If you are a vegan or a vegetarian looking for dairy-free protein sources, you must have heard about pea protein. Pea protein is a plant-based protein and is primarily considered the best muscle building plant-based protein. Many of the vegans who have tried out pea protein believe that it is better than whey protein. The popularity of pea protein has been picking up recently, and it is sure to create a revolution in the vegan market in the next few years.
What is Pea Protein?
Pea protein is made from peas, of course! When dried peas are ground into a fine powder, you get pea protein, but that’s not all about it. The starch and fiber content of the peas are removed first, thus leaving you a thick, powdery substance known as the pea protein isolate. You can use this powder as a protein supplement, to get all the benefits of animal-based proteins like whey, but without any milk or animal products.
Nutritional Benefits of Pea Proteins
While pea protein is commonly associated with muscle building. It actually offers much, much more than just protein. Pea proteins are rich in all the amino acids that are required by your body’s growth. Many people believe that these amino acids are present only in animal-proteins. However, certain plant proteins (such as pea) are actually complete amino acids.
Out of the 21 amino-acids, your body is capable of self-producing 12 of them. These are the dispensable amino acids, which means, it is alright if your protein source doesn’t contain them. The remaining 9 amino acids, which your body cannot produce, are called the essential amino acids. The protein source that you consume should necessarily have all of these 9 amino-acids for the proper functioning of your body. These 9 amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Pea protein is an excellent source of all these amino acids except methionine. While it is rich in all the other 8 amino acids, it only has a fixed amount of methionine, which is why many people think of it as an incomplete protein. If you love the flavour of pea proteins, here is some good news – you can easily make up for the methionine shortage in pea proteins through other foods such as rice, soybeans, oats and other nuts. Never stop eating pea proteins for the reason that it doesn’t contain enough of methionine.
Make Your Own Pea Protein Powder
It’s actually very easy to make your own pea protein powder at home. Here are the simple steps:
- Wash two cups of yellow peas very well before soaking them in water overnight or at least for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, clean the peas once more thoroughly and spread them over a glass bowl with a wet towel so that they can sprout. Use a wet towel to cover the peas and cover the bowl fully with a plastic cover. Leave the bowl for 1 or 2 days until the peas have sprouted fully.
- Take the sprouted peas on a baking sheet and put inside your oven for half a day. Ensure that you have preheated your oven for 115 degrees Celsius before you do this process.
- After 12 hours, when you remove the peas from the oven, you will notice that they have become very dry. Now, blend them at high speed without adding anything, until they turn into a powdery consistency.
- Store the powder in an air-tight container such as a mason jar
If you want to customise your powder, you can do so by adding about ¼ cup of any seed of your choice (sunflower, chia, pumpkin, etc.) to yellow peas, while soaking them. Once you have prepared the pea protein powder, you could also add some almond or cocoa flour to it to increase its nutritional value.
Why is Pea Protein Good for Your Health?
1. Rich in Amino Acids
As we know, pea protein contains all the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce naturally. Hence, it helps you absorb the nutrients in your food better and also helps you in muscle recovery and developing connective tissues on the skin.
2. Very Easy to Digest
You might already know that consuming too many peas can be quite uncomfortable for your stomach because of the gas problems they create. However, you can rest assured knowing that pea protein is safe for your stomach because it’s easy to digest. This is because the starch and fiber content in the dried peas is completely removed before blending them. It comes with a 94% digestibility index, which is phenomenal.
3. Rich in Magnesium and Iron
Magnesium is an important mineral that is very important for the overall health of your heart. It also helps in muscle movement and growth. One serving of pea protein powder gives you around 45% of the recommended daily dosage of magnesium, which is an important reason why you need to include this magical plant protein in your daily diet.
Iron helps your body to circulate oxygen properly. When your body doesn’t get enough of iron, it starts feeling tired and anaemic. One serving of pea protein powder gives you around 25% of your recommended daily dosage of iron, which is why men and women should start consuming it regularly to avoid problems such as iron deficiency, menstrual pains, irregularity in menstrual cycles and more.
Hence, pea protein is an excellent natural pea protein that is loaded with all the essential amino acids and vitamins & minerals needed for your growth.