Essential amino acids. Essential information

Essential amino acids or indispensable amino acids are organic substances that cannot be synthesized by the human body independently, they must come to us together with food or supplements. They take an active part in all metabolic processes, so without them, the normal functioning of our body is impossible. In addition, amino acids are the main building material for all tissues, including muscle.

All amino acids (including essential ones) are a structural component of proteins, so their main sources are high-protein products. 

A list indispensable amino acids

There are different opinions about essential amino acids. Some sources say that there are eight of them, others insist that there are nine. Why are there such disagreements and how many of them are there really?

The fact is that there are only eight of them, and the ninth amino acid – histidine — is indispensable only for the child’s body, and in adults it is perfectly synthesized independently.

Arginine is also indispensable for children, but synthesized in the adult body.

Therefore, the answer to the question “how many essential amino acids are there for an adult?” is obvious: there are eight of them.

So, there are 8 essential amino acids that the body cannot synthesize itself:

valin;
isoleucine;
leucine;
lysine;
methionine;
threonine;
tryptophan;
phenylalanine.

Where are the essential amino acids contained

The myth of the presence of indispensable amino acids only in animal food is precisely a myth actively promoted by food corporations and owners of the meat processing industry.

On the Internet, you can find enough information about which plant products contain all eight amino acids.

First of all, legumes are rich in essential amino acids — peas, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, etc. However, peanuts are extremely undesirable for consumption. In order to protect the plant and fruits from being eaten by pests during cultivation, peanuts are crossed with petunia genes, and such peanuts are extremely harmful to the liver. However, even if the peanuts are not modified, under the wrong storage conditions, a very dangerous mold forms on it, which leads to cancer. Peanuts also acidify our body, which is extremely harmful.

Nuts, seeds and cereals are rich in amino acids. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin and sesame seeds will be especially useful. And among the cereals — oats and unpolished rice. Among nuts, almonds, cashews and walnuts contain the most amino acids.

Thus, a complete list of indispensable amino acids can be obtained even if all animal products are excluded from the diet.

Spinach. Why so healthy?

Spinach is a plant, which is widely used in cooking and has a lot of benefits for the health of the body.

Why it is so popular today? Let’s see.

Nutritional profile of spinach

  • carbohydrates-3.53 g;
  • fats — 0.4 g;
  • proteins — 2.9 g.

There are only 22 Kcal per 100 grams of the product.

Leaves are saturated with useful dietary fibers.

Vitamins and minerals:

beta-carotene;
choline;
vitamins A, E, K, C, B, PP;
calcium;
potassium;
magnesium;
sodium;
iron;
zinc;
copper;
iodine; selenium;
manganese.

This product contains up to 92 % water.
A small amount contains starch-0.1%.

Health benefits of spinach

    1. Cleansing and stabilization of intestinal peristalsis.
    2. Saturation of the body with vitamin C and strengthening of the immune system.
    3. Increased hemoglobin in the blood.
    4. Improving vision and promoting eye health.
    5. Stabilization of blood pressure due to pronounced hypotensive ability.
    6. Elimination of insomnia, general strengthening of the nervous system.
    7. Alignment of the glycemic profile, correction of carbohydrate metabolism.
    8. Improved metabolism.
    9. Saturation of the body with iodine, stabilization of the thyroid gland function.
    10.  A number of vitamins (E, A, K, B) help to preserve the youth and elasticity of the skin, the strength of the joints. With the use of this product in food, the heart muscle and blood vessels are strengthened, the risk of developing varicose veins and diseases of the cardiovascular system is reduced. This product helps to maintain a healthy complexion, strengthens and makes beautiful hair and nails.
    11. This plant normalizes the work of the endocrine glands. This is important for male potency. It is often recommended to include spinach in food for the prevention and treatment of male infertility, as well as to reduce the risks of developing prostate diseases. Regularly including spinach in their own diet, men strengthen the genitourinary system. With this option, a disorder of sexual function in the male body occurs less often.
    12. Spinach is also good for the male nervous system. A diet enriched with the vitamin group contained in spinach protects against stress. The body is less susceptible to the development of classical diseases of the nervous system, brain activity and working capacity improve. Spinach is useful in the sports menu as a good source of protein.

Contraindications

Any chronic diseases in which compliance with a special diet is recommended can be considered a contraindication for eating spinach. Consultation with a specialist is required!

