Which Foods Are Good Examples Of Complementary Proteins Quizlet? [Answer]


In the world of nutrition, proteins are considered the building blocks of life. They play a crucial role in repairing and building tissues, producing enzymes and hormones, and supporting overall growth and development. However, not all proteins are created equal. Some lack certain essential amino acids, making it important to consume a combination of foods that provide complementary proteins. In this article, we will explore some prime examples of complementary proteins and how they can be incorporated into a balanced diet.

Legumes and Grains

Legumes and grains are a perfect example of complementary proteins. Legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas are generally low in methionine but rich in lysine and other essential amino acids. On the other hand, grains like rice, wheat, and corn are low in lysine but contain higher levels of methionine. By combining legumes and grains in a meal, such as a classic combination of rice and beans, you can create a complete protein profile. This combination not only provides all the essential amino acids but also offers a variety of nutrients, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.

Seeds and Nuts

When it comes to complementary proteins, seeds and nuts can also be a valuable addition to your diet. While seeds and nuts are excellent sources of protein, they may lack specific amino acids. For instance, sunflower seeds are high in methionine but low in lysine, while sesame seeds are high in lysine but low in methionine. By combining these two seeds, you can create a complete protein profile that offers a wide range of essential amino acids. Other nutrient-rich options include combining nuts like almonds, cashews, or peanuts, which provide a variety of essential amino acids when consumed together.

Dairy and Whole Grains

For individuals who consume dairy products, combining them with whole grains can be an effective way to obtain complementary proteins. Whole grains such as oats, quinoa, and barley are rich in lysine while being relatively low in methionine. Dairy products, like milk, yogurt, and cheese, are high in methionine and other essential amino acids but typically lack lysine. By incorporating whole grains and dairy into your diet, you can ensure a complete protein intake. Try having a Greek yogurt topped with whole grain granola for breakfast or enjoying a bowl of oatmeal with milk.

Vegetables and Legumes

Vegetables and legumes are another fantastic combination to obtain complementary proteins. While vegetables may not be high in protein, they are often rich in lysine. Legumes, as mentioned earlier, are low in methionine but provide a good source of lysine. This combination can be achieved by creating delicious meals like hummus with vegetables, lentil soup with spinach, or a salad topped with black beans. By incorporating a variety of vegetables and legumes into your daily meals, you’ll not only benefit from complementary proteins but also receive a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.


When it comes to protein intake, it’s essential to consider the quality and completeness of the proteins consumed. Including complementary proteins in your diet can help ensure that you receive all the essential amino acids required by your body. Legumes and grains, seeds and nuts, dairy and whole grains, and vegetables and legumes are excellent examples of food combinations that provide complementary proteins. By diversifying your protein sources and incorporating these combinations into your meals, you’ll be able to enjoy a well-rounded and nutritious diet. Remember to always consult a nutritionist or healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice.

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