All You Need to Know About Plant-based Protein Supplements
Focusing on getting sufficient protein is crucial if you are seeking ways to improve your metabolism, vitality, and overall health. However, getting the recommended amount often becomes difficult just through your diet, especially if you seek plant-based options.
Thankfully, you can now meet your daily protein requirements by taking plant-based supplements. In addition to matching your nutritional needs, the availability of different protein supplements offers immense convenience.
From shakes to powders to supplements - you can choose from a variety of plant-based protein options. But before that, let’s discuss what these nutritional supplements are and how exactly they can help you.
What are Plant-based Protein Supplements?
Chemical building blocks called amino acids bond together to form proteins. Your digestive system fragments every protein you consume into amino acids. There are 22 types of amino acids, which help muscle growth, hormonal balance, neurotransmitter functions, and bone growth.
The human body, on its own, cannot produce nine types of amino acids called essential amino acids. However, you can make up for this by taking protein supplements. Moreover, by doing so, you can do your body a favour by avoiding all the negative impacts of dairy and meat products.
Instead, you can choose plant-based proteins derived from vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds, and whole grains. Some spices and herbs also contain amino acids. If you do not have easy access to high-quality protein sources, there are protein powders, supplements, bars, etc., that can provide just the amino acid supplementation you need.
Plant-based protein supplements are ideal for weight loss and injury recovery without any risk of digestive issues or intolerances. What’s more, some of these supplements, like pea protein, actually have more protein content than animal-based alternatives.
Ingredients in Vegan Protein Supplements and Powders
Did you think brown rice was filled with nothing but carbohydrates? Then, prepare to be surprised. Brown rice surely has a lot of essential nutrients. It is rich in both carbohydrates and protein, which makes brown rice an excellent source of plant-based protein supplements. Selected enzymes are used to help isolate the protein in brown rice and convert it into powder form.
Many protein powders and supplements also contain pea protein. Made by milling yellow split peas, pea protein is an excellent alternative to animal-based sources such as whey.
On average, each serving of an animal-based protein provides 23 grams of protein, whereas pea protein provides 25 grams of protein per serving. In addition, pea protein products are less allergenic.
Protein powders containing sprouted peas are even better, as they have 62% more protein than pea - pea has 5.4g of protein per 100 grams, and sprouted pea has 8.8g of protein. Sprouted and fermented pea proteins are more bioavailable and maximise the body's nutrient absorption without giving too much stress to your gut. Peas alone may not be in the most bioavailable form.
Hemp is another excellent source of protein. The seeds of a cannabis plant called hemp are used to produce a plant-based protein. Not only are hemp seeds a good source of essential amino acids, they also have a high fibre and arginine content.
Products made with this lean protein also contain magnesium, manganese, and iron. Moreover, hemp protein is great for you if you are trying to incorporate more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids into your diet.
If you are on a health and wellness journey, you have probably already befriended chia seeds. Famous for its omega-3 fatty acid content, this low-calorie ingredient is also a good source of protein.
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains 2 grams of protein. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are essential fats that aid the conversion of proteins from amino acids, which helps enzyme regulation and cell growth.
Pumpkin seeds have a superb nutrition profile. They contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids. Hence, regularly consuming pumpkin seeds can reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
You can increase your protein intake with protein shakes made from pumpkin seeds or supplements containing pumpkin seeds. The seeds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which is a great way to increase plant-based proteins in your diet.
Benefits of Plant-based Protein Supplements
Now that you know what some of the best plant sources for protein supplements are, let’s learn the advantages of choosing these vegan alternatives. Plant-based proteins are lower in sugars, saturated fats, and cholesterol. As a result, they can reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Plant proteins are just what you need if you are lactose-intolerant or have sensitivities to other animal proteins. With plant proteins such as those from peas, flax seeds, and hemp seeds, you will get all the muscle-building benefits of protein but will not have to worry about any side effects from these dairy-free options.
Because plant-based protein supplements do not contain lactose, they are gut-friendly. Therefore, you do not have to worry about poor digestion, gas, or bloating when you choose vegan proteins. This also means that the body easily absorbs the proteins. Plant-based proteins are easy to digest, assimilate, and eliminate for your digestive system. Free from gums, fillers, and artificial preservatives, vegan protein alternatives are also ideal if you are trying to reduce weight.
Most plant proteins provide a good serving of healthy fats. This helps regulate your hormone and sugar levels, which in turn helps control your appetite and weight. Furthermore, as plant protein powder generally contains more fibre, it can keep you fuller for a longer period. Finally, by curbing your tendency to snack frequently, plant protein further aids weight management.
There are many reasons to derive your proteins from plant sources. You can choose these options over proteins from meat and dairy even if you do not consider yourself a vegetarian.
Including vegan proteins in our meals can benefit our bodies in many ways. From fewer sensitivities to fewer digestive issues to weight management - there are a plethora of benefits.
Incorporating vegan protein into your diet is not too difficult either. Protein supplements sourced from peas, brown rice, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are commonly available. Simply add them to your diet and enjoy the many benefits of plant-based proteins. After all, going natural when it comes to your food or personal care products is the best way to keep your body healthy and safe from toxic chemicals.