Rice and Beans Combo: A Source of Complete Vegan Protein

Rice and Beans combo provides our body with all nine essential amino acids.


Narinder Singh
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Rice and beans combo, also lovingly called Rajma-Chawal in North India, makes for not only a delicious and filling meal, but also a superbly nutritious one. One major reason for this meal combo having a superstar status is its protein composition. It is a source of complete protein.

So, What Is A Complete Protein?

The protein found in the human body is made up of 20 or so amino acids. Nine out of those 20 are not produced in the body and hence must come from food sources. These 9 amino acids are considered essential. And any natural food that contains all these nine essential amino acids is a complete protein.

Source: https://www.ajinomoto.com/amino-acids/what-are-amino-acids

Why Complete Protein Is Essential?

Protein helps our body in repairing damaged cells, and it supports the creation of new ones. Therefore, protein is essential to the normal functioning of our body. Obviously, it becomes important to include sources of those nine essential amino acids in our food, which our body cannot produce.

There is also a misconception that only animal-based foods can provide complete protein, making it a matter of concern for those who are on a 100% vegan diet. However, the following information will make it clear that complete protein can be obtained from vegan sources.

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Suggested Reading: 5 Vegan Sources of Complete Protein

What Makes Rice and Beans A Source of Complete Protein?

Individually, both rice and beans are incomplete proteins because both lack certain amino acids. Rice is short of lysine, but beans provide it. On the other hand, beans lack methionine, but it is present in rice. Therefore, together, as a food combination, rice and beans provide complete protein.

Source: https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/120914p36.shtml

In addition to being a source of complete protein, rice and beans combo provides our body with dietary fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. This meal combo can be 100% vegan if the cooking process does not involve any dairy or other animal-based fat.

Rajma Masala

The most popular recipe for red beans in India is Rajma Masala, and it is usually enjoyed along with plain steamed rice. There are many excellent recipes for Rajma Masala on YouTube, and some of those are vegan too. Rajma Masala is also available in commercially produced ready-to-eat form, from brands such as “Kitchens of India.”

Well, now there is no reason not to enjoy your favorite Rajma-Chawal more frequently.

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