It is a myth that the body can’t, for example, use protein from beans unless you eat rice simultaneously since these two foods contain different amino acids. There are a total of 20 amino acids, 9 of which are “essential,” meaning that we must get them from food because our bodies can’t produce them. Eggs and meat are the only foods that contain all nine of these essential amino acids. Because 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. We now know that vegetarians don’t need to eat specific combinations of protein-containing foods at each meal. What matters is that someone gets adequate amounts of all of the amino acids over time.