Proteins are a basic component of our diet, and in a percentage, the body needs them to build tissue. They form connective tissue, including muscle, but also intervene in the hormonal and homeostatic balance.
The sources of proteins can be vegetable or animal. The use of each one is very personal, in recent years in the world of health, vegan and / or vegetarian tendencies have predominated, without taking into account the origin, quality and absorption of them.
The criteria for choosing to eat (and cook) each should be based on general knowledge of the properties of each of them, and also to know how each person tolerates each. And ethical reasons too, which are personal.
In the field of the health, we must remark various aspects, such as the animal protein generates more toxins, and it’s more difficult to eliminate. But when we talk about absortion, for the body easier to process them.
The vegetable protein is softer for the body, it’s better eliminated, it has a high fiber content, but its absorption is more complicated. People with irritated digestive mucose, have to be careful with the almost exclusive use of this protein.
They have a high protein value and a lot of iron, calcium and magnesium, cooked with kombu seaweed they become more digestive and their minerals are better absorbed. They are suitable to eliminate cholesterol, avoid constipation and very proper for diabetics. For their consumption it’s necessary to soak them (minimum 10-12 hours or one night) and discard the soaking liquid, since it contains phytic acid, which produces flatulence and hinders the absorption of minerals and vitamins.
To be digestive , they need to be cooked for a long time. In the past, they were cooked for many hours, in my house for example all the morning, along with carminative plants to facilitate their digestion (laurel, cumin ...).
There are many possibilities, (in addition to the traditional ones) to present them: delicious pâtés, salty cakes, we can even make healthier desserts with them.
Rich in unsaturated fats and soy lecithin. It is not a fermented soybean, but it has many nutritional properties. It has a highly bioavailable protein. It is a good substitute for cheese, because cheese causes mucus, flatulence...
It’s a neutral product, it has hardly any flavor, so it can be used for both sweet and salty preparations. If we are going to use it cold (in patés, sauces, desserts) it’s important to cook it before, at least 10 minutes and let it cool down.
Therefore, before each preparation, it’s better to marinate it with intense flavors, which then when cooked will make all the difference in the dish.
The traditional tempeh is a fermented product of the soya, originally from Indonesia. To prepare it, the soya beans are fermented with a fungus called rhizopus.
It’s rich in minerals and it’s a probiotic product, which makes it very beneficial to maintain the intestinal flora in good condition.
Today you can also find tempeh of other vegetables: chickpeas, peas etc.
It has a peculiar flavor, a bit bitter at the end, so it’s better to marinate and cook it with this marinade at least 10 minutes, before using it for any preparation.
Seitan is made from wheat protein, from gluten. Therefore, celiac people should not consume it. It’s usually prepared with kombu seaweed and soy sauce, which provide to the seitán a rich flavour.
It has a high protein content, so it’s suitable for weak or convalescent people.
It has a texture similar to meat, so it is usually used in vegan or vegetarian preparations as a substitute for it. To make seitán preparations really digestive (with a tender textura), it is necessary to cook them for a long time. For me, it’s delicious marinated and prepared with vegetables in stews.
It’s the most complete protein, it is a good source of vitamin A and D, and it contains enough vitamin B12. The egg has had an unjustified bad reputation, both because it has been abused a lot and because its mass production has turned it into a product of poor quality.
Its responsible consumption, in balance with our diet, whenever it is biological or at home, make it a very interesting product both for its innumerable culinary uses and its bioavailable organic components.
There are multiple ways to use eggs in the kitchen, the texture they provide ranges from fluffy to being able to "bind" masses and preparations when heated.
The fish contains high quality fats, EPA and DHA, Omega 3 lipidic acids, which, properly cooked are anti-inflammatory and protective of cell membranes.
Fish proteins are thermally more unstable than those of meat, and the residues of their metabolism are minor, but they also acidify.
We should be very selective when buying fish. On the one hand, it’s very important that the fish web buy is wild, from the sea, beause those raised in fish farms are fed with food of hormones, and have a high impact on our health. On the other, large fish (tuna ...) contain a lot of mercury that is also stored in our tissues if we eat it. That's why, is better small and wild fish.
As I mentioned before, meat has become a very controversial food in the recent years in the field of health and alternative therapies. Whether we consume it or not, it’s true that it’s difficult to get good quality meat. And it’s true also that many people have abused of it a lot, which creates acidity and toxicity, leading to bad health as we get older, when our organs don’t have the capacity to eliminate the nitrosamines produced by the meat.
Everything that has a face has a back. The meat has a composition similar to the hemoglobin of our blood, so iron and vitamin B12 are absorbed much better. But controlling the origin and quantity is important, because as I said before, it acidifies the organism a lot.
To digest, White meat is much easier than the red.
When eating meat it’s important that we cook it by balancing its nitrogen components with cooked vegetables. In my point of view, eating meat (if we now the origin of how the animal is grown) from time to time is healthy. But everyone has to know what’s their health condition and ethical beliefs, that they are private and very respectable in any case.