I’ve heard that in order to reap the benefits of complementary proteins, I need to eat them at the same meal. Is this true?
No, it used to be believed that for two incomplete plant proteins to complement each other and give the body all the essential amino acids, they had to be eaten at the same meal. Being a vegetarian seemed complicated, even risky. Now we know that this is not only nutritionally incorrect, it is an insult to the wisdom of the body. When you eat a protein, your body disassembles it into amino acids and then reassembles these amino acids into the types of proteins needed by different cells. New studies show that incomplete proteins (plant proteins) eaten as much as 24 hours apart, combine in the body to provide all the essential amino acids. So, you could eat grains at breakfast and legumes at dinner, and the body will still be able to mix them all together and make what it needs. As long as you eat a variety of protein foods from a variety of sources, you don’t have to constantly worry whether they are “complete” or “incomplete” proteins. Your body will do the thinking for you.