How to cook spinach

Spinach is added to salads, cocktails and smoothies, it can be an excellent addition to sandwiches.

But, of course, the best option for using spinach is without heat treatment.

It goes well with other vegetables and herbs. You can add a drop of lime or lemon juice, a little olive oil to it.

 

How to choose and store

The leaves are green, without color changes.  The stems should be fresh, without changes in color. The smell of spinach is pleasant, fresh. This is how it should be. If an unpleasant or chemical aroma is detected, you should not choose such a product for your kitchen. It is best to buy spinach in special organic packages or in farm shops.

Spinach should be stored in the cold (from 0 to 5 degrees). You can prepare leaves for the future in the freezer. But it should be understood that after defrosting, the taste and texture qualities of the product are lost.

A healthy snack before bed – cottage cheese

A healthy snack is the best way to satisfy evening hunger and provide the body with the necessary elements that will help the body to restore strength better during the night. Is it possible to eat cottage cheese before going to bed?
This late snack has its own benefits that you need to know about.

A healthy snack before going to bed is a good habit, but it is easy to spoil it. A piece of cheese and a handful of nuts is a healthy and nutritious snack, a whole package of cheese crackers is not. Eating before going to bed can serve several purposes, both good and not so good. Some people find it easier to fall asleep on a full stomach. But the key to a successful late healthy snack is to make it simple and clean.

The protein is your friend

A diet with sufficient protein content is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and strong. As you know, protein consists of amino acids, which are usually called the building blocks of our body — they can be combined, broken down and recombined in an almost infinite variety of configurations, depending on how your body needs to use them.

Amino acids are used not only for building muscle mass, but also for the growth of bones, cartilage, hair, nails and skin. Protein is used to create enzymes that digest food, carry oxygen through the bloodstream and help regulate hormones, as well as build and repair tissues.

Another advantage of protein, especially useful at night, is that it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. This means that you will feel full for longer than if you ended your day with a donut or chips.

Myths about late snacks

Snacking before bed have gained a bad reputation because some people believe that your body does not burn calories while sleeping. This is not true. Your metabolism may slow down a bit during sleep, but your body is still working on tissue repair, and your metabolic functions, such as breathing and blood circulation, are certainly still working.

Another popular is that everything you eat at a certain time of the day inevitably turns into fat. In fact, you gain weight if the total number of calories you consume exceeds the number of calories you burn. If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. Of course, the ratio of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in your diet also matters, but it is not so important what time of day you eat.

Someone thinks that it is good not to have a snack before going to bed, because the more you move after eating, the more calories you burn. But this is not quite true. Your subcutaneous fat is not lost and is not gained every hour. These changes occur over days, weeks, and even months. And this is the main difficulty in losing weight: success requires thinking for the long term, while too many people want quick results.

Why cottage cheese is a great choice

Choosing cottage cheese as a health snack before going to bed makes sense for a number of reasons: from protein and nutrients to creaminess and fresh taste. So, researchers from the University of Florida found that people who eat at least 30 grams of protein for 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime have a better metabolism, muscle quality and overall health than people who did not do it.

Moreover, the study participants who ate cottage cheese before going to bed received all these benefits, but did not gain weight. Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition used regular food, rather than just protein powders or other supplements, which makes it more relevant for real life.

In addition, cottage cheese practically does not require cooking, it is well stored in the refrigerator and is even sold in containers for one serving or with already added fruits. It is also relatively inexpensive, and you can choose the percentage of fat content that you like and fits better into your macros.

Cottage cheese is always easy

There are many different ways to enjoy cottage cheese, regardless of whether you prefer it cold or hot, salty or sweet. The easiest way is to take a spoon and just start eating. Add a little salt or pepper to emphasize its natural creamy taste. Any fruits and berries are well combined with cottage cheese. A little sweetness will give it honey and maple syrup. You can also add a little cinnamon to enhance the taste. 

Soy milk: benefit or harm?

Soy milk is a vegetable milk – an analogue of animal milk. By the very name, it already becomes clear that soy milk is a liquid which is made from soy beans.

The exclusion of dairy products as a part of vegan diet significantly changes the nutrition system, since milk and its derivatives are present today in a huge number of food products that are familiar to us. 

However, such products as vegetable milk let people still eat same products they are used to.  It can be yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, smoothies and various dairy desserts. Such a variety allows you to exclude dairy products from the diet relatively painlessly for your taste habits.

