13 Reasons To Love Pea Protein Powder

pea protein powder

When I was a kid, my mother often made split pea soup, and as you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled on the nights it was served for dinner. However, now those same green and yellow peas—in the form of pea protein powder—are becoming all the rage, and not just because it is a super vegetarian protein source.

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Pea protein powder, which is made by drying peas, extracting the protein, and leaving most of the carbohydrates behind, has so many good features, it’s difficult to know where to begin. I’m sure you’ll find at least a few reasons to love pea protein powder in the following list of attributes.

13 reasons to love pea protein powder

1. Helps with weight loss. Pea protein produces large numbers of peptides that slow down the rate at which your stomach empties and the secretion of a hormone called ghrelin. This hormone is also known as the hunger hormone, and it is released by your stomach when it’s empty to let your brain know you’re hungry. Therefore, delaying the release of ghrelin helps you feel fuller longer and help with weight loss.

2. Hypoallergenic. For the many folks who are allergic or sensitive to whey (the lactose in milk is a common allergen), wheat, or soy, pea protein is dairy- and gluten-free and doesn’t carry the stigma of phytoestrogens associated with soy.

If you elect to try pea protein beverages, the fact that peas are virtually allergen free makes them a great choice for anyone who cannot tolerate soy, almond, or other nut milks.

3. High in protein. Pea protein powder contains more protein than wheat, rice, or hemp, Pea protein is slightly more concentrated than whey: 25 grams of protein per 30 gram scoop vs 23 grams, respectively.

4. Cholesterol and fat free. Unlike whey protein, pea protein is naturally free of cholesterol and fat.

5. Great protein alternative in foods. Start reading labels: soon you’ll be seeing the words “pea protein powder” instead of “whey,” “whey protein,” “soy,” and “soy protein powder.” For anyone who can’t tolerate whey or soy, peas are the answer!

6. Has branched-chain amino acids. The special thing about branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is that they reduce muscle breakdown after exercise. This makes them popular among athletes.

7. Lowers blood pressure. A Canadian study found that pea protein powder lowered high blood pressure in rats. After eight weeks of taking the protein, there was a 20 percent decline in blood pressure among the animals.

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8. Good source of vitamin D. Very few foods provide a good amount of vitamin D, and pea protein powder is one of them. One serving (23 grams) of the powder provides 400 International Units of vitamin D.

9. Impressive nutritional profile. Twenty-three grams (just shy of 1 ounce) of pea protein powder contains 90 to 103 calories, 6 grams fiber, 7 grams carbohydrates, 17 to 23.9 grams protein, and 0.3 gram fat. Don’t forget the high amount of vitamin D too!

10. Increases muscle growth. Some athletes take protein powders to boost muscle growth, strength, and recovery. Pea protein powder can do it all!

One reason for this positive report is likely the high amounts of L-arginine in pea protein. This amino acid appears in pea protein powder at levels greater than in other protein powders and is valued for its ability to help build muscle.

11. Non-GMO. Thus far (keep your fingers crossed), peas are not among the genetically modified crops.

12. Sustainable. Pea protein is WAY more sustainable than whey protein, which is made from dairy. More specifically, whey is a by-product of the process of turning milk into cheese. So first you have to raise the cows (an incredibly expensive and environmentally detrimental process), milk them, process the milk, etc. You get the point.

Another sustainable fact about peas is that they are nitrogen-fixing plants. This means when they die, their roots release the nitrogen they have stored in their root system back into the soil and providing natural fertilizer.

13. Earth-friendly. For those who want to consider pea milk, it takes a half gallon of water to produce a glass of this high-protein beverage, compared with 20 gallons to produce the same amount of almond milk and 60 gallons for a glass of cow’s milk.

Are you ready to try pea protein powder?

Sources
Dr. Axe. Pea protein
Inhabitat. New pea based milk uses 93 percent less water than dairy equivalent
Livestrong. What are the benefits of pea protein?

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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