What is Protein

So we’ve heard that we need protein but what is it really? First off, protein is comprised of amino acids. They are what make up proteins, and their different groupings create different things. (Think of each of the amino acids as a letter, put a few of them together and you create words – or proteins).

It’s these amino acids that literally are the fabric and basis that our entire body is built from. Every cell wall, organ, muscle tissue, hair, and nerve tissue are all composed of amino acids. We wouldn’t be alive, let alone standing up and moving if it weren’t for these amino acids. Each and every one of us needs protein to survive, just like our bodies must have water, it requires protein. Protein is second to water only in body composition; it is the foundation that our bodies are created from.

Well then, if it’s so important how can we get this into our bodies? The truth is, the vast majority of protein comes from the food that we eat.

“Think of each of the amino acids as a letter, put a few of them together and you create words or proteins”

A great practice to use if you are going by the nutrition data is to overshoot by at least 10%. This will give you a buffer to offset for the outside influences on digestion.Ways to ensure you’re getting as much nutrients as possible
(not just protein)

  • Eat a variety of foods daily (eating limited types of food may not provide enough variety in amino acids).
  • Eat 80% of your foods fresh and raw, the least altered your food is, the greater the chance for utilization.
  • If you’re eating food that is cooked or processed in any way, take enzymes to enhance nutrient absorption.
  • A clean/detoxified bowel will allow for greater utilization/uptake of nutrients in food, including protein.
  • Amazingly, your state of mind and stress levels drastically effect nutrient assimilation! being calm and relaxed while eating will enhance your digestion.
  • Remember the math, the volume of protein in the food wont matter if that doesn’t translate into absorption.  (10gm of protein per serving, but if you’re only able to digest 25% of your food, it means you’re getting at best 2.5gm)
  • Quality is equally, if not more important than quantity.
  • A gut full of strong and healthy flora (probiotics) will go a very long way to keep your immunity high, but they also play a critical role in the end stages of digestion and elimination.
  • Keeping a food journal is an excellent way to track your average nutrient intake both day to day and over greater periods of time (weeks, months and years).

The cleaner your food the less your body has to deal with when trying to sort out the nutrition from the chemicals and waste. The most nutrient dense foods will also contain the least amount of excess in terms of unhealthy additives. The higher you go in the ‘food chain’ the greater your chances of unsavoury extras in your food because at each level the exposure to manipulation and chemicals increases; making plants, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits your cleanest choices.


Where do you get your Protein?

All foods have proteins, carbohydrates and fats, what differs are the ratio and quantities of each, depending on the food. Yet, this is probably THE most frequently asked question to those on vegetarian or vegan diets. Why? Because we’re told that protein only comes from animal sources and that if you’re not consuming animal based products you must not be getting enough.  There is protein everywhere including fruits, beans and veggies.

Still we have constant reminders (from advertisers) to drink your milk, eat your eggs, and that meat should be had at every meal. It’s not normally considered a ‘filling’ supper unless there’s a meat dish.

“We’re told that protein only comes from MEAT and that if you’re not eating MEAT you must not be getting enough.”

Can someone who doesn’t eat meat get enough protein? YES absolutely! All it takes is someone being aware of what they are eating and consciously consuming foods that will feed the body nutrients, but especially protein. There are plenty of plant and wholefoods that contain adequate or above average amounts of protein.

The truth is everyone should be concerned about their protein, not just vegans or vegetarians. As a group we should all stand together and be conscious of the food that we’re feeding our bodies and the nutrition we are getting instead of creating division amongst one another over who is eating the best quality and quantity of protein. Each of us has the exclusive role to power and nourish our bodies. It takes effort and work regardless of diet.


Being aware of how much protein you are eating is a great habit to have. The World Health Organization recommends 50mg per day for the average person. The majority of health authorities suggest 0.8gm per 1kg or 0.36gm per pound of body weight. Keep in mind this value is the minimum suggested amount to prevent deficiency; much like the levels recommended for other essential nutrients like vitamin A & C which are low in comparison as well.  Luckily we have at our fingertips the nutrient information of almost any food we could think to consume. Just remember, these figures portray only the raw amounts that are in those foods.

Anyone can get enough protein or other nutrients if the effort is there. With an abundance and variety in our food today we have the luxury of being able to choose our food and enjoy it without sacrificing nutrition. Keeping a baseline of healthy eating is good for everyone, not just vegans or vegetarians.

Individual foods that have a rich source or variety of PROTEIN


  • Avena’s RP3
  • Sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Peas
  • Flax and Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Potatoes
  • Brussel Sprouts



Do you eat ‘clean’ food and still experience stomach pains or digestive distress? Have you found that you needed to stop eating meat or animal products because they no longer ‘agree’ with your body? If you’re having problems absorbing and digesting protein, this is a system wide issue, not just a digestive problem. When you have protein in your body that is unusable (cooked, undigested or excess) it still has to bypass and travel to exit this body. On this journey there are many places and ways your body will try to make use of this protein (it’s what our bodies are designed for – digesting nutrients).

“All the protein from your food has the looming possibility of becoming toxic and harmful.”

When your body encounters protein that it can’t use, it creates problems. This is when those denatured and unusable proteins have the potential to become toxic and cancerous. Life giving amino acids like Tryptophan can be converted into life threatening Indole and Skatole.UNDIGESTED PROTEINS

If you’re ingesting too much protein, or are not digesting what you are eating, this creates a recipe for disaster (it’s critical to keep in mind that this can occur regardless of the amount of protein you’re eating). If there’s a weakness breaking down protein, it won’t matter how much or little you eat; ALL the protein from your food has the looming possibility of becoming toxic and harmful.


How then, can you stop this from occurring? Three ways; first by eating food that is as clean and unprocessed as possible. Second, ensuring that you’re getting the required enzymes in your diet (with and without food); third, having a healthy digestive and bowel tract (probiotics and proper bowel care). These three will work together to give you maximum digestion of your food with the least chance of your food becoming toxic.

Clean foods make clean bodies. 
Request copies of these newsletters with your next order or Visit us online @ www.avenaoriginals.com  They will expand on this topic of running a clean efficient body in much more detail!

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