Everyone knows protein is good for you, but figuring out how to add more protein to your diet can be pretty confusing. To meet your fitness goals, you'll need to find the right type of protein.
Pea is an increasingly popular protein type. It claims to be healthy, plant-based, and affordable, but how does it compare to other protein types? To learn the answer to "is pea protein good for you?" you need to learn a little more about what it is and how it affects your body.
To get an idea of how pea protein affects your health, let's take a quick look at its nutritional profile. In just 30 grams of Zen Principle Organic Pea Protein Powder, you get the following nutrients:
- Protein: 24 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0.7 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Calories: 125 grams
- Fiber: 1.2 grams
- Potassium: 70 milligrams
- Sodium: 0.44 grams
- Calcium: 3.7% recommended daily value
- Iron: 40.2% recommended daily value
Ultimately, pea protein has some pretty solid macros. Its high-protein, low-carb profile makes it ideal for people who need additional protein but don't want extra sugar or calories.
The Benefits of Pea Protein
Why should you try pea protein? This protein comes with several benefits.
Great Source of Balanced Protein
Pea protein is a complete protein which means it has all nine essential amino acids. This balanced amino acid profile is a big reason that pea protein is good for you. It provides your body with every building block it needs to build strong cells.
2015 research found that people who took a pea protein supplement while weight training significantly increased muscle size. Pea protein can help build muscles just as well as traditional supplements like whey protein.
Improves Heart Health
A study from 2011 found that pea protein could drastically lower your blood pressure. Studies have also found that it helps to decrease cholesterol and lower heart attack risks.
Pea protein helps build stronger cardiovascular muscles and provides iron to produce red blood cells. This protein can also help improve your heart health by reducing obesity, inflammation, and other causes of heart problems.
Helps You Lose Weight
Pea protein contains plenty of protein and fiber which take the body a while to digest. Since it sits in your stomach for a little bit, it helps you feel fuller. This can be very useful if you're trying to lose weight.
One 2012 study found that people who had a scoop of pea protein before a meal ate 12% fewer calories overall. In day-to-day life, pea protein is a satisfying snack that helps reduce cravings.
Allergen-Free Plant-Based Nutrition
Pure pea protein is very allergen friendly. It doesn't have gluten, dairy, soy, or other common allergens. Unless you have a pea allergy, which is rare, you're probably fine to take this protein.
This protein is also entirely plant-based and vegan. If you're looking to reduce the number of animal products you eat, pea protein is a great place to start.
Easily Fits Into Your Diet
Pea protein has a mild, slightly creamy taste that's neither sweet nor savory. Some people just mix pea protein with water or juice and drink it. You can also stir it into stews, oatmeal, or smoothies, and you can bake it into muffins or bread.
Even if you're following a specific diet, pea protein tends to easily fit into your meals. This protein is compatible with things like the Whole30 or keto diet.
Does Pea Protein Have Any Downsides?
Though it's certainly one of the best protein supplements out there, pea protein does have a few potential downsides. They're not an issue for most people, but being informed about them ahead of time will help you make smart choices.
Pea protein does have more sodium than most other proteins. However, it's not excessive. A scoop has around 400 milligrams, and the recommended daily allowance for sodium is 2,300 milligrams.
It's generally pretty easy to fit a scoop of protein into your diet without exceeding sodium recommendations.
Even though pea protein has roughly 40% of your recommended daily iron intake, you might not absorb it all.
As a plant-based iron source, pea protein provides non-heme iron. This type of iron doesn't absorb quite as readily as animal-based iron. It's not a huge cause for concern, but you need to be aware you probably can't rely on pea protein to be your only source of iron.
Pea Protein Vs. Other Protein Types
When people talk about "is pea protein good for you?" they often end up just discussing the broad benefits of protein in general. It's important to recognize that all protein supplements aren't equal.
Here's how pea protein measures up to the other most common protein supplements.
- Whey protein: This protein can cause problems for people with dairy, lactose, and gluten intolerances. However, it does have a few grams of extra protein.
- Soy protein: Though it's a vegan protein, soy can be hard to digest, and it's a common allergen.
- Casein protein: Casein digests slower than pea protein, so it can keep you full for hours. However it causes bloating.
- Hemp protein: This vegan protein lacks many of the amino acids found in pea protein.
- Egg protein: This protein is digestible and high-protein. However, studies have found it doesn't reduce your appetite much.
- Brown rice protein: This plant-based protein is lacking in certain amino acids, and it doesn't have as much protein as pea protein.
How Do You Find the Right Pea Protein?
To get the most out of your pea protein, it's important to select the right type. You'll need to do your research and find a quality pea protein.
- Ideally, your pea protein should be made entirely from organic yellow peas. Compared to other peas, yellow field peas have less sugar and a milder flavor.
- Another thing you may want to pay attention to is the origin of the peas. Make sure the farms use sustainable practices and support workers' rights.
- Finally, check the ingredients. To get the most amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, make sure the powder uses peas processed without high heat. You'll also need to ensure the powder doesn't contain fillers, chemicals, or added sweeteners.
As a yellow pea-derived protein sourced from small, organic farms in North America, Zen Principle Organic Pea Protein is a great choice. When you pick our pea protein, you can be sure you're getting the best. We don't add fillers, sweeteners, or any chemicals. Instead, you get pure, natural pulverized peas.
So, is pea protein good for you? Generally speaking, it's a healthy addition to any diet. This supplement can help to build muscles, manage hunger, and improve cardiovascular health. Compared to other protein supplements, pea protein is less likely to cause allergic reactions, bloating, or stomach upset.
Whether you're looking to get stronger, lose weight, or just feel healthier, pea protein is an excellent choice.