Protein powders are widely used amongst fitness and health fanatics and it’s no surprise why. Protein is needed to build muscle, repair tissue, and help to produce enzymes and hormones, so adding protein powder to your diet can have a significant impact and the added benefit of convenience.
However, when it comes to vegan options there are a few misconceptions. A lot of people think vegan protein doesn’t have a full amino acid profile or is quite inferior to other types, this is where Pea Protein steps in!
What is pea protein?
Pea protein powder is a high-quality protein and is made by taking the protein from yellow peas that are dried and then ground into flour. But their journey doesn’t stop there; water is added to the flour to remove most of the starch and fiber and is then dried again. This leaves a concentrated protein powder, also known as pea protein isolate.
What are some of the benefits?
- Pea protein has many benefits, the first one being it is a high-quality protein. It contains all 9 essential amino acids, which we have to get from food as our body can’t create them. It is also a great source of branched chained amino acids (BCAAs). This consists of arginine, which encourages healthy blood flow and heart health as well as leucine, isoleucine, and valine which aids muscle growth.
- Pea protein is plant-based and cruelty-free making it perfect for those on a vegan diet because finding a protein powder that fits in with your dietary requirements can be difficult. It doesn’t consist of any of the top eight food allergens, which are peanuts, eggs, fish, tree nuts, shellfish, cow’s milk, wheat, and soy making it accessible to people on most diets as it’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
- When it comes to building muscle the most common option tends to be whey protein powder due to it being high in branched-chain amino acids however, pea protein is very similar. So much so that a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and Sports discovered no difference in muscle gains when comparing pea protein with whey.
- Pea protein can lower the risk factors for heart diseases, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, as animal studies have found. This works by increasing the absorption of cholesterol into cells and decreasing the body’s production of fats. Also, it’s a rich source of iron as it contains 25%-30% of an adult’s recommended daily intake. Iron is vital for the flow of blood and oxygen and is important for metabolism.
- Adding pea protein to your diet can leave you feeling full with the tools your body needs to build muscle! Whether you’re wanting to control your appetite so you don’t reach for a chocolate bar or to help you lose weight, pea protein can help!
When eaten with a balanced diet it can help you to lose weight and feel healthier, as it is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. We all know how it feels when your body is telling you it wants to snack and it can be hard to stick to a diet. This is because of a hormone called Ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone” and is produced by the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and brain. It is shown that when released into the bloodstream it can increase food intake by up to 30%. However, ghrelin’s job isn’t to just make you hungry, it prompts the release of the growth hormones. These growth hormones break down fat tissue and build muscle.
How do I use it?
There are many ways to add pea protein into your diet. You can simply add it into what you typically already make such as shakes, porridge, yogurt bowls, overnight oats, or smoothies. You could even get a bit creative and add it to baked foods such as muffins, brownies, waffles, etc. to increase the nutrient value.
Pea protein is a great alternative to other protein powders as it is very easy to add to any diet due to it being vegan and not containing any of the top 8 allergens. Many recipes show you how you can add pea protein into your diet and don’t be put off by how you think it may taste, as it’s mild in flavour. Some flavoured brands may not taste great but there also many place to buy unflavored pea protein.
It’s not only good for you but is also good for the environment. Agriculture is one of the major factors that contribute to greenhouse gases. The production of animal protein sources has higher greenhouse gas emissions than the production of plant protein sources. It’s just as important that we look after ourselves as well as our planet.