Is Protein Combining Necessary for Vegetarians?

Protein combining is not necessary. It is a myth that the body can’t, for example, use protein from beans unless you eat rice at the same time. There are 20 amino acids, nine of which are “essential,” which we must get from food.

Eggs and meat are the only foods that contain all nine of these essential amino acids. Plant-based foods are incomplete proteins. It was once thought that you had to combine specific plant-based foods to get all of the essential amino acids at each meal.  This practice is known as “protein combining” or “food combining”.

We now know that vegetarians don’t need to eat specific combinations of protein-containing foods at each meal. Instead, what matters is that someone gets adequate amounts of all of the amino acids over time.

If you’re looking to add more plant-based protein to your diet, check out these great recipes, including salads, soups, quiche, muffins, sandwiches, and more.