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Hemp Protein

“The problem is the belief that we can overcome disease and death with technology. Supplements are meant to augment food, not replace it. Science is meant to teach us about our world, not remove us from it. And food is meant to nourish us, not merely provide nutrients”.

The Institute for the Psychology of Eating

So why would you ingest a dead protein supplement that adds sugar, chemicals and acid to your body, instead of a natural, non-processed,live, complete protein that supports your immune system, provides macro-nutrients and doesn’t create allergies?

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Hemp Protein for Healthy Muscle Growth

Hemp protein contains all 20 known Amino Acids including the 9 essential Amino Acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.  Proteins are considered complete when they contain all 9 essential Amino Acids in a sufficient quantity and ratio to meet the body’s needs.  Hemp seeds contain an adequate supply of these high quality proteins (EAAs) for a well balanced diet.
Hemp protein is free of the tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas.
Not as easy to get lean now that you are no longer in your twenties, right? Or maybe you’ve never been very fit, but are trying to lose fat for the first time and don’t have the benefits of that youthful high metabolism.
No bizarre fad diets are needed, just the standard high protein/low fat plan.  Each daily meal should feature a good source of lean protein but very little animal fat or sugar.  An increasingly educated and health-conscious public is learning about the health benefits of supplemental protein powders, recognizing that they can be part of a healthy lifestyle for just about anyone, not just bodybuilders.
In health fitness, muscle growth is perhaps the most important thing that you can do.  In fact, it may be the most important thing you can do for your body and mind.
The reason growing lean muscle is so important is because it will help with controlling your weight by helping you burn more calories.  It helps the mind by increasing confidence and self worth.  It is of utmost importance in the elderly population, because it will help with osteoporosis, by building stronger, bigger bones and also allows one to be physically stronger and fatigue less easily.
So by growing more muscle daily tasks are much easier, not to mention much safer, helping prevent falls and injuries.  Protein is an essential part of our (living) body and there is a difference between protein that has been cooked and protein in its raw (living) form.  We should realize that our body (which is made of some 100 trillion living cells) is composed of 15 percent protein, making protein the primary solid element in our body and second only to water, which composes 70 % of our body.  Protein is composed of Amino Acids and Amino Acids are made up of chains of atoms.
These atoms that make up Amino Acids that make up protein literally become the building blocks for our body. The problem is that cooking kills food and de-natures or re-arranges the molecular structure of the protein, causing Amino Acids to become coagulated, or fused together.
In his 1980 book, The Health Revolution, Horne writes, “Cooked protein is difficult to digest and when incompletely digested protein enters the colon it putrefies and ammonia is formed. ” Horne quotes Dr.  Willard Visek, Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Illinois Medical School as saying, “In the digestion of proteins, we are constantly exposed to large amounts of ammonia in our intestinal tract.  Ammonia behaves like chemicals that cause cancer or promote its growth.  It kills cells, it increases virus infection, it affects the rate at which cells divide and it increases the mass of the lining of the intestines.  What is intriguing is that within the colon, the incidence of cancer parallels the concentration of ammonia. ” Dr. Visek is quoted in The Golden Seven Plus One, by Dr. C. Samuel West, as saying, “Ammonia, which is produced in great amounts as a by-product of meat metabolism, is highly carcinogenic and can cause cancer development. ”And meat in any form is not good for humans.  We do not have a digestive system designed to assimilate protein from flesh: We do not have the teeth of a carnivore nor the saliva.  Our alkaline saliva is designed to digest complex carbohydrates from plant food, whereas saliva of a carnivore is so acidic that it can actually dissolve bones.  The digestive tracts of carnivores are short, about three times the length of their torso, allowing quick elimination of decomposing and putrefying flesh.
All herbivores have long intestines, 8 to 12 times the length of their torso, to provide a long transit time to digest and extract the nutrients from plant foods.  When you consider the health problems caused by consuming too much indigestible (cooked) protein, it should drive home the point that our body is a living organism made up of living cells and protein composes 15 percent of our body, therefore the protein we take in should be living rather than dead.  Hemp protein is a living plant protein which contains all 20 known Amino Acids including the 9 essential Amino Acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
When pressed and milled, the result is the perfect high performance vegetarian whole food which may be used in place of all protein sources or supplements.  Proteins are considered complete when they contain all 9 essential Amino Acids in a sufficient quantity and ratio to meet the body’s needs.  Hemp seeds contain an adequate supply of these high quality proteins (EAAs) for a well balanced diet.  In fact, hemp Protein is not only very high in fiber, but is unique in the plant kingdom for its perfect balance of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, making it easy to substitute into any type of diet.
A live protein concentrate, hemp protein is loaded with what your body needs, including all 9-10 essential Amino Acids, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, enzymes, natural anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Hemp protein is free of the tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and free of oligosaccharides found in soy, which cause stomach upset and gas.  Soybeans contain a higher total percentage of protein, but these are complex proteins that many people find difficult to digest.  An important aspect of hemp seed protein is a high content of arginine (123 mg/g protein) and histidine (27 mg/g protein), both of which are important for growth during childhood and of the sulfur-containing Amino Acids methionine (23 mg/g protein) and cysteine (16 mg/g protein), which are needed for proper enzyme formation.
Cysteine’s importance is related to the presence of a sulfur-containing thiol group in its side chain.  This group participates in the catalytic reactions of certain enzymes, such as that of papain.  Methionine is required because it assists in the breakdown of fats and thereby prevents the build-up of fat in the arteries, as well as assisting with the digestive system and removing heavy metals from the body since it can be converted to cysteine, which is a precursor to gluthione, which is of prime importance in detoxifying the liver.  The Amino Acid methionine is also a great antioxidant as the sulfur it supplies inactivates free radicals.
It may also be used to treat depression, arthritis pain as well as chronic liver disease – although these claims are still under investigation.  Some studies have also indicated that methionine mightalso improve memory recall.  Approximately 65% of the protein in hemp seeds is made up Edestin and is found only in hemp seed.
“Edistins (also spelled edestine) are plant globulins and are classified as globular proteins.  Globulins perform many enzymatic functions within the plasma itself.  The human body uses globulin proteins to make antibodies that attack infecting agents that invade the body. ”Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and considered the backbone of the cell’s DNA.
The other one third of hemp seed protein is Albumin, another high quality globulin protein similar to that found in egg whites.  In addition to being an excellent protein source, hemp powder can also be used as a quick and convenient blood sugar stabilizer because of the high fiber content which will again help in weight loss.

