A staple ingredient in our Raw Rev superfood ingredient blend is pea protein. While you may or may not be familiar with this nutritional powerhouse, its multiple health benefits are not to be underestimated.
Whether you’re interested in building muscle, eating in an eco-conscious way or looking for more ways to boost your overall health, then you need to know about this incredible plant-based superfood.
So what is pea protein and what can it do for you?
Pea protein is created from extracting protein from yellow peas. First, the pea shell is removed, then the pea is then milled to a fine powder which is then used in anything from protein shakes to a healthy ingredient in Raw Rev bars.
It’s free from common food allergens
Thanks to its hypoallergenic properties, pea protein is safe and effective for those who have allergies or sensitivities to soy, gluten and lactose. This means that it lacks common food allergens such as gluten, soy, dairy and eggs. Because of this, pea protein is a good choice for people on restrictive diets, vegans or vegetarians looking for a protein source that doesn't come from an animal, and individuals who may have other dietary restrictions such as diabetes, kidney disease or digestive sensitivities.
It’s easy to digest
Dairy-based proteins such as whey can commonly cause inflammation, uncomfortable bloating and abdominal cramps, largely due to the fact that 65% of us suffer some level of lactose intolerance. With pea protein, you can enjoy the protein boost without the gastrointestinal issues associated with dairy and wheat.
It can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Pea protein is known for its cholesterol-lowering qualities, and the fiber it contains helps improve digestion. In addition to this, pea protein can also help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in your arteries. As it’s low on the glycemic index, it has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels; this could be especially beneficial if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
It's a source of essential vitamins and minerals
Pea protein is full of important nutrients such as vitamins A, B, C and K as well as minerals such as iron.
Iron helps your body form red blood cells and carries oxygen through the bloodstream to organs and other parts of the body. Iron-rich foods are also important for vegetarians who don't get their iron from meat products.
Vitamin C is another nutrient found in pea protein that you may be familiar with—it's an essential vitamin that helps your body produce collagen, which builds skin and bones (among other things). Vitamin C also supports immune system health by helping your body fend off infections more effectively.
There are plenty of B vitamins in pea protein. From B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and folate to pantothenic acid and biotin as well as vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is also in pea protein, and it’s important for the metabolism of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). Niacin assists in energy metabolism and helps maintain overall health by supporting the nervous system and helping to prevent heart disease. Folate supports red blood cell production and helps to fight against birth defects such as spinal bifida when consumed during pregnancy.
Pea protein also contains useful minerals including zinc, copper, manganese and selenium; all necessary for the growth and repair of cells in the body, plus magnesium which helps maintain healthy bones and muscles
It helps build muscle
Say goodbye to the outdated idea that only meat can help you build muscle! If you're vegan or vegetarian or even just looking for a protein source that's easy to digest, pea protein is an excellent choice.
Pea protein is high in arginine—an amino acid that helps strengthen muscles by improving blood flow to them during exercise. And unlike whey (which contains lactose) or soy (which may cause other side effects), pea protein is gut friendly!
It can also help you to maintain healthy body weight by improving gastrointestinal health and effectively helping to regulate appetite.
Pea protein helps to avoid cholesterol issues
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in animal products. It's not essential for your body, but it can be harmful in large amounts and having too much cholesterol is a common issue for many people. One of the benefits of pea protein is that it contains almost no cholesterol and it can even help to lower the amount of cholesterol present in your body with long-term consumption.
It’s high in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that form when your body breaks down food, and they can damage the cells in your body. Antioxidants help to protect you from damage caused by free radicals.
Antioxidants are found in many different foods, including pea protein, which contains ample amounts of vitamins as well as iron, zinc and selenium—all important antioxidants with several health benefits. The high levels of these antioxidants give pea protein its impressive reputation for helping to support heart health (particularly if you're at risk for atherosclerosis), preventing some types of cancer and managing diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
It contains all essential amino acids.
Pea protein is rich in essential nutrients, containing all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein source and a perfect alternative to whey and soy proteins.
Making sure that you’re getting the correct amount of protein is important for a variety of health functions such as body tissue growth and repair, making hormones and brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), maintaining healthy skin, hair, muscle and nails, boosting your immune system, and more!
Protein keeps you fuller for longer
Pea protein (like any form of protein), takes longer to digest than processed or sugary foods, and it can also help to boost your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories while keeping your hunger satisfied.
It’s planet friendly
Yes you heard that right. Pea protein has some great benefits outside its impact on our health too!
So if you're worried about what your food choices are doing for the environment, don't be: Peas are a sustainable crop that doesn’t have the negative impacts associated with other sources of protein like meat, soybeans or wheat.
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