Myth: Incomplete plant proteins need to be combined

Growing Naturals - Myth Buster: Plant Protein Combining

Most plant proteins are known to be low in (not lacking)  one or more essential amino acid, and it is because of this that they are known as “incomplete proteins” and have been historically recommended in combination with a complementary protein.  For example, grains and beans.  Grains are high in the amino acid cystine and methionine and low in the amino acid lysine, whereas legumes are typically high in lysine and low in cystine and methionine. They complement each other.

Because Growing Naturals protein powders are grain (rice) and legume (pea)-based, I often get the question “Do I need to combine rice and pea protein?” While I have elaborated on this topic on a previous post, the short answer is not necessarily.

In addition, Dr. Michael Greger, a physician specializing in clinical nutrition and advocate for plant-based diets explains in his video, exactly how and why they don’t need to be combined.


By: Scarlett Full, in-house Registered Dietitian

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