Presumably, such milk appeared in East Asia. Soybeans are soaked  for several hours. Then the soaked beans are crushed to a puree, and after this puree is boiled intil ready.

Then it cools down, it is filtered and, in fact, the finished product is obtained-soy milk. This liquid is quite rich in protein — about three percent of the total weight, as well as various trace elements. In industrial production, the final product is additionally enriched with vitamins such as calcium and B12 to maximize the similarity of soy milk with cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value. 

Nutrients

potassium-118 mg;
phosphorus — 52 mg;
sodium — 51 mg;
magnesium — 25 mg;
calcium — 25 mg;
choline — 23 mg;
selenium — 4 mg;
iron — 0.64 mg;
manganese — 0.2 mg;
zinc — 0.12 mg;
copper — 0.12 mg.

Benefits

It contains about the same amount of protein as animal milk. In its natural form, it contains less calcium than cow’s milk, but often manufacturers artificially enrich soy milk with calcium.

Compared to cow’s milk, soy contains much less saturated fat and does not contain cholesterol, which makes this product a dietary product. Also, this milk is easier to digest, since it does not contain lactose. 

In addition, it contains a high percentage of vitamin E and lecithin, as well as isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens — substances that affect the metabolism and hormonal background.

Soy milk: harm

The problem of such vegetable milk  lies precisely in the fact that most of the soy is imported from China, where herbicide treatment is very popular. To avoid this problem, it is better to buy soy and soy milk, which are grown in environmentally friendly conditions and are best of all localy produced.

It is also worth noting that milk made of soybeans has other negative aspects. For example, it contains a high concentration of phytic acid. According to the results of scientists ‘ research, this prevents the assimilation of important trace elements: magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron, which actually does not allow these substances to be fully absorbed, which seem to be contained in the product itself.

Antioxidants. Benefits and sources

Antioxidants are known since the 1990s.

If you can’t handle a big spoonful of bright green guacamole with spicy Mexican vegan chili peppers, be careful — it can easily turn into an unattractive gray sediment if you leave it for too long or do not add enough lime juice. The color change is a natural reaction between fruit and air, a process called oxidation.

Oxidative stress

But not only fruits are aware of oxidation, it also happens in your body.

It is believed that “oxidative stress” plays a role in aging, leading to wrinkled skin and brown spots on the skin, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

It is paradoxical that oxygen — an element necessary for life-can have such a destructive effect on the body.

Free radicals

The culprits are unstable molecules called “active oxygen forms”, or free radicals.

They are produced naturally, just during breathing, movement and when your body turns food into energy. But free radicals are formed in much larger quantities due to alcohol consumption, cigarette smoke, environmental pollution, pesticides, ultraviolet radiation, stress, lack of sleep and fried food.

Their destructive behavior can lead to cell death or cause mutations in our DNA leading to cancer. They can also increase the likelihood of getting ” bad ” LDL cholesterol into the artery wall, which is bad.

Antioxidants – Vitamins A, C, E

However, there is an antidote. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals before they cause any harm, and there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of different substances that act as antioxidants in food, especially in plant foods.

The most famous are vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, as well as selenium, lycopene and polyphenols, but there are many more of them. Lemon juice and lime juice prevent oxidation, because they contain vitamin C.

We have known about antioxidants since the 1990s, when studies showed that people who consume small amounts of fruits and vegetables have a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis (when the arteries are clogged with fatty substances), certain types of cancer, vision loss and many other chronic diseases. Plant-based foods are by far the richest source, while meat, fish and dairy products contain few antioxidants.

Plant-based products and antioxidants

The study, published in the journal Nutrition Journal, studied the content of antioxidants in more than 3,100 food products: beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide — and found that “plant-based products saturate the human diet with significantly more antioxidants than non-plant-based products.”

Berries are an excellent source of such, especially black currants, strawberries, blackberries and cranberries. Fruits that do not turn brown when exposed to air, such as mango, kiwi and orange, contain more antioxidants than those that turn brown —apple, pear and banana. Olives are also a good source. Good vegetables include artichokes, cabbage, red and green chili peppers, red cabbage and beets.

Whole-grain bread, brown rice and whole-grain pasta contain much more antioxidants than their white processed equivalents.

Brazil nuts are an exceptional source of the antioxidant selenium. 

Black and green tea, grape juice contain a significant amount. Water does not contain antioxidants, and cow’s milk also contains almost zero.

Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are usually very rich in antioxidants, especially cloves, peppermint, allspice, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary and saffron. Experiment and be generous.

The antioxidant lycopene is a pigment that helps to give color to red and pink fruits and vegetables, and the cooking process actually increases its level. The best sources are tomatoes and tomato products: organic ketchup can contain three times more lycopene than non-organic. It is also found in pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava and papaya.

Vitamins A, C and E can be destroyed by prolonged storage or prolonged preparation. Although the cooking process can increase the antioxidant content of some foods, processed foods usually contain much less than fresh ones.

The key factor determining the risk of the disease is the entire diet, not individual elements, while plant food has a powerful protective effect. The high content of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables may be one of the reasons why this is so. So, if you are sick, stressed or tired — lean on broccoli and blueberries.

Herbs and spices are usually very rich in antioxidants.

The best way to get the right amount of antioxidants is to eat a lot of bright fruits and vegetables: sweet potatoes, carrots, red peppers, purple broccoli, red cabbage, asparagus, curly cabbage, berries and avocado.

And don’t forget about the lime juice when you cook guacamole!

Edema: measures to prevent it

Edema can be caused by too much salt and additional sodium in the body. That keeps the liquid outside the cells.

Sodium plays a key role in regulating water in cells, and also contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and muscle work. The body tries to maintain the ratio of sodium to water outside the cell walls, about the same as in seawater.

When using salt, the body retains water to maintain the desired ratio. So, 400 mg of sodium (the amount in 1 g of table salt) makes the body retain an additional 0.5 liters of water. We need at least 180 mg of sodium per day, and ideally 1500 mg. However, a modern person receives more than 3,400 mg.

Measures to prevent edema

One of the ways to reduce water retention is to increase potassium intake at the expense of vegetables and fruits. These foods contain nutrients that help prevent the leakage of fluid from the blood vessels into the tissue spaces. It is better to eat foods with a high content of potassium, and not take artificial supplements.

You can reduce or exclude unhealthy food from the diet: canned food, semi-finished products, fast food and other food that may contain hidden salt ingredients.

The problem with water retention can begin when a person goes on a low-calorie diet. As a rule, a low-calorie diet lacks protein, and protein is an important nutrient for preventing abnormal changes in body tissues.

Here are some tips that will help reduce edema in the body:

Reduce your sodium intake
Avoid processed foods
Drink 8-12 glasses of liquid a day (water, fruit juices, milk)
There are more citrus and green leafy vegetables
Follow the diet: eat at the same time and do not overeat
Regular movement is necessary. Cycling and walking help to activate the circulation of fluid in the lower extremities. Excess fluid is not excreted in those who make long flights, sit at a table for a long time or are in a wheelchair.

How to quickly remove excess fluid?

Doctors can prescribe diuretics-drugs that help the body get rid of water and sodium. When using diuretics, you need to be careful because of possible side effects: dizziness, dehydration, weakness. It should be remembered that edema is not a cause, but a consequence of various disorders. If the cause is not eliminated, it will lead to more serious problems. The complications caused by fluid retention vary depending on the severity and the underlying cause.

Some products have a diuretic effect. For example, adding lemon juice to water causes frequent urination and reduces water retention. Cranberry juice is another natural diuretic. You can drink one glass of cranberry juice a day to reduce water retention. Most foods high in vitamin C also have natural diuretic properties.

No matter how contradictory it may seem, but the use of a large amount of water reduces its retention in the body. Since water retention often occurs due to dehydration, providing the body with a large amount of water will allow the body not to store water in order to prevent it.

It is necessary to maintain a healthy lymphatic system. It circulates lymph throughout the body and collects bacteria, viruses and residues of cell waste products for subsequent disposal.

Proper nutrition and physical activity will help to avoid serious health problems and, as a result, fluid retention.

Be healthy!

Water retention in the body. List of foods

Water retention, or edema, is defined as an excessive accumulation of fluid in the circulatory system, tissues or cavities of the body. 

We consist of about 60-70% water. Water is contained in organs, muscles and even bones. But sometimes the body holds too much water, and then there is swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, face.

Water retention is often temporary and can be easily eliminated. However, this may be a sign of a serious illness. In particular, weight may increase, and no diets and exercises will help you lose extra pounds.

Why water retention happens in the body

Edema occurs when small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. Excess fluid accumulates and causes swelling of the surrounding tissues. There can be many reasons for edema: a dislocation, a bee sting or a skin infection. By the way, in the case of an infection, edema helps the body to heal, since more white blood cells fighting the infection get into the swollen area.

