Pea protein powder is relatively new in the marketplace and its gaining popularity fast and for a number of good reasons. Aside from being extremely high in protein and containing nearly all of the essential amino acids, it’s a great option for anyone who follows a specialized diet such as vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, dairy free, low carb or ketogenic.
What is Pea Protein Powder?
Pea protein powder is made from split yellow peas. The peas are ground to a powder. The starch and fiber are removed, leaving a super concentrated pea protein isolate. This powder can be added to numerous foods such as smoothies, raw or baked desserts, muffin, breads and other foods for a nutritious protein boost.
Many people are challenged with eating well balanced meals due to a hectic lifestyle. While eating a well-balanced, whole food meal is the optimal choice, it isn’t a reality for many people. Enjoying protein powder in a smoothie, or snack food can help to fill in those nutritional gaps.
12 Benefits of Pea Protein Powder
Lowers blood pressure- A 2011 study showed that supplementing a diet with pea protein over a three week period, significantly lowered systolic blood pressure.
Allergen friendly-Other protein powders such as whey, soy, casein or egg powders consumed over an extended period of time, can lead to intolerance or outright food allergies. If you are buying a pure pea protein powder, you are eliminating common allergen ingredients.
Easy digestible-The amino acids in peas are easily absorbed by the body. Pea powder is also less likely to make you bloat or feel gassy.
Heart healthy– This study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that over time consumming plant-based proteins, rather than animal-based proteins, was linked with a lower risk of coronary heart disease
High in branch amino acids-Pea protein is high in branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). Pea protein is also a complete protein with all essential amino acids as well as arginine, lysine and phenylalanine. BCAA’s are necessary if you want to effectively build muscle.
Rich in arginine and lysine-In fact pea protein is one of the highest sources for L-arginine. Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is responsible for healthy circulation. The role of Arginine in forming nitric oxide makes it a critical supplement for individuals who want to improve their cardiovascular health and athletic performance.
Pea protein is also a great source of the essential amino acid L-lysine. Lysine is the precursor of carnitine which is converts fatty acids into energy. It also plays a critical role in the formation of collagen which is the building block of connective tissue such as bones, cartilage, skin and tendons.
Cooking with pea protein-Pea protein is versatile. It can be used in raw or baked foods to give it an additional protein boost.
Improved kidney function– Research conducted by the University of Manitoba, discovered that proteins found in peas may actually be a natural remedy for the prevention of high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.
Vegetarian and vegan– Since protein intake can be a problem for some vegans or vegetarians, pea protein is a wonderful plant based option to fill in any nutritional gaps.
High in iron– Pea protein contains 30% of the iron required per day in a single serving.
Helps with weight loss-Consuming enough protein in your diet is a great way to lose weight. It is due to the ability of protein to lower the hormone ghrelin which is responsible for stimulating the hunger response. Since pea protein helps you to feel full longer, sipping on a pea protein smoothie in between meals can help you avoid snacking.
Balance blood sugar-Pea protein powder may be able to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences shared the results of pea protein on food intake and blood sugar levels in healthy young men. There was no effect on food intake or appetite, however the blood sugar levels of participants stayed lower than they normally would.
Pea Protein Recipes:
Single Serve Snickerdoodle or Brownie Cookie