Is Plant-Based Protein Powder Good For Your Health
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Many people, especially vegetarians and vegans, rely on plant-based protein powders as one of their main sources of protein.
Although it might work wonders for many, it might also be really harmful to your health if the powder contains junk ingredients.
As we know, protein is very important to consume, but as animal sources are often the most common type of protein, vegans and vegetarians need to get their dose in some other way. Protein should especially be consumed with breakfast as it helps to anchor your circadian rhythm and stabilize your blood sugar. A smoothie made with whole food ingredients and a healthy protein powder might just be the answer! Is plant-based protein powder healthy to consume in the long run, though?
More About Plant-Based Protein Powder
If you are a vegetarian, have a sensitivity to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, a non-animal based source of protein powder might give you plenty of health benefits. Find out more about what supplements and protein powders would work best for you, by visiting Authority Health.
The problem is, that plant-based protein powders often do not taste very good and they also do not mix well with liquids. It can, therefore, take a lot of industrial processing or a lot of food additives to make it taste acceptable. This means that it might possibly trigger digestive upset or inflammation.
What Types of Plant Proteins Are Available On The Market?
- Legumes and peas – This source of protein lacks methionine and is high in branched chain amino acids. It also often contains lots of soluble fibers.
- Brown rice protein – Lacks amino acids such as histidine, leucine and threonine and is high in methionine. It has quite a bit of a grainy texture and dissolves well in water.
- Hemp protein – Contains the complete amino acids. It also contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid. It does have an aftertaste and a vegetable-like smell.
- Pumpkin Protein – Is rich in zinc and mixes well with liquids. Read more about the excellent health benefits of pumpkin.
How To Choose A Healthy Protein Powder
- It should be free from artificial and harmful ingredients.
- You should be able to stomach it and it should go along well with other ingredients.
- It should contain complete protein and at least 20g of protein per serving.
- It should be nutrient dense with as many vitamins and superfoods as possible included. It is also a bonus if it contains digestive enzymes, dietary fiber and probiotics.
- It should be organic and responsibly and ethically manufactured.
How Are Plants Turned Into Protein Powders?
- In order to remove oil from plants, some have to be processed by using hexane. This is not ideal as it can seriously damage your central nervous system.
- High heat processing methods are often used to create protein powders and this process is known to destroy nutrients. This will make it more difficult for your body to assimilate and digest any nutrients properly.
- In some cases, natural enzymes are added to plant seeds in order to remove the protein. This is the least processed and cleanest method which preserves the most nutrients. If you can find a protein powder which is manufactured in this way, you are well away!
What About The Other Ingredients?
A clean protein powder should not include Maltodextrin as it is a processed food additive made from GMO corn. It is often used in protein powders in order for it to mix easier. Also watch out for added sugars such as syrup, concentrate, aspartame etc. Remember that even natural sugars might be harmful, such as Xylitol, Erythritol and Stevia. Xylitol is derived from GMO corn by using sugar hydrogenation (a chemical process). It can, therefore, cause gut imbalances, acid reflux, bloating and gas. Stevia in its natural state is an all-natural, green, healthy sweetener but many companies use the stripped down, bleached and chemically-altered version. In this case, stevia is no longer a wholesome, real food.
Don’t be afraid to ask a company about their ingredients – why they use them, how they’re made and where they come from. You definitely deserve to know!
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