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Consuming Hemp Protein Immediately before and after Workout Helps Build Muscle

According to 2 new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming 25 grams of protein immediately before and after a workout greatly improves the body’s ability to build muscle.
The studies noted that muscle-building is mainly due to the Amino acid Leucine, which is especially high in Hemp Seed Protein.

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Hemp Seed Protein

Hemp seeds have the most complete edible and usable protein in the vegetable kingdom. Although soybeans are said to contain more, much of it is unusable by the human body. Proteins serve such functions as acting as enzymes, antibodies, and the structural components of tissues, hormones, and blood protein. The main function of dietary protein is to supply the building blocks called amino acids so that they can be used to reconstruct other proteins needed for the growth and maintenance of body tissue.
Proteins are often classified as structural (fibrous) or biologically active (globular). Structural proteins include collagen, keratin, and fibrinogen, which are the main constitutents of bones, skin, hair, ligaments, feathers, and hooves! Biologically active proteins are mainly globulins and include such things as hormones, hemoglobin, antibodies (immunoglobulins), and enzymes. Although the body can make globular proteins out of any protein that enters the body, it is much more efficient for the body to make globulins out of globular starting material.
What makes globular proteins so special is that they are precursors to some of the most vital chemicals in the body:

  • hormones (which regulate all the body processes);
  • haemoglobin (which transports oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitric oxide);
  • enzymes (which catalyze and control biochemical reactions);
  • antibodies (immuno-globulins which fend off invading bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, as well as toxins or antigens as they enter the body).

The total protein content of hemp seed is about 65% of the globular protein edestin, which closely resembles the globulin found in human blood plasma. It is easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by humans and vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. Edestin has the unique ability to stimulate the manufacture of antibodies against invasive agents and is nearly phosphorus-free, which is important for kidney ailments. The other important protein in hemp seed is albumin, which is also a highly digestible protein because of its globular shape. Albumin is a major free radical scavenger and is the industry standard for protein quality evaluation.
Hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids, including the 8 essential ones adult bodies cannot produce. Proteins are considered complete when they contain all the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and ratios to meet the body’s needs. The following are the 21 most common amino acids, with the 8 essential ones in bold:

