Where’s the Protein?

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This week’s topic is a sensitive one and I don’t mean to offend.  However it really must be addressed, because so many ask the question,  “Where’s the protein?”

I’m going out on a limb here to say that the developed world has an unhealthy obsession with protein.  It’s quite unlikely that any of us will become protein deficient, even vegetarians or vegans.  Actually, consuming too much protein is common and dangerous.


How much protein do you need in one day? While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in America recommends that your protein intake be 10-35% of your daily calories, many nutritionists suggest  keeping this number at 10-15%.  The amount of protein required may also depend on your weight and exercise routine.  Tracy Russell from Incredible Smoothies offers this formula for calculating your requirements.


Meat is now synonymous with the word protein.

Have you ever seen the tv commercials that say “Where’s the beef?” or “Beef: It’s what’s for dinner.”?   These commercials are funded by companies and organizations that benefit from you buying their products (beef).  Since these companies know that protein is a necessary nutrient, they tell us that beef is the best(only?) source of protein.  This protein propaganda has conditioned us to expect and ask for meat at every meal.

Eating animal protein has been linked with the formation of kidney stones and is associated with osteoporosis, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Plant based diets are actually scientifically proven to be healthier.

In the book The China Study, Dr. T.Colin Campbell explains his findings on the subject of protein after  years of study:

“People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.  These results could not be ignored.”


Fruits and veggies love  you back

One cup of raw broccoli contains three grams of protein while one cup of spinach contains one gram.  Yes you will need to eat more quantities of vegetables to equal the protein in meat.  That’s why juicing is such a great way to incorporate these healthy proteins (plus other healthy nutrients) into your body.   You can juice 3-4 cups of spinach in one juice!

If vegetarians can survive on plant based proteins, you too can survive a few days drinking fruit and vegetable juice.  Again I believe it all comes back to the mindset of believing that you are malnourished without meat protein.  It’s simply not true.

During a Juice Cleanse

Your body has the ability to store amino acids (building blocks of protein) in order to synthesize (build) proteins when needed.  Therefore, during a short term juice cleanse there should be no worry about getting enough protein.  Though I don’t consider it necessary, some people do add protein supplements to their juices.  If you feel you really need the extra protein, be sure to use a plant based protein such as spirulina and use sparingly.  Proteins require extra water so make sure you are drinking water as well as juice.

If you are doing a longer cleanse you should be in touch with your doctor in order to monitor your overall health including protein requirements.

Vegetables a Healthy Option

Overall, vegetables are a healthy option that should be in your diet every day.  They provide many other nutrients besides protein and can help your body to balance and heal.  Juicing is probably the best way to get the most nutrition out of vegetables.


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