One thing about vegans is that their protein source isn’t as surplus as others. That’s because the main source of protein which happens to be animal products is restricted among vegans. For this reason, vegans are at high risk of being protein deficient. That’s why they opt for vegan products that are very rich in protein. And one of those food products happens to be seitan. Seitan is popularly consumed by vegans. They refer to it as a substitute for vegans. One of the reasons why it’s well-known is because of its amino acid profile. That’s why today we will be looking at the seitan amino acid profile. But the question that vegans keep asking is, “is it a complete protein for vegans?” Well, you’ll find out as we go on if this is indeed a good source of protein for vegans.
Seitan is a combination of water and wheat gluten. And many people refer to it as a high-protein product that is a low-carb alternative to the regular meat that many people eat. Even with this, there are still some negative effects that people believe this product can cause. Probably because it’s completely made of gluten. So what’s there to this product right here? You’ll find out soon all you need to know before you opt for this guy right here.
Seitan Amino Acid Profile: Is it a Complete Protein for Vegans?
Seitan is a food that’s made with wheat. This food is quite dense and chewy and it feels just like meat in the mouth. That’s why many vegans opt for it. And in terms of nutrition, it’s quite impressive. But one thing that you must know is that seitan is not a complete protein.
Before we go on, let’s take a look at what complete protein means. The building blocks of protein happens to be amino acids. There are about 20 amino acids and out of the 20, our body can make 11. This means that these 11 aren’t needed from external sources like supplements or diets. But the remaining 9 must be gotten from your diet or through supplements. That’s why they are called essential amino acids.
The 9 amino acids are phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, histidine, alanine, leucine, and lysine. A complete protein is known as one that contains all these 9. So many of the foods we say are complete protein isn’t complete protein.
Does this call for concern? Not at all. And the reason is that seitan is a good source of amino acids. You would get most of the amino acids needed by the body from this food. All you have to do is supplement with other sources of the lacking amino acids. That way you wouldn’t be deficient in any of the amino acids.
So what are the amino acids that seitan contains? The good news is that out of the 9 essential amino acids needed by the body seitan contains 8. The only one that is lacking happens to be lysine. If you think about it well, this is a good option for you to opt for if you’re looking for a good protein source.
Cooking seitan with certain foods would help fill in for lysine. All you have to do is check out some nice vegan veggies and other foods that contain enough lysine. With that, you have your complete protein in every meal. And with that, you’re good to go.
Let’s take a look at some other nutrients you get from seitan. In a single serving of seitan which is made with about 1 ounce of wheat you will get:
- 104 calories
- 21 grams of protein
- 16% of the daily requirement of selenium
- 8% of the daily requirement of iron
- 7% of the daily requirement of phosphorus
- 4% of the daily requirement of calcium
- 3% of the daily requirement of copper
Another good thing is that it’s very low in carbs. In just a serving of seitan, you would get about 4g of carbs. Also, the fat content is very little. You would get just 0.5g of fat.
Well, the nutritional values stated are generally correct for seitan. But for some brands, they had some more ingredients that make it taste a lot better. And because of this, there might be slight changes as to the nutritional value of this food from brand to brand.
Pros and Cons of Seitan
- Very nutritious: As stated above, seitan is known to be very nutritious. It contains a lot of nutrients, especially protein. And this makes it a great choice for people that don’t eat meat. There are also other minerals present in seitan. And they all have different roles to play in the body.
- Easy to cook: As mentioned before, seitan is just made up of water and wheat. And because of this, it comes with quite a neutral taste. But the good thing is its texture. This makes it very easy to cook. At the same time, the taste of the soup or sauce used in cooking it would determine the taste. And it can take on the taste of whatever is used well enough. That’s why it comes out with a very nice state when cooked. This is one of the main reasons why people stick to seitan for a long time.
- Good for people that are allergic to soy: Other vegan products are rich in protein. The issue though is that they contain soy. And soy happens to be one of the top allergens around. So if you are allergic to soy and need a good protein source this would be a great option for you.
- One major con of seitan is that it’s highly processed. Looking at the seitan amino acid profile, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that seitan is very nutritious. But the fact remains the same that it’s highly processed. Well, for those that consume a whole lot of whole foods there wouldn’t be much of a problem with consuming seitan. But with people that consume a whole lot of processed food already then seitan might not be just what you need.