestine. But perhaps we still do not know much about the hidden reserves of the body. In practice, there are vegetarians with an experience of several years to several decades who do not experience symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. And in some people, on the contrary, it develops already at 3-6 months of refusing meat. By the way, often a lack of B12 is also observed in meat eaters!

An alternative to animal sources of the vitamin – sea fish and other seafood, eggs – can be drugs and dietary supplements with vitamin B12. But it is better to use complex products containing the entire spectrum of B vitamins.

I am not a supporter of regular tests, because I believe that the main health prevention is directly a healthy lifestyle, physical education, hardening, work with your mind. Therefore, if there is no violation of well-being, then it is better to pay more attention to your development. In the presence of health problems, the appearance of symptoms of diseases, of course, it is necessary to be examined by a doctor. In other situations, the usual general blood test every 6-12 months will be very informative.

Most vegetarians who make a drastic change in diet and stop eating meat don’t experience any problems. On the contrary, their headaches go away, endurance increases, and overall well-being improves. At the same time, 10-20% of people with a sharp change in nutrition may still have deficiency symptoms in the form of anemia, brittle hair and nails. In such a situation, it is advisable to moderate the ardor and begin changes gradually, observing fasts, conducting antiparasitic programs and measures for the general cleansing of the body.




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