Other reasons that the fluid is retained in the body can be caused by a number of conditions and diseases. The most common reason is too much salt in the diet. The cause may be: diseases of the heart, kidneys, liver, side effects from certain medications, a malfunction of the lymphatic system. 

Other common causes:

A long stay standing on your feet.
Hot weather.
Burns, including sunburn.
Lack of protein or vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the diet.
Taking medications (hypotensive) for high blood pressure, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Chronic venous insufficiency: weakened vein valves on the legs cannot effectively return blood to the heart.

Water retention: symptoms

Fluid retention can be accompanied by symptoms that depend on the underlying disease or disorder. For example, clinical symptoms of water retention in the body associated with diseases of the cardiovascular system:

Chest pain or pressure
Fatigue
Inability to move for a long time
Shortness of breath

Other symptoms that may occur together with fluid retention:

Reduction of body hair, especially in areas of edema.
Discomfort or pain in the part of the body where the swelling occurs.
Reduced ability to move the part of the body affected by edema.
Changes in the condition of the skin in areas affected by edema: thickening, loss of elasticity, etc.
Rapid weight gain or weight fluctuations.
When pressed, the skin can hold the dent for several seconds.

There are more serious symptoms that may indicate a life-threatening condition:

Shortness of breath
Inability to urinate
Loss of consciousness

What foods retain water in the body: list

Edema is a serious health problem, so you need to understand which products retain water in the human body. The mechanism of water retention depends on the peculiarities of digestion of these products. For example, gas formation, bloating and increased acidity lead to water retention.

Pay attention to the list of products that lead to edema. They can be excluded from the diet or reduced in number:

Foods rich in sodium. Table salt is one of the main causes of water retention. How salt retains water in the body has been known for a long time, but it is not so easy to exclude the product from the diet. Salt is present in almost everything that we eat: in processed and ready-made products, bread, etc. Table salt contains about 40 % sodium, which the body dilutes with water, then the excess liquid is retained. Given this fact, you can remove excess fluid from the body by replacing salt with spices.

Carbonated drinks and drinks with a high acid content. In addition to soda, this list includes coffee, caffeinated drinks, fermented tea and some fruit juices.

Vegetables of the cruciferous family. White cabbage, broccoli, radish, horseradish also retain water in the body of men and women. This is due to the fact that they contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until it is fermented by bacteria in the intestine.

Apples. This product is an integral part of a healthy diet. However, the fruit contains fructose and sorbitol, which are difficult for some people to digest, which leads to puffiness.

Starch. Most products rich in starch (potatoes, corn, pasta, wheat, etc.), products made of refined wheat flour, as they are difficult to digest, emit gas, are rich in fats and can cause water retention.

Dairy products. In people with lactose intolerance, the body cannot digest dairy products, so they move to the colon, where bacteria try to break them down.

Legumes. These products are rich in proteins, but at the same time they contain such an amount of sugar and dietary fiber that it is not easy for the body to digest.

Spicy and fried dishes. The stomach takes much longer to break down fats and digest them properly. Spicy food stimulates the secretion of gastric juice and can cause an increase in acidity.

How alcohol causes water retention in the body

Alcohol is a toxin, and the body needs water to remove the poison. Therefore, on the one hand, the body itself retains water to help the liver cope with toxins, and on the other — alcohol disrupts the excretory function of the kidneys — and fluid accumulates in the tissues.

The situation can be worsened by the use of fried, salty and spicy food together with alcohol. How long alcohol retains water in the body depends on many factors: the strength of drinks, their quantity, the accompanying food and, of course, the state of health of the person who uses alcohol poison.

Protein for vegetarian. Main sources

Protein is a building material for our body so when you start your plant-based diet you face many questions. “How to replenish protein for a vegetarian? How to get the amount of amino acids necessary for our body? Are they contained in sufficient quantities in legumes? How to properly cook and consume legumes?” In this article you will find answers to these questions.

How to replenish protein for a vegetarian

About 20% of a person’s body weight is made up of proteins, and half of this percentage is accounted for by muscles.

The protein consists of twenty amino acids, nine of which the body is not able to synthesize independently. Protein is found in large quantities in meat, but for those who have switched to a plant-based diet, the question of replenishing protein and the necessary amino acids is quite acute.

