Peas: love ‘em or hate ’em; there aren’t many opinions in-between. They either induce thoughts of sweet, tender green peas fresh from a summer garden, steamed, with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of salt for good measure – or they evoke painful memories of being forced to choke down a bowl of overcooked, gray, mushy stuff in order to earn dessert. But whatever your opinion of peas may be, with the introduction of pea powders, modern technology allows us to take advantage of something positive peas offer – that being protein – without some common drawbacks.
If you’ve been looking for a good source of supplemental protein but prefer to avoid dairy and soy, pea protein may be the perfect choice. Being botanically classified as legumes, peas contain a relatively high amount of protein compared to other plant foods, such as leafy greens and fruit. Also, coming from a plant source, pea protein has none of the allergenic problems associated with dairy-derived proteins, like whey and casein. Pea protein is an ideal source of extra amino acids for those who have genuine milk allergies, or for those with varying degrees of lactose intolerance.
Where’s the joy in soy?
How does pea protein compare to soy, the much more common plant protein? Soybeans are a rich source of protein, but they contain substances called antinutrients that can interfere with digesting and assimilating these proteins. Because soy protein powders are so highly concentrated, these problematic substances can be present at even higher levels than in whole, unprocessed soybeans. So in terms of bioavailability—the body’s ability to access and incorporate the protein—soy isn’t always the best way to go. Soy also contains phytochemicals that are known to have mild estrogenic effects in the body. So in order to avoid the potential hormonal complications of soy consumption, consider using pea protein instead.
Pea protein can be especially helpful if you’re following a detox program, guided by your qualified health care practitioner. These programs typically call for protein shakes in addition to clean, whole foods, and because detoxification programs are often started to help strengthen weakened digestive systems or rebalance hormones, it’s important to get this protein from a source that won’t interfere with either of those.
Another area where pea protein may be preferable to soy and dairy-derived products is with regard to genetically modified organisms in the food supply, and their potentially deleterious effects on health. The majority of non-organic soy is now genetically modified, and non-organic dairy protein isolates and concentrates may come from cows that have been fed genetically modified feed (corn and soy).
Back to pea…
Vegetarians aren’t the only people who can benefit from pea protein. Anyone taking whey, casein, or soy products for the anabolic (bodybuilding) effects of extra protein can substitute pea instead. Pea protein is relatively high in the amino acids known to be especially helpful for aiding muscle repair and recovery after intense exercise. It has also been shown to have favorable effects on lipid metabolism— meaning your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. In studies on rats, compared to casein, pea protein helped control the synthesis of blood fats and may have helped to influence healthy cholesterol levels. Pea protein might also help support healthy blood pressure. In an animal study, compared to whey protein, pea protein was shown to have a short-term influence on healthy blood pressure levels.
Regardless of how you feel about their flavor in whole food form, peas provide a good source of protein that comes without the problematic aspects of the more common dairy and soy proteins. So it’s fine to keep a bag of these legumes in the dark depths of your freezer and turn to it only when you need to ice an occasional injury, but if you’re looking for a good source of protein with few negatives, consider consuming a great-tasting shake using a powdered pea protein as its base.
If you are looking for a quality pea protein meal replacement consider FormuloMeal-DF™ (Available in natural vanilla and Berry flavors)
FormuloMeal-DF™ provides a nutrient-dense, dairy-free meal supplement in a delicious, easy to mix powder. This comprehensive formula derives its protein from highly bioavailable and digestible, non-genetically modified pea protein isolates and also includes a balanced amount of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Perfect for vegans, FormuloMeal-DF™ can also be used to support healthy weight control and muscle gain, as well as aid the normal detoxification process and support GI and immune health. FormuloMeal-DF™ does not contain fructose or sucrose; it utilizes the naturally sweet herb, stevia, which supports healthy blood sugar.
Enjoy a 20% discount on your first order of FormuloMeal-DF by entering discount code FN20 at checkout!