  • alanine
  • arginine
  • aspargine
  • aspartic acid
  • cysteine
  • glutamic acid
  • glutamine
  • glycine
  • histidine
  • isoleucine
  • leucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • proline
  • serine
  • taurine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • tyrosine
  • valine
  • taurine (considered essential for premature babies)
  • histidine (considered essential for children, but not for adults)

Proteins are potential allergens, which also include soy, dairy or peanut proteins. However, no hemp seed allergies have ever been reported. Several oilseeds also contain anti-nutritional factors; for example, the trypsin inhibitors in soybeans; but none of these factors are known to occur in hemp seeds. Hemp seeds also contain fewer oligosaccharides, present in peas and beans and which cause intestinal gas. A significant number of people are becoming allergic to soy products, possibly because most are from genetically engineered crops or grown with the use of chemicals. On the other hand, because hemp seed does not require chemicals or genetic alteration, it rarely, if ever, causes sensitivity.
Hemp seed protein can supply any diet with a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll, and a complete, balanced gluten-free source of the essential amino acids.


History reveals the importance of hemp seed protein.

  • In 1881, a German scientist discovered that hemp seed contained edestin, its main protein.
  • In the early 20th century, edestin was one of the most studied proteins in both science and industry.
  • In 1909, the nature of enzymes became known when a British scientist discovered the protein enzyme, protease in hemp seed. He called it vegetable trypsin. Today, enzymes are indispensible to the food ingredient industry and are used to make many foods.
  • In 1915, the Journal of Biological Chemistry discussed edestin at length, presenting ideas that would later form the basis for protein complementarily and combining, a popular concept among vegetarians. A later issue published a vegetable protein study. In it, edestin was considered suitable as a sole protein source for animals: “Protein feeding in the future will be based rather on the amino acid makeup than on the results of past feeding experiments.” The study also stated that “the relatively large amounts of lysine present in the…hempseed…is especially noteworthy.”
  • In 1932, a patent was issued for a gluing process using hemp seed protein. Today, milk protein is used in adhesives.
  • In 1937, the same scientists who first spun vegetable protein for food issued a patent using hemp seed protein to make spun filaments, films, and threads that are similar to silk and wool.

Protein Content Compared

Soybeans 35.0%
Hemp Protein 34.0%
Hemp seed shelled 31.0%
Hamburger beef 27.1%
Blue fish 26.0%
Cheddar cheese 23.5%
Chicken 23.5%
Hempseed — whole 23.0%
Almonds 18.3%
Wheat flour 13.3%
Egg 12.0%
Tofu 08.0%
Rice 07.5%
Skimmed milk 03.7%

Essential Amino Acids Compared

Amino Acid
Tofu Human


















Phen + Tyro












Meth + Cyst


















Alanine – a non-essential amino acid whose main function is the metabolism of tryptophan and pyridoxine
Arginine – an essential amino acid for children and possibly for adults
Asparagine – a non-essential amino acid
Aspartic Acid – a non-essential amino acid which aids in the formation of RNA and DNA
Carnitine – not a true amino acid but sometimes referred to as Vitamin BT
Citrulline – a non-essential amino acid involved in the urea cycle
Cysteine – a non-essential, sulphur-containing amino acid
Cystine – a non-essential amino acid created when two cysteine molecules bond together
Gaba – a non-essential amino acid formed from glutamic acid with the help of Vitamin B6
Glutamic Acid – a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized from a number of amino acids
Glutamine – a semi-essential amino acid
Glutathione – not considered a true amino acid but a tripeptide of glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine
Glycine – a non-essential glucogenic amino acid that readily converts to serine
Histidine – considered an essential amino acid for children, but usually not for adults
Isoleucine – an essential or semi-essential amino acid because it sometimes cannot be made in the body
Leucine – an essential branched chain amino acid classified as semi-essential by some
Lysine – an essential amino acid because it cannot be synthesized in the body and its breakdown is irreversible
Methionine – an essential amino acid that cannot be synthesized in the body
Ornithine – a non-essential amino acid found free in the body tissues, but not used as a protein building block
Phenylalanine – an essential amino acid that is converted to tyrosine in the body
Proline – an aromatic non-essential amino acid that requires Vitamin C for its synthesis
Serine – a non-essential amino acid derived from glycine, contributing to the formation of cystine from homocysteine
Taurine – a “conditionally essential” amino acid for adults and essential for normal infant development
Threonine – an essential amino acid, serving as a carrier for phosphate in phosphoproteins
Tryptophan – an essential amino acid, the only one with an indole nucleus responsible for the peculiar odor of feces
Tyrosine – an aromatic non-essential amino acid produced from phenylalanine
Valine – a branched chain essential or semi-essential amino acid

