Protein and amino acid: Seitan is the protein champion

Proteins are, in fact, a structured group of amino acids, comprising of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The human body needs 22 amino acids, from which it can create 100,000 different proteins. You can compare this to letters and words: with 26 letters you can make an endless number of words. The 22 amino acids have so many possible combinations that you can produce a multitude of proteins.

What are proteins?

Proteins form the largest part of your body’s dry matter. Proteins are found in your skin, nails, bones, organs and muscles, but also in your enzymes, hormones, ova and sperm.

Why are proteins important for your health? Every day cells are replaced by new ones, with proteins being the most important building materials.

What is the difference between proteins and amino acids?

Proteins are actually a structured group of amino acids that consist of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. For the human body, 22 amino acids are needed, with which your body can produce 100,000 proteins.

What are essential amino acids?

Plants can produce amino acids from carbon dioxide, water and nitrate from the soil. Animals and therefore people must eat amino acids.

What are complete proteins?

Proteins are called “full” if they have all nine essential amino acids to a sufficient degree.

AminozurenSeitan TarweSpelt seitanTofuZalmKabeljauwKipfiletRundvleesWeipoeder
Semi-essentieel
arginine8618174495578949701015461
Essentieel
Fenylalaline12981128305369574610671640
Histidine503461150229284514579361
Isoleucine9308542874226707437651244*
Leucine171815804587241188123013232038*
Lysine4304113758481402135914781676
Methionine38533983378561497477476
Threonine6315782284386396857381153
Tryptofaan1991927698136198169430
Valine9899252924827177828021138*
Totaal essentiëel en semi-essentiëel79447285270345457065758880179617
Andere
Alanine641591251573853910961984
Asparginezuur
+ aspargine8187756959041477142915062546
Cysteïne
+ cystine49342381120172179196553
Glutaminezuur
+glutamine89647805110913062281220325513569
Glycine816438247463624698717346
Proline307727432973174485666301230
Serine11371011291363616589624984
Tyrosine838750234330536517584592
Totaal aminozuren24728218215908892114072146791578620421
% opneembaarheid van aminozuren95%95%94%95%80%91%92%95%
OmschrijvingKcal per 100gAandeel kcal uit eiwittenMg cholesterol per 100 kcalAandeel kcal uit vetten
Seitan11883%02%
Tofu12043%048%
Tempeh18041%050%
Quorn14139%017%
Falafel27513%041%
Gardein16545%032%
Veggieburger16832%043%
Kaasburger25823%051%
OmschrijvingKcal per 100 gAandeel kcal uit eiwittenMg cholesterol per 100 kcalAandeel kcal uit vetten
Seitan11883% 02%
Kalkoenwit10684%1511%
Kipfiet (bereid)15776%3523%
Rund (mager) of lenderollade12669%6229%
Varkensgebraad of karbonade19638%4061%
Hamburger27230%2266%
Ei (gekookt)15435%32063%
OmschrijvingKcal per 100 gAandeel kcal uit eiwittenMg cholesterol per 100 kcalAandeel kcal uit vetten
Seitan11883%02%
Tonijn (rauw)9689%609%
Zalm (gerookt)20049%4549%
Mosselen (gekookt)7452%9036%
Haring (gerookt)23637%7263%
Kabeljauw11875%7022%
Scampi8681%12511%

Why are proteins important for your health?

Proteins are essential to healthy living for several reasons.

Proteins make up the largest part of the dry matter in your body. Vitamins and minerals only constitute 1.5% of the dry building materials in your body, whereas proteins, on the other hand, constitute at least 60%.

Proteins are found in your skin, nails, bones, organs and muscles, but also in your enzymes, hormones, eggs and sperm. Cells are replaced every day by new ones, and proteins constitute the most important building blocks. This shows how important proteins are for your health.

60 billion cells are working with proteins 24/7. An amazing number! This occurs individually in the power station (the mitochondrion) of every cell. These 60 billion power stations need proteins to do their work. If you have a shortage of proteins, some of these power stations are forced to shut down. Depending on the duration and the extent of the shortages, they can result in serious health problems. Enough complete proteins are needed for cells to work optimally.

Every protein has a specific function. Just as there are different vitamins, each with their own individual functions, so there are also different proteins. Proteins for the skin are not the same as proteins for the muscles. And you need other proteins for your hormones. Your body needs to be fed a whole range of proteins every day.

What is the difference between proteins and amino acids?

Proteins are, in fact, a structured group of amino acids, comprising of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. The human body needs 22 amino acids, from which it can create 100,000 different proteins. You can compare this to letters and words: with 26 letters you can make an endless number of words. The 22 amino acids have so many possible combinations that you can produce a multitude of proteins.

What are essential amino acids?

Plants are able to manufacture amino acids from carbon dioxide, water and nitrate in the soil. Animals, and therefore also people, must obtain amino acids from what they eat.

There are about 500 known types of amino acids, but only 22 are important for humans. Of these 22 amino acids, nine are essential and one is semi-essential (for premature babies and growing toddlers). ‘

‘Essential’ means you need to get the amino acids from your food because you can’t make them yourself and because deficiencies in the various essential amino acids cause health problems. The premise that animal proteins are more complete than vegetable proteins has been undermined by various studies.

Vegetable proteins are first-class proteins.

View the products with first-class vegetable proteins

What are complete proteins?

Proteins are called ‘complete’ if they contain an adequate proportion of all 9 of the essential amino acids.

Your body is, in fact, unable to store amino acids in reserve. But it can recover amino acids (catabolism) to make other proteins at a later stage. A constant supply of essential amino acids is therefore required. Variation in food, with a lot of proteins, is just as important as a variation in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids, etc. One-sided nutrition results in deficiencies in vital substances.

Your body is, in fact, unable to store amino acids in reserve. But it can recover amino acids (catabolism) to make other proteins at a later stage. A constant supply of essential amino acids is therefore required. Variation in food, with a lot of proteins, is just as important as a variation in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fatty acids, etc. One-sided nutrition results in deficiencies in vital substances.

Vary with proteins. Eat the Bertyn seitan

How are proteins digested and absorbed?

Proteins are partially ground in the mouth and surrounded by salivary enzymes. For vegetable or animal proteins, the real work begins in your stomach.

The proteins remain in the very acidic chyme for an average of two to four hours and are reduced to smaller particles, partly with the help of the digestive enzyme pepsin.

They are then further reduced into separate amino acids in your small intestine. The amino acids then find their way through your intestinal wall to your blood and liver, which your body again uses to make various proteins.

Any excess will be used by your body as energy or stored as fat. The waste product nitrogen is left over and transported by your liver, as urea, to your kidneys. Together with water and salt, your kidneys discharge the urea, with your urine, from your body. A few amino acids are also excreted through perspiration.

Sufficient essential amino acids are required for at least 600 enzymatic reactions in your body

There can be no life without enzymes, because they set certain reactions in motion in your body. They play a significant role in specific functions, including the digestion and absorption of your food and the burning of fat, etc.

Likewise, there can be no energy or vitality without sufficient essential amino acids. Your body can only make enzymes if it has the most important building blocks available….proteins!

Proteins are required as a catalyst to get energy and strength from food. There can be no ATP processes without proteins.

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the fuel that enables your body and muscles to function. Bones and muscles are activated and taxed by movement or power training. In order for this to occur easily, ATP causes, for example, your muscles to contract, transports nerve impulses and activates a range of other energy processes. Food and oxygen are at its foundations.

Sufficient essential amino acids are required for the many hormones and neurotransmitters

Hormones are your metabolism’s activators. They stimulate your enzymes, enable your bones and muscles to grow and ensure that you are happy or sad. There can be no hormones without sufficient and varied proteins.

Cells are small: 100 can fit in 1 millimetre. Proteins ensure that communication occurs between your 60 billion cells. Without proteins there is no insulin or glucagon and your pancreas will not function properly; in other words, will result in bad blood sugar levels.

Without sufficient essential amino acids there can be no serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for your mood, sleep, sexual activity, self-confidence, emotions and appetite. Melatonin, which influences your sleep-wake rhythm, is another hormone dependent on amino acids. A melatonin deficiency causes sleep disorders. And we could keep going…. your hydration and fluid balance are also closely regulated with the help of proteins.

Sufficient amino acids are required to deliver top performance Adrenaline is required in order to excel. This hormone is also formed from proteins. Adrenaline is responsible for the flight-or-fight response but also extra alertness, better blood circulation and a greater supply of oxygen to your muscles.

No growth hormones, no endurance or strength?

Without proteins there can be no growth hormones and you will have no endurance or strength. Power training builds your muscles and makes your heart, lungs and bones stronger and larger. Various proteins are required for this growth, as the building blocks to make the muscle and bone cells. Proteins are also required to enable efficient fat burning. After all, elite athletes want the best possible bodies to offer the strongest possible competition…

How many proteins do you need?

Proteins are probably the most important nutrients for your daily vitality. With regard to proteins, it is all a question of absorbing enough of the nine essential amino acids through your food (plus one semi-essential for premature babies and growing toddlers). After all, you cannot make these amino acids yourself. It is therefore important to vary your sources of protein.

An adult person has a minimum requirement of approximately 30 to 65 grams of proteins.

The daily requirements vary enormously from person to person and from amino acid to amino acid. People often get the balance wrong because the standards say that, generally, they are consuming too many proteins. But that isn’t necessarily always the case. As indicated in studies by Professor Jeffrey Bland, editor of Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition, and also by Dr. Roger Williams in his acclaimed book Biochemical Individuality:

  1. The secretion of certain amino acids in the urine of healthy people, with identical diets, can vary enormously.
  2. The quantity of enzymes present in the saliva of healthy people can vary enormously, which demonstrates that people also digest differently.
  3. The requirements for certain amino acids can vary from one person to another by two to seven times.
  4. The way in which people digest, absorb, store and use certain amino acids can display strong differences.

With stress, illness, smoking, fatigue, depression, poorly working bowels and strenuous physical effort the protein requirements are greater. Pregnant women, growing children, toddlers, athletes, manual labourers, vegans and bodybuilders, etc. require 1.2 grams to 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Disruptions in hormone levels

Disruptions in hormone levels, both physical and mental fatigue, reduced resistance, diarrhoea, low body temperature, hair loss, loss of muscle mass, loss of hair pigment, flaking skin, ageing skin, reduced elasticity of the blood vessels, headaches, less social behaviour, feeling down, constant pain in the abdomen, bones breaking easily, swollen abdomen, legs or feet, feeling depressed, anaemia and mouth ulcers, etc.

Detoxification of your body

Toxic metals and pollution in your body increase the chances of illness and accelerate the ageing process. Nowadays, people are exposed to more pollution than a hundred years ago.

Polluting chemicals can be found almost everywhere: body care products, perfumes, paints, washing powders, varnishes, clothes, furniture, exhaust fumes, pesticides and even in your diet, particularly if you eat a lot of fish and meat.

Your body can remove some toxic substances, but there are limits. Residual impurities mainly accumulate as fat.

Amino acids help your body to detoxify itself.

Sex and fertility

Sex can give you an extremely good feeling, both physically and emotionally. Yet sex can also become a source of frustration, anger and resentment in a relationship.

Amino acids, like a healthy diet, play a very important role.

Spectrum analysis using HPLC

With a sample of your urine, you can have a spectrum analysis made of your amino acids, using HPLC (High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography). Based on this analysis, you can also find out which amino acids you are deficient in.

Conclusion: it is better to eat more proteins than is considered to be strictly necessary. Ensure you have sufficient essential amino acids (9 + 1). You can best increase your protein consumption to reflect your activity patterns, lifestyle, genes and any specific symptoms.

Inspiration for cooking with seitan of Bertyn

Organic seitan from Bertyn is easy to use in vegetarian dishes. In classic dishes you can use seitan as a meat substitute. A meat substitute without cholesterol, with more protein than meat or fish and low in fat. Ideal on your veggie day. On this website you will find a lot of recipes for seitan.

view our recipes

Seitan recipe suggestions

Uitwerking van het recept voor in rode palmolie gebakken schorseneren met seitan

Salsify baked in red palm oil with seitan, served with cress

Recipe suitable for: 4 people | Difficulty: Average | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Preparation time: 40 minutes | Total preparation: 60 minutes |

View recipe
paté

Smoked pâté from seitan: vegetarian, high-protein and low-carb

Recipe suitable for: 25 portions | Difficulty: Average | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Total preparation: 30 minutes | Type: Lunch, Side dish, Bread topping

View recipe
Vegetarisch gehaktbrood van Seitan

Vegetarian recipe for meatloaf made from seitan mince

Recipe suitable for: 6 people | Difficulty: Average | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Preparation time: 100 minutes | Total preparation: 115 minutes | Type: Main dish, Ovendish

View recipe

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