As more people are turning to plant-based diets for health and sustainability reasons, pea protein is becoming a staple for achieving optimal nutrition. Made from yellow split peas, it's an excellent alternative to traditional animal-based protein sources.
So let’s explore the benefits of pea protein and how to combine it with other protein sources for even greater nutritional value. We'll also provide some tips on how to incorporate pea protein into your diet and answer common questions.
What is pea protein?
Pea protein is a type of protein that comes from yellow split peas, those little peas that you often find in soups and stews. Well, it turns out that they're a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
To isolate the pea protein from the rest of the pea, the peas are soaked in water to soften them, then the outer layer is removed, leaving behind the protein-rich inner portion. This portion is then ground into a fine powder and processed to create a powder called pea protein isolate.
It's a great option to add more protein to your diet, especially when combined with other plant-based protein sources, as we’ll discuss later.
What is pea protein isolate?
All pea protein can be considered pea protein isolate. That means it’s a more highly processed form of protein where most of the non-protein components like carbs, fats and fibre have been removed.
This differs from protein concentrate, a term that generally only applies to animal-based protein powders like whey protein (which can come in concentrated or isolated form).
Some people, especially bodybuilders, like the concentred form of whey protein because they’re trying to load up on calories - and the extra fat and carbs (in the form of the milk-sugar lactose), helps them do just that.
But there’s no evidence that an isolated form of protein, like pea protein, has any less effect on muscle-building if that’s what you’re after.
Plus if you’re after the weight-loss benefits of protein, the isolated form removes most of the extra carbs and fats, while offering more protein for your buck!
What are the benefits of pea protein?
Pea protein is a highly nutritious and versatile protein source that offers several potential benefits, including:
High protein content. Pea protein is one of the best sources of protein out there. It's got all nine essential amino acids that your body needs, although it's a little low in methionine. No worries, though - you can easily combine it with other proteins to get the extra methionine that you need.
Plant-based. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you'll be happy to know that pea protein is an awesome option for getting your protein fix. But even if you're not, it's always good to switch things up and get some of your protein from plant-based sources.
Easily digestible. Pea protein is super easy on the stomach. It's hypoallergenic, which means for most people, it won't make you feel sick or give you any weird reactions.
Low in fat and carbs. If you're trying to watch your calories, pea protein is an excellent choice. It's super lean, with minimal amounts of fat and carbs.
- May help with weight loss. Here's a cool thing about pea protein - it can actually help you lose weight! It makes you feel full and can help curb your appetite, which means you're less likely to snack on junk food.
So, there you have it - some pretty compelling reasons to add pea protein to your diet. Whether you're looking to build muscle, lose weight, or just eat healthier, pea protein is a great choice.
Is pea protein a complete protein?
Yes, pea protein is technically considered a complete protein since it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own. However, it's relatively low in one of these essential amino acids called methionine.
So in reality, you shouldn’t rely on it as your one-and-only protein source, since this deficiency in methionine might mean you’re not getting the all the muscle synthesis effects you could otherwise be getting.
But you know what is high in methionine? Brown rice protein, another plant-based protein source.
And you’re in luck, because our VORA GOOD SHAPE PROTEIN combines pea protein, brown rice protein and pumpkin seed protein to ensure you get all the right amounts of the essential and non-essential amino acids your body needs to get the most out of your protein powder!
What other foods can you add to pea protein to make it more effective?
If you're looking for ways to increase your protein intake and create a complete protein source, combining pea protein with other protein sources is a great option.
But don’t fret too much: you don't need to consume all of these sources at once to create a complete protein. Just eat a variety of them throughout the day to ensure that you are getting all of the essential amino acids your body needs.
If you’re vegan and only looking for other plant-based sources to add to your protein intake, here are some excellent options:
Brown rice or brown rice protein powder. Brown rice is a great source of methionine and other essential amino acids.
Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed protein powder. Pumpkin seeds are rich in several essential amino acids, including tryptophan and lysine.
Quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein source on its own and is also high in several essential amino acids.
Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are rich in protein and several essential amino acids. Almonds, cashews, and chia seeds are all good options to combine with pea protein to create a complete protein source.
If you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or pescatarian, you can’t go wrong adding these other protein sources to your diet, along with pea protein.
Eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids. They are also high in vitamins and minerals.
Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a high-protein dairy product that can be combined with pea protein to create a complete protein source. It's also a good source of calcium and probiotics.
Milk. Milk is a good source of protein, as well as calcium and other essential nutrients. Combining pea protein with milk can create a complete protein source that is ideal for vegetarians.
Chicken or turkey breast. Chicken or turkey breast is a great source of lean protein that is low in fat and high in amino acids like methionine.
- Fish. Fish is a great source of lean protein that is high in essential amino acids. Salmon, tuna, and cod are all excellent choices.
Are there any risks to taking pea protein?
Pea protein is generally well-tolerated by most people, but as with any food, there is always a risk of allergic reactions. While pea allergies are relatively rare, if you have a known allergy to peas, it's best to avoid pea protein.
For others, pea protein is easy to digest, but some may experience mild bloating or gas. If you have any concerns or health issues, it's always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before adding pea protein or any supplement to your diet.
What’s the best way to take pea protein powder?
Pea protein powder is seriously versatile stuff. There are so many ways to use it! Check out some of these ideas:
Smoothies. If you're a smoothie fan, pea protein powder is an easy way to give your favorite blend an extra protein boost. Just mix it with your favorite fruits and veggies, blend it up, and you're good to go!
Baked goods. Who says you can't have your cake (or muffins, or pancakes) and eat it too? Pea protein powder works great in baked goods, which means you can indulge in your favorite treats while still getting a healthy dose of protein.
Oatmeal or cereal. Need a quick and easy breakfast idea? Just mix some pea protein powder into your morning oatmeal or cereal for a protein-packed start to your day.
- Snacks. Feeling a little peckish? Whip up some protein bars or energy balls with pea protein powder for a convenient and healthy snack option.
And if you're looking for a great pea protein powder to try out, look no further than VORA GOOD SHAPE PROTEIN. It combines pea protein with other sources of protein like brown rice and pumpkin seed to create a complete protein. Plus, it's packed with superfoods, dietary fiber, and thermogenics to give you an extra boost of nutrition.