Seems that everyone’s got a good reason for using for protein powders these days. Added to smoothies, shakes, juices and even soups, they’re an easy and convenient source of complete protein – making them handy for weight management, fitness training and muscle building, as well as meal (and snack) replacements.
But when it comes to protein powders we have choices – and perhaps confusing choices at that. Today I want to try to make it simple:
Most commercial protein powders are made from highly processed whey, casein or soy – creating a product that bears little resemblance to anything found in nature and very different from whole food derived protein. Because denatured or ‘unnatural’ protein has been isolated from the co-factor nutrients that help us break down protein (and support our immune system), our body has difficulty recognizing and using it properly (which might make you wonder if it’s worth the money). In addition, one only has to check the labels to see that these powders are often full of toxic substances like aspartame, saccharin, MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) and food colourings – to name a few.
Another problem that comes from separating the protein portion from the rest of the food source is that these isolates are stripped of the fats we need to help us absorb important nutrients. This means that unless we take pains to add these back into our diet (or say, smoothie), we can wind up with deficiencies in calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin A. That’s why Mother Nature intended us to consume foods as close to their natural state as possible – whole foods contain the perfect blend of nutrients we need for optimum health.
But no need to give up on the convenience and health benefits of protein powder. You’ve probably heard of Hemp by now? Derived from the plant Sativa Cannabis (don’t worry, it’s devoid of any psychoactive properties) – hemp one of the most complete plant protein sources available and is a pure, natural, healthy, whole food alternative to