It’s not always easy to get all the protein you need from whole meals.
When you’re trying to boost your protein intake, we’d be hard-pressed to find a better supplement than pea protein powder. (We include it in our powerhouse Paleo Beef Chili.) Pea protein is a 100% plant-based protein source that, in our opinion, beats all other alternatives. Of course, we’d always recommend using it as a supplement rather than a replacement, but we also know how important it is to lock in your nutritional potential.
Protein gives you energy, strengthens your muscles, and boosts brain power so you look and feel your best. It’s important to get at least 46-56 grams of the stuff, depending on your body weight. Pea protein easily offers up about 25 grams of protein for every 30 gram scoop. Here are more reasons why we love it.
#1 It has a neutral taste & better texture than other powders.
Though it’s made from dried field peas (the kind you’d make split pea soup with), pea protein doesn’t really have a taste…and if it does, we’d say it tastes pretty neutral. We love using it in our homemade smoothies as well as our meals since unlike other powders, it doesn’t come out chalky and blends smoothly with other ingredients. It’s almost like it’s not there except, well, you feel a lot more energized.
#2 It’s great if you’ve got allergies.
Pea protein doesn’t contain dairy or gluten, so it’s great if you’ve got sensitive allergies or a sensitive stomach. As long as you’re not allergic to peas, it’s arguably one of the most hypoallergenic of protein powders – even more so than whey. Be sure to buy a brand that’s natural and GMO-free, like we did!
#3 It delivers optimal, high-quality protein.
Pea protein contains more protein than its plant-based sister, hemp, and it may also be of a higher quality, too. A 2012 nutritional evaluation from “Argo Food Industry Hi-Tech” suggests that it’s nutritionally similar to eggs and casein (translation: really good!), while a separate study found hemp protein was more similar to grains, nuts, and seeds. Pea protein also carries a powerhouse amino acid profile: It’s high in the specific amino acids that help decrease blood pressure, turn fat into energy, and heal your body quickly after injury.
#4 It helps with weight loss.
Pea protein has the ability to lower levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, so you feel full for longer. (Your body releases ghrelin as a signal to your brain that you need to eat.) A 2015 study published in Food and Nutrition Research found that pea protein’s ability to make you feel full is comparable to that of dairy foods, like cheese. Translation: don’t worry about packing on the pounds with this protein.
#5 It’s easy on your gut.
Pea protein is generally easier to digest than animal protein, and it’s also great for your gut. As we mentioned earlier, pea protein doesn’t contain the common stomach stressors like lactose and gluten. It doesn’t cause bloating, which is a problem people often report when they take whey and casein.
#6 It’s great for your heart, kidney, and blood sugar levels.
Last but certainly not the least, pea protein has proven health benefits for your whole body. Research shows that it can help lower blood pressure, decrease your risk for kidney disease, and even control your blood sugar levels. A study from the University of Toronto found that when a group of young men added pea protein to their food, their blood glucose levels stayed low rather than spiking. The researchers called pea protein a “value-added” ingredient, and we’d whole-heartedly agree.