Hemp Protein Powders

When purchasing a hemp protein powder, look for a brand that supplies at least 50 to 60% protein by weight and supplying at least 15 grams of protein per 30 gram serving. While hemp protein may contain more total fat than many other protein powders, it should be stressed that almost all of this fat comes from the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-3. Hemp is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having what is considered to be an optimal 3:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 =essential fatty acids.
Unlike hemp protein powder, many soy isolate powders that are not labeled organic are often processed with hexane, a petroleum solvent that has adverse impacts on the environment as well as on human health. The resulting hexane-processed soy is utilized in many soy protein powders, cereals, and bars. Hemp protein powder is produced using only cold-pressed techniques and does not involve the use of hexane in the production process. It is the same technique that ensures valuable vitamins and minerals are not destroyed during processing.
Perhaps the most important difference between soy and hemp seed protein powders is that the non-organic soybeans used in many soy products are often derived from genetically modified soybeans. Hemp is never genetically modified. Hemp foods also have low environmental impacts because growing hemp seeds does not require the addition of herbicides or pesticides.
A pound of hemp seed would provide all the protein, essential fatty acids, and dietary fiber necessary for human survival for two weeks. For this reason it is used in many parts of the world for treating malnourishment.
How far does a pound of meat go?

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Powerhouse Smoothie

  • 1 cup packed fresh or frozen mixed greens of choice (spinach, kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens)
  • ½ Frozen banana
  • 1 Scoop Hemptons Protein Powder (approx. 32g)
  • 1 Teaspoon Maca Root Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Hemptons Hulled Hemp Seed
  • 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon raw honey (to sweeten, optional)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum (optional – these will create a creamier, thicker consistency)
  • Cinnamon and Cloves, to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender except. Blend on high until smooth. Add a little water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Nutrition (for entire recipe): 267 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated), 70mg cholesterol, 81mg sodium, 31g carbs, 4g fiber, 14g sugar, 28g protein

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Rebuilding Muscle Protein – When to consume Protein Supplements

Although not a preferred fuel source, protein is used to produce energy during prolonged exercise when muscle glycogen runs low. This process is known as catabolism. Furthermore, the high blood concentration of cortisol that is associated with catabolism also obstructs the rebuilding of muscle protein by diverting its amino acid building blocks to the liver. Because protein is an important structural element of muscles, catabolism leaves the muscles in a weakened state afterward. In order to properly recover from and adapt to this particular training stress, athletes must act quickly to rebuild muscle protein after exercise.

Studies have shown there is a physiological window of opportunity for glycogen replenishment which is the two-hour period immediately following exercise. A very similar window exists for protein rebuilding and for the same reason. Insulin is responsible for delivering both glucose and protein to muscle cells. After exercise, the muscle cells are highly receptive to insulin. In a study performed at Vanderbilt University, subjects were fed a protein-carbohydrate supplement either immediately after working out or three hours later. Members of the “early” group were found to have synthesized new muscle proteins at a much faster rate than members of the “late” group.

In a similar study, this one done at the University of Texas, subjects who consumed an amino acid-carbohydrate supplement immediately before exercise synthesized even more new muscle protein than subjects who consumed the same drink immediately after the workout. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.) The apparent reason for this result was that drinking the amino acid-carbohydrate drink before the workout resulted in higher blood insulin levels during the workout. Insulin is known to counteract the catabolic effect of cortisol. With greater amounts of insulin circulating to neutralize cortisol, the subjects who drank before working out were able to get more amino acids delivered to their muscle cells to rebuild proteins.

What this means is that nutritional recovery measures need to begin before workouts, or at least during them and continue afterward. By consuming a sports drink containing carbohydrate and protein/amino acids before, during and after workouts, athletes can ensure that their muscle proteins are rebuilt with maximum efficiency. Using a recovery drink that consists of large amounts of protein or amino acids and little or no carbohydrate is not as effective, however, because these drinks digest more slowly and result in far less insulin release than recovery drinks that contain carbohydrate and protein in the ideal 4:1 ratio.

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How Much Water Should You Drink if You Take Protein Powders?

Protein powders are the preferred choice of muscle-building supplements for most bodybuilders and those who want to put on bulk through exercise. You can use protein powders to gain weight, as a food supplement and as a method to increase muscle mass however, using them alone may cause some problems such as dehydration. It is therefore necessary to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy while you are building muscles and increasing mass.

