Pea protein is an excellent source of vegan protein, but what really sets it apart from other plant-based proteins? Here’s what you need to know about peas and their nutritional value.
Pea Protein: A Powerful Source of Vegan Protein
There are TONS of protein powders on the market these days. So much so, that stepping foot into a health store can feel a little intimidating. And what’s even more daunting is the long list of hard to pronounce ingredients on the back of the labels. What are those anyway?!
When choosing a protein powder, it’s important to ask yourself “What will benefit my body most?” And 10 times out of 10, the answer is: plant protein!
One of the most popular sources of vegan protein today is pea protein powder. What are the benefits of pea protein? And what sets it apart from other plant protein sources, like hemp protein? Read on to find out all of the answers to your burning questions.
WHAT IS PEA PROTEIN POWDER?
Pea protein powder is exactly what it sounds like: pea powder! It’s made by drying and grounding yellow peas into a fine powder. This process removes the starch and helps preserve the nutrients and vitamins.
When compared to some whey protein and other animal-based proteins, pea protein has them beat. In a 2018 study researchers found that peas actually contain a higher amount of protein than eggs and cow’s milk.
Pea protein also contains a high amount of iron, zinc, potassium and vitamins B6 and B2. And it offers a wide range of health benefits.
PEA PROTEIN BENEFITS
A healthy plant-based protein that builds muscle and supports heart health? Yes, peas! Here’s why pea protein belongs in your protein powder!
PEA PROTEIN BENEFIT #1 - Builds muscle mass.
Contrary to what some may think, plant-based protein powders can be just as effective at building and repairing muscles than animal-based protein, like whey powder.
Studies show that pea protein has major muscle-boosting benefits due to its high amounts of branched-chain amino acids, such as L-arginine. This amino acid plays an important role in muscle building and enhances the human growth hormone. And when paired with exercise, it can really take your muscles to the next level.
A 2015 study published in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” compared the effects of pea protein and whey protein on the biceps of 161 men in a 12-week resistance training program.
They found that at the end of the program, both groups had a significant increase in muscle thickness. Researchers concluded that because there was no difference between the two protein groups, pea protein is a great plant-based alternative to whey powder.
So whether you want to become big and strong like the hulk or just strong enough to carry all of your groceries in one trip, pea protein can help you get there.
One study found that 20 grams of pea protein powder taken 30 minutes before eating pizza suppressed the appetite in young healthy males and reduced their average calorie-intake by 12%
Another way pea protein prevents you from grazing is by lowering levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Studies show that eating high-protein foods decreases levels of ghrelin, which curbs cravings and reduces appetite.
In addition, peas are often used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote healthy digestion and control hunger.
PEA PROTEIN BENEFIT #2 - Keeps you fuller longer.
PEA PROTEIN BENEFIT #3 - It's good for your heart.
Not only can pea protein help you build muscle, but it can support a healthy heart.
One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that consuming plant-based proteins over animal-based proteins can lower your risk of coronary heart disease – the most common type of heart disease.
In 2011, researchers conducted a 3-week study in humans and found that 3 grams of pea protein hydrolysate per day lowered systolic blood pressure ( the force your heart exerts on the walls of your arteries each time it beats) by 6 points.
And while more human research is needed, an animal study found that pea protein can reduce cholesterol levels in rats. Lowering cholesterol in your diet is key in maintaining healthy arteries and preventing heart attack.
Consuming certain types of protein can actually worsen your kidney function. However, studies suggest that pea protein could help delay or prevent the onset of kidney damage in those with high blood pressure.
Researchers from the University of Manitoba tested the effects of pea protein on rats with a severe type of kidney disease called polycystic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease can reduce the output of urine, preventing the kidneys from being able to rid the body of toxins.
After 8 weeks of consuming pea protein, the rats showed a 30 percent increase in urine production, restoring it to almost normal levels.
What’s even more impressive, is that it was discovered that peas alone would not offer these same health benefits. Researcher Rotimi Aluko pointed out “Eating yellow peas in their natural state won’t produce the same potential health benefits as the purified protein extract.”
PEA PROTEIN BENEFIT #4 - Can promote kidney function.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND PEA PROTEIN POWDER?
When it comes to shopping for protein powders, it’s always in your best interest to check the labels for added sweeteners, binders, and additives. You’d be surprised by how many protein powders market themselves as “healthy” when they actually contain loads of harmful ingredients.
But that’s something you never have to worry about with Your Super mixes. Our mixes contain 6 or less superfoods and every ingredient is certified organic, Non-GMO certified, glyphosate-free, plant-based and gluten-free. Plus, they’re rigorously tested by third parties for pesticides and heavy metals.
Pea protein can be found in both of our plant-based protein powders: Skinny Protein and Plant Protein. And because each mix is designed to target a specific nutrition need, there’s something for everyone!
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Written by Reigna