With rising costs, sustainability concerns and the growing desire to eat clean, consumer trends are moving toward plant-based eating. That trend has resulted in a substantial growth and interest in plant-based proteins.
Why Choose A Plant-Based Protein?
Plant-based protein powders are a perfect choice for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet and those trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. Plant-based proteins may be a great choice to support sustainability, but they don’t all provide the same benefits. Here are four of the top plant-based proteins in the market today.
What Is Soy Protein?
Soy-protein is an easy way to incorporate the healthful benefits of soy into your diet. Make sure to read the label and look for soy-protein isolate, which contains more protein and isoflavones compared to the concentrate varieties. Soy protein is a great choice for vegetarians or those that cannot digest lactose easily. Soy protein is one of the few complete protein powders from a plant. It contains all of the essential amino acids including the branched chain amino acids (BCAA): leucine, isoleucine and valine. Plus, soy protein may have cardiovascular benefits. The FDA has determined that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, that include 25 grams of soy protein a day, may reduce the risk of heart disease.
What Is Pea Protein?
If you have a sensitive stomach or are looking for a dairy-free alternative, pea protein might be the right choice for you. Pea protein delivers a good supply of beneficial amino acids including some of the key essential aminos: leucine, lysine and arginine. It’s another alternative for people who do not want dairy, as well as those that avoid soy and gluten. Pea protein has a neutral taste, is highly soluble and is a good choice for those on a vegan diet or looking for non-GMO options.
What Is Brown Rice Protein?
Brown rice is a popular grain that is a source of plant-based protein. Brown rice protein is easy to digest, making it a great source for those who have trouble digesting animal protein. Although it contains many essential amino acids, brown rice protein is not a complete source of protein. Therefore, this plant-based option is often seen in combination with other sources. It has a higher carbohydrate content than other powders and provides B-vitamins.
What Is Hemp Protein?
Hemp protein powder is made from hemp seeds, resulting in some nutritional benefits different than other plant proteins. Like soy, hempseeds are one of the few plant-based proteins that serve up all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. One big benefit of hemp protein that other plant-based options don’t have is the addition of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It also contains fiber and packs a healthy punch of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Plant-based protein powders are a quick and easy way to give your body a beneficial injection of energy and nutrients. Incorporating them into your diet can also ensure you’re meeting your daily protein needs without having to fill up on foods you don’t like. Getting a healthy dose is as easy as adding a scoop of powder to a fruit smoothie every morning.