Importance of Protein
Building muscle mass depends on your intake of protein. Most protein comes from the foods you eat such as beef, chicken, legumes, dairy products etc. however, to speed up muscle mass growth, you can add protein powders to your diet. Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids – however, only 12 of those amino acids are produced by your body. The other eight are introduced into your system by ingesting additional proteins. In addition to the protein foods you eat, protein powders provide some of those essential Amino Acids. Without an adequate amount of protein in your system, you won’t be able to make the proteins needed to create stronger and bigger muscles or support other essential functions in your body.

Protein Powder
Athletes recovering from an injury often depend upon protein powder to assist them in rebuilding and strengthening their muscles. Protein powder also aids in helping dieters and athletes maintain protein levels that may be depleted by too much exercise or not following a well-balanced diet plan. Too much protein powder may introduce heavy metals into your system, and can lead to health issues such as kidney problems, digestive issues and dehydration.

When you feel thirsty, drink water as soon as possible since this is your body’s way of informing you that you are becoming dehydrated. Water comprises at least 70 % of your muscle tissues and is therefore very important for maintaining good health. On a cellular level, water is pushed into your muscle cells and the more water present in these cells, the better your muscles will function and grow in size. Dehydration has some serious negative consequences including fatigue, light-headedness, confusion and blood pressure problems. Without proper hydration, your muscles may cramp, your energy levels may plummet and the protein powder will be more difficult to digest.

Protein and Water – A Potent Combination
When consuming protein powders to build mass, you need to increase your water intake. Normally, you are encouraged to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to maintain proper hydration. While you are training and after you’ve consumed protein powders, drink at least 4 ounces of water every hour to ensure that you are properly hydrated. If you are taking protein powders that include creatine and other supplements as well as protein, your muscles will be able to absorb more water so you can double your water consumption to a gallon of water per day. Perhaps the best way to calculate your water consumption need is to multiply your body weight by 0.6 to determine your daily water intake in ounces. This method will help you keep hydrated as you work out and use protein powder to supplement your protein intake to build muscle mass.

Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness: 10 Nutrition Rules for Beginners: Joe Wuebben
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Effect of Hydration State on Strength, Power, and Resistance Exercise Performance: Daniel Judelson et al.
CBS Could Protein Shakes Harm Your Health? What is Protein Synthesis? The Importance of Water – A Full Explanation
Medical Online: Nutrition: Protein Powders

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When Cheap is Actually Expensive

By Bruce Cohen – Absolute Organix
Reposted from Absolute Oranix’s Blog
June 20, 2012
There’s an Alice in Wonderland reality to our sector: things are often not what they seem. Even the most dedicated student of conscious eating can be unaware of critical information about food production and quality that can have a huge impact on the nutrient content and perceived value of products.
This issue came into sharp focus recently during a discussion I had with Amelia Karg, founder of Hemptons,  one of the leading suppliers of hemp products in SA (now through the Absolute Organix distribution channel). I questioned Amelia why Hemptons protein powder is more expensive than other hemp proteins on the market; how could our sales team justify this to our retailers? And how would they in turn explain it to their customers? I could see the frustration in her eyes as she found herself once again having to clear up the confusion. It turns out that hemp protein is divided into two very different classes: There’s “A-grade” protein like Hemptons which has a protein content of around 60%, and “B-grade” which is about half that.
The reason for the huge difference in protein content is this: Hemp protein is extracted from the seedcake produced during oil pressing. B grade protein is nothing more than powdered seedcake and contains around 30% protein. It really a flour or a fibre. To get A Grade protein, the seedcake has to go through a series of increasingly finely-meshed seives which progressively separate  fibre and carbohydrate from the protein, eventually reaching a 60% protein concentration. It takes time and it takes care because it’s a purely mechanical process and no chemicals or heat are used. (By the way, hemp protein is not a “raw” food – the temp of the seedcake during oil pressing can go as high as 70-80 degrees during pressing.)
Apart from all this extra effort to produce much higher protein content, there’s also the issue of underlying quality. Hemptons products are made only from certified organic hemp seed and the price difference between conventional and organic is significant.
So if  you’re buying/selling cheaper hemp protein powders, you’re very likely getting half the protein content of an A grade organic product like Hemptons. Expect to pay a less – because you’ll be getting a lot less.
While on the hemp front, did you know that hemp seed must by law be irradiated when it enters SA (it is illegal to grow hemp in this country). It means any locally-produced hemp seed products (such as oil or protein powders) have been made from irradiated (i.e. dead) seed. Far as I know, most hemp seed imported into SA is sold as bird seed (canaries sing sweeter on hemp, so the legend goes), but who knows if some of it is slipping into the human food chain. Hemptons products are all manufactured in Canada and then airfreighted into SA. They are never irradiated and can thus hold their organic status.
The hemp protein saga reminded me of a similar challenge we have had in the green food category. There are several green food powders on the market and Absolute Organix represents Garden of Life and its Perfect Food Raw green food. Often enough we have been asked to explain the difference in quality between Perfect Food Raw and cheaper alternatives. In truth, the difference is really, really big because of the way green foods are processed.
The cheaper products are made from dried, powdered vegetables. Nothing wrong with that, but you have to bear in mind that a plant is >90% cellulose (fibre), so what you land up eating in the cheaper products is mostly fibre – expensive fibre! Products like Perfect Food Raw are made from the juices of vegetables, leaving out all the cellulose, so what you’re getting is highly concentrated plant nutrition. Not dried veggies.
In both cases cited above the more expensive products are actually cheaper if you measure them by nutrient “return on investment”. There’s just no substitute for reading labels and asking those “dumb” questions.

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Complete vs. Incomplete Proteins

Our bodies can synthesize 16 of the 23 Amino Acids that we need. That leaves 8 essential Amino Acids (9 for children), which must come from the foods we eat.

Hemp Protein Powder can supply any diet with a vegetarian source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre, chlorophyll and a complete, balanced gluten-free source of the essential Amino Acids.

Many plant proteins are labeled “incomplete” proteins as a resulting from the low amounts of one or more of the nine essential Amino Acids. Truth be told, the “incomplete” label is somewhat misleading as all plant proteins do contain each of the essential Amino Acids. But in most cases (e.g. grains, legumes), levels of one or more amino acid are insufficient for human needs. However, hemp protein supplies enough of each of the essential Amino Acids to contribute to the human body’s requirements. In fact, an important aspect of hemp protein is that it is a quality source of the Amino Acids Arginine and Histidine, both of which are important for growth during childhood and of the sulphur-containing Amino Acids Methionine and Cysteine, both of which are needed in the production of vital enzymes.

Hemp protein also contains relatively high levels of the branched-chain Amino Acids that are crucial in the repair and growth of lean body mass, making a Hemp Protein shake after a workout a worthwhile investment.
All plant-based foods have varying amounts of protein (plus carbohydrates, fats and other good things) and the body will combine proteins from all sources, to make ‘complete protein’. That’s true for everybody, vegetarian or non-vegetarian.

The term ‘complete protein’ means that all eight Essential Amino Acids are present in the correct proportion.
Foods from animal sources have complete proteins and some foods from the plant kingdom, such as Hemp and Quinoa, have complete protein.

The term ‘incomplete protein’ refers to foods which have all the Essential Amino Acids, but are low in one or more of them. That’s called the ‘limiting Amino Acid’.

Most plant foods have one or more limiting Amino Acids which limit the availability of all the other Amino Acids in the food. That’s why these foods are called ‘incomplete proteins’.

For example, the limiting Amino Acid in grains is usually Lysine (Lys); in legumes it can be Methionine (Met) and Tryptophan (Trp). So, the low-level of Lys in grains is complemented by a higher level in legumes and vice versa, to make ‘complete protein’.

However, vegetarians and vegans don’t need to worry about complete and incomplete protein. It is not necessary for vegetarians and vegans to combine specific protein foods at one sitting to make complete protein.

Complementary Protein Theory Debunked
Scientists used to think that vegetarians and especially vegans, would develop protein deficiency if they didn’t get eight or nine Essential Amino Acids all together in proper amounts at every meal.

Whenever we eat, our body deposits Amino Acids into a storage bank and then withdraws them whenever we need them. So, it’s no longer considered necessary to eat complementary proteins together at one sitting, to make complete protein. Your body does that automatically, from all the foods that you eat over the course of a day or so.

Part referenced from: Frances Moore Lappé, author of ‘Diet For A Small Planet’, is well-known for the theory of combining complementary proteins at each meal. In the 20th Anniversary Edition of her book, she has altered her views in light of new knowledge about amino acid storage.