Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Plant foods contain all the essential amino acids necessary to build protein in humans.
Your body recycles essential amino acids from broken-down cells and supplements them with the amino acids from your diet. Most people in the Western world overconsume protein.
Proteins are not stored in the body. That’s why an excess of protein can:
- Be converted to fat, if too much energy goes into your body
- Be used for energy, if too little energy from fat or carbohydrates enters the body
- Be broken down in the kidney and excreted
With a whole food plant-based diet, you don’t need to worry about protein. So make sure to include plenty of different nuts, legumes (including soy) and grains on your plate.