So, what are the sources of protein for vegetarians and how to replenish the reserves in our body? There are two ways to replenish protein in the body: natural and with the addition of various food additives.

The first involves the consumption of foods rich in plant-based protein, for example: tofu cheese, nuts, legumes, seeds and sesame seeds. The second involves the use of so-called protein shakes.

Today there are a huge number of powdered cocktails, and they are really able to replenish the protein content in the body. There are separate lines for vegetarians.

We suggest returning to natural products, in particular to legumes, and considering their useful properties.

Legumes – main source of plant-based protein

We should immediately note that the culture of consumption of legumes is rooted in the deep past. In Rome and Greece, as well as in ancient Egypt, legumes were considered sacred plants.

The main useful property of legumes is the high protein content — in 100 grams of legumes it reaches 25 %.

In addition, the composition of legumes includes potassium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. These minerals are responsible not only for the work of the heart, but also for the condition of bone tissues. Legumes are also rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids, which have a beneficial effect on many systems of our body.

Due to the antioxidants that are part of legumes, the prevention of heart and cancer diseases is carried out. The same antioxidants slow down the aging process in the body. There are a lot of vitamins of group A and B in the composition of legumes, which have a positive effect on the nervous system, improve hair growth.

Legumes are also rich in fiber, which improves digestion and intestinal function.

When is the best time to eat legumes?

For all its benefits, legumes are a heavy product, which means that our body needs time to digest them. From the point of view of Ayurveda, the time when our digestive fire (agni) is most powerful is lunch. Therefore, it is best to eat legumes at lunch to give our stomach the opportunity to digest food.

It is appropriate to use legumes for breakfast, in small quantities, legumes can be eaten in the evening, but no later than three to four hours before bedtime. Eating legumes just before a night’s rest can disrupt your sleep and lead to gas formation and flatulence.

It is important to remember that, despite the fact that beans are rich in protein and other useful elements, you should not lean on them. As with other food, moderation is important here, since overeating leads to disorders in the intestinal tract, bloating and gases.

If you cook legumes correctly, use them only with combined products, but you feel a heaviness in your stomach, then it is worth giving up their use for a while. After the restoration of the gastrointestinal tract, start gradually adding legume dishes to your diet.

Legumes are contraindicated in inflammatory diseases of the stomach; if you have diseases associated with the biliary tract, then you should limit the consumption of legume dishes.

How often should I eat legumes

For vegetarians, the weekly norm of legumes is 600-800 grams per week. It is also advisable to divide this norm into several meals on different days.

How to get the most out of legumes

In order to get the maximum benefit from legumes, it is necessary to adhere to simple recommendations covering the process from purchase to submission in ready-made form. If you follow these tips, then legumes will not just retain their useful qualities, but will also surprise even gourmets with their taste.

Before cooking, legumes should be soaked for 4-5 hours in cool water, while the water should be changed to fresh several times.
You need to cook legumes in a small amount of water.
After cooking, the beans are left in the same water to cool down. This way they will retain their benefits.
When cooking, it is recommended to add spices to taste: ginger, black pepper and turmeric. This will improve the digestibility and digestion of legumes.
To improve the digestibility of the trace element iron from legumes, add tomatoes or lemon juice to dishes.
Do not combine legumes with cabbage and asparagus. Also, you should not cook bean dishes with the addition of garlic or onions.

After eating legumes, refrain from sweets for at least three hours. Also, you should not immediately eat fruit.
These simple recommendations will allow you to extract the maximum benefit for the body from legumes.

How to cook legumes correctly

In order for a vegan to get the maximum protein from legumes, it is worth remembering a few tips for their proper preparation.

As noted earlier, legumes require mandatory soaking, which starts the fermentation process. Fermentation will allow the products to be better absorbed by our body.

Leaders in protein content among legumes

As it has already become clear, legumes themselves occupy leading places in terms of the amount of protein in the composition. Among the legume family, it is also possible to distinguish leaders and outsiders in the content of building material. The table below shows a short list of legumes and the amount of protein in them.

Type of legumes Amount of protein (per 170 grams, one serving)

Edamam (green soybeans) 29 gr.
Green beans 13 gr.
Lentils 17 gr.
Red beans 16 gr.
Chickpeas 14 gr.

Plant-based diet. How to start

A plant-based diet is very rarely introduced from birth.

But an American vegan activist Gary Yurofsky once said: “Put a live rabbit and an apple in the crib for a two-year-old child. If a child eats a rabbit and plays with an apple, I will admit that I was wrong and I will eat a steak.”

