Plant-Based Nutrition By Julieanne Hever and Ray Cronise
If you’re worried about not getting enough protein on a plant-based diet (or just sick of answering questions about it), then this book review is for you.
An “Idiot’s Guides” publication by Julieanne Hever and Ray Cronise, the second edition of Plant-Based Nutrition tackles all the common questions about protein.
Chapter 2, “Breaking Down the Macroconfusion,” for example, takes a deep dive into amino acids:
“My DNA contains the blueprints for the approximately 20,000 proteins needed by my body, and they are synthesized from a pool of essential and nonessential amino acids. All essential amino acids originate from plants. Either you eat the plant or you eat the animal that ate the plant. Either way, the essential amino acids came from the plant.”
In other words, if there were no plants, there would be no protein! As the authors point out:
In 1838, Gerrit Jan Mulder was the first to use the nutrient name “protein,“ derived from the Greek word proteios, meaning ‘first place or primary’… It is highly admirable that the principal substance of all animals is immediately drawn from the plants.”
To underscore their point, Hever and Cronise observe that 10 of the Earth’s largest animals, including:
three different species of elephants
four rhinoceros species
eat nothing but plants!
So, how much protein do you need each day? According to Hever and Cronise, probably not nearly as much as you think.
“Consider the fact that the very first food created specifically to nourish an infant during the stage in life when humans grow the most and at the fastest rate is low in protein. Human breast milk contains less than 1 percent protein—about 5 percent per calorie … Protein is needed in a smaller amount than commonly thought, and it’s impossible to be protein deficient on a whole food, plant-based diet.”
In writing a book full of fascinating facts and smart tips, Hever and Cronise have explored each topic from multiple angles and captured their findings in clear, concise language.
Simply put, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition is a joy to read!