Contrary to popular belief, going plant based does not mean you have to suffer from protein deficiency. In many ways, plant based protein can keep you healthy in ways that animal protein cannot.
Even if you aren’t plant based, you may want to switch up your form of protein powder to one that has been proven to protect you from disease and even shrink your waistline. Read on for tips on determining which plant based protein powder is right for you.
Benefits Of Plant Based Protein
Supplementing with a protein powder may be able to help you rev up your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and help shrink your waistline. According to a 2015 study, diets that include higher amounts of protein have been shown to produce greater weight loss, fat mass loss and preserve lean mass better than lower protein diets. Other benefits included reductions in triglycerides, blood pressure and waist circumference.
Investing in a plant based protein powder alone won’t give you big bulky muscles unless you’re hitting the gym to pump iron several times per week, which is great news for women who are often put off using protein powder for this reason. But if your goal is to gain muscle through the combination of a protein powder supplement and lifting weights, plant based can give you that too.
In addition to helping you slim down, vegan protein may be able to reduce your risk of disease. A study published in Medical Hypotheses showed that diets featuring vegan protein had lower serum lipid levels to promote weight loss and a decrease in activity that may otherwise induce inflammatory diseases and slow growth tumors. Vegan protein has also been effective at reducing one’s risk for rheumatoid arthritis and may improve diabetic control than most the typical Western proteins.
This information was supported by a 2013 study that concluded vegetarians were slimmer than meat eaters. The study found that avoiding meats, dairy products and eggs as well as refined sugar and processed foods may be at a lower risk of developing chronic diseases and death from ischemic heart disease. The study recommended plant based diets to anyone suffering from high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
Why No Whey?
There are two types of milk protein, casein and whey. Whey has long been used as a steady source of protein powder in the fitness industry. But the benefits of plant based powder are becoming more apparent to personal trainers and fitness lovers because of their easy digestibility.
With the rise of dairy sensitivities comes the need for a protein powder that does not cause stomach irritation. Personal Trainer Scott Checkland notes that 30 minutes after drinking a whey protein shake, he would feel bloated and gassy, which made it difficult to train properly. Switching to a plant based protein powder help alleviate this problem. You can read more about Scott’s story here.
Ingredients You Should Look For In A Plant Based Protein Powder
The difference between animal based protein and plant based is in the composition of amino acids, or the building blocks of protein. Animal protein carries all the amino acids while most plant based sources require the pairing together of several plant based foods to get all your amino acids. This isn’t a problem with some planning! Look for these ingredients in your next investment.
- Think Peas
One cup of peas contains eight grams of protein along with fibre, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and folate. They are also high in plant chemicals called polyphenolics, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties to help keep you disease free.
To get more peas in your diet, try steaming them and adding them to salads, soups, pasta, stir fry’s or even meat based dishes. Pea protein powder is available and can easily be added to smoothies in place of whey for a protein boost.
- Spirulina Powder
Spirulina powder is a blue green algae that provides four grams of protein per one tablespoon. It also comes with a unique source of nutrients that no other food source can offer, including minerals, B-complex vitamins, antioxidants, trace elements, and a number of unexplored plant chemical compounds. Other benefits of spirulina powder include anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-diabetic, and antiviral properties. It also helps keep your gut healthy and immune system strong.
You can take spirulina in the form of tea, tablets or powder. Add it to your favorite green smoothie for a fun deep sea green look.
- Hemp Protein Powder
Hemp protein has been called the perfect plant based protein. One serving of four tablespoons provides approximately 12 grams of protein. Hemp is also full of anti-inflammatory properties that may be able to reduce obesity, skin allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes, breast pain and multiple sclerosis.
- Green Tea
You may not think to include green tea in your plant based protein supplement, but green tea is full of the antioxidant EGCG, which has been shown to kill the flu virus, prevent the breakdown of a protein known to form brain-clogging plaque, and may be very effective at helping you lose weight.
Pro Matcha is a plant based protein powder supplement with matcha green tea powder, pea protein and chlorella, which is found in spirulina and other algae. Two scoops provide 21 grams of plant based protein along with plant chemicals including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.