However, it is never too late to become a true vegetarian. Simply giving up a fried steak or  kebab, you can save the life of at least one representative of the animal world, and this will be the first step on the way to a meaningful and full-fledged life.

It is not necessary to switch to strict vegetarianism right away – there are many programs that allow you to do this progressively and gently.

Where should I start the transition to plant-based diet?

Before accepting a new philosophy of life, it is necessary to be imbued with its ideas, principles and concepts. In this endeavor, the best assistant will be thematic literature, a mentor who successfully let this philosophy into his life, a vegetarian message from like-minded people or examples of famous and respected people around the world who adhered to this diet.

TOP 5 books that are a must-read for novice vegetarians:

Jack Norris and Virginia Massina, “Vegetarian for Life”. This work will clearly explain all the benefits of plant food, teach you to enjoy a vegetarian diet and tell you how to diversify your diet.

Kathy Freston, “The Vegetarian”. A delightful book in its simplicity by a famous vegetarian, which teaches readers how to stay healthy and cheerful people throughout their lives.

Alexandra Romanova, “Vegan for beginners”. After reading this book, the future vegetarian will not have any questions about whether he needs a plant-based diet. Adapted for domestic readers, the book will tell you that a vegetarian diet is suitable for everyone who dreams of a long and fulfilling life, will teach you how to cook simple, unpretentious and at the same time incredibly delicious dishes, without sacrificing defenseless representatives of the fauna.

Thomas Campbell, ” Chinese Research in Practice: A simple transition to a healthy lifestyle.” The work will not only tell you why to stick to plant-based diet, but also teach you how to adjust your diet to a healthier one.

Leo Tolstoy, “The First Step”. The book will interest all fans of Russian classics, including experienced and novice vegetarians. Being a well-known adherent of plant food, Lev Nikolaevich was one of the first to expound the philosophy of nonviolence in his work, which, according to many ideas, logical conclusions and justifications, is significantly ahead of not only the author’s contemporaries, but also today’s knowledge.

How to give up meat and start plant-baised diet? Step-by-step instructions

The fact is that over the years of meat-eating, a special putrefactive microflora has formed in the gastrointestinal tract, which contributes to the breakdown of products with a high content of fats and proteins, but is practically indifferent to plant foods.

In vegans, on the contrary, bifidobacteria prevail in the intestines, which synthesize vitamins and other useful trace elements, restoring the body from the inside. However, it will take time and patience for the gastrointestinal microflora to be rebuilt.

Stage 1. Exclusion of meat from the menu

Since the body is used to eating fatty foods with a high protein content, you should not immediately switch to low-calorie salads, vegetables and fruits. At this stage, a small trick helps perfectly: as soon as you want to return to the meat menu, you should prepare the usual dishes from new products.

For example, beetroot cutlets, rice-carrot meatballs or bean stew. In addition, at this stage it will not be possible to fully balance your diet, because the body will need the usual protein intake. Nuts, beans, peas, soy and lentils can completely replace meat, providing the body with everything necessary.

At the first stage, the gastrointestinal microflora will begin to slightly change its composition, but a more balanced diet will be required for complete purification, since artificially increased protein intake is fraught with a violation of metabolism. Such a menu is acceptable only at first, when the body is just getting used to doing without meat. This period usually takes no more than a week.

Stage 2. Nutrient balance

Having learned to live without meat, you should think over your diet in detail in order to provide your body with the necessary nutrients. 

This period will be the most difficult, because the body will have to re-learn the digestive processes. During adaptation, breakdowns and a feeling of hunger are most possible despite a dense and full meal-this means that the body is still adjusting, accepting a new philosophy.

Stage 3. Acceptance and rethinking

As soon as the body and mind have been cleansed of cruelty and violence, and the body has learned to perceive plant food as the only possible one, the newly-born vegetarian will definitely feel a surge of strength, lightness and cheerfulness. The state of health will improve, the swelling, rapid heartbeat and heaviness in the whole body will go away, and it will become much easier to wake up in the morning. This is the moment of enlightenment, when it becomes clear that life without meat is natural, pure and full.

At this stage, you can start experimenting with varieties of plant-baised diet, trying out fructorian, macrobiotic recipes or testing the principles of raw food, perhaps some of them will appeal to you.

However, it is not necessary to switch to a more strict diet, the main thing is that the rest of the inhabitants of the planet do not suffer during the cooking process.

