Non-Tofu Protein Foods
All animal-produced foods – eggs, dairy, red meat, poultry, and seafood – are complete proteins, and contain all nine essential amino acids, necessary to build muscle and be healthy. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, soy is one of your only complete protein options, along with a few grains and seeds like quinoa, amaranth, and chia, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck if you don't like tofu or edamame. You can easily get all the essential amino acids you need by eating a variety of whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and beans. Just don't make the common mistake of subsisting only on rice and veggies – or nuts, pita, and hummus from the bar. You'll pay for it later with fatigue, reduced athletic ability, and unhealthy muscles, skin, and hair. While nutritionists used to believe vegetarians had to pair together incomplete proteins in the same meal to ensure a full amino acid profile, experts now say that the body is capable of matching and building amino acids on its own.