Vegetarianism: philosophy and diversity of types

Vegetarianism is one of the healthy and balanced nutrition models. Nutrition is the basis of a healthy lifestyle, maintaining impeccable performance and love of life for many years.

But everyone has their own concept of rationalism: some refuse to fry in favor of safer ways of cooking, others exclude excess salt and smoked meat, and for others, a healthy diet is limited to eating fruits and vegetables at least several times a week.

From the point of view of logic, none of these approaches can provide a full-fledged diet, and it can hardly be called healthy, because the key to a full-fledged life is not so much the quality of the products consumed, but the harmony that they bring to the body.

That is why vegetarianism is considered to be a way not only to provide the body with everything necessary for active life and a full-fledged physical condition, but also to maintain mental balance and natural balance, without killing innocent animals for the sake of satisfying base gluttony.

What is vegetarianism?

For most ignorant critics who are skeptical about vegetarianism, a plant-based diet is just a way of eating that excludes meat consumption. This position has the right to exist, but for true vegetarians, their principles are not just a daily diet, but rather a life philosophy that generates bliss, harmony and compassion for all living things on earth.

People who have chosen vegetarianism as the basis of their life are driven by social, religious, ethical and spiritual aspects. The basic principle “I don’t eat anyone!”, voiced many years ago, is still the slogan of adherents of a plant-based diet, since it reflects the true motives of vegetarians. For them, killing for food is base, blasphemous and simply unacceptable.

The spiritual aspect of vegetarianism is associated with the belief that any food carries positive or negative energy obtained in the process of its extraction and preparation.

However, what positive emotions can we talk about if, before getting on the table, the animal was killed by the hand of a person? All the horror, fear and hopelessness that he experienced at that moment were absorbed into every piece of the future steak, into every molecule of it. And by consuming such food, a person cannot remain in harmony with himself, live in peace and harmony, killing for dinner, even if not with his own hands, but still…

In addition, meat-eating brings chaos to the ecological situation of the planet. Just think about it: one of the leading places in the rating of pollutants of water bodies is occupied not by the chemical industry, which everyone is used to blaming for natural disasters, but by livestock farms.

The deforestation of forests for pasture territory, hundreds of hectares of grain for animal feed, which are artificially bred for the sake of enrichment – is this not an environmental disaster? Even the ancient Greek philosopher Plato expressed the opinion that eating meat leads to an unreasonable use of land resources, so why this obvious fact has not yet changed the situation.

The benefits of vegetarianism for the body

There is an opinion that a vegetarian diet consists of one “herb”, which is not able to provide the body with all the necessary vitamins, nutrients and minerals. But how in this case do vegetarians manage to maintain an indecently healthy, young and blooming appearance for many years, maintain an active physical and spiritual component of life?

Vegetable food is not only herbs and roots, but also cereals, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables…

Unsaturated fatty acids, which are rich in plant foods, strengthen the cardiovascular system, normalize metabolism, improve the condition of the skin and bones.

Modern classification

With the growing popularity of such a concept as vegetarianism, it has ceased to have the monosyllabic meaning of a plant-based diet. In modern society, it is quite difficult to navigate among the variety of branches.

Who today can proudly call themselves a vegetarian? There are many options:

Those who have refused meat dishes, but continue to consume fish and seafood, adhere to the principles of peskovegetarianism.

Carnovegetarians, having excluded meat from the diet, continue to eat poultry.

For some reason, Flexitarians consider the use of cattle meat acceptable.

However, even among the adherents of deep philosophical principles of this direction, varieties have appeared:

Lactovegetarianism allows the use of dairy products in food.

A plant-based diet that includes eggs is called ovovegetarianism.

The combination of two indulgences – milk and eggs in the diet – is called lactoovegetarianism.

Vegans adhere to stricter principles, completely abandoning animal products.

Raw food diet implies minimal heat treatment of plant foods to preserve natural sources of vitamins and minerals.

Fruitarianism means eating fruits, nuts, seeds, berries and vegetables, but not the plant itself. In short, if at least one representative of the plant or animal world has suffered during the preparation of food, the Frutorian will refuse to eat such a dish.

Macrobiotics build their diet on cereals.

The palette of modern vegetarianism is diverse and full-fledged, so everyone can choose independently which principles it is more convenient for him to adhere to.

The main thing is that the dining table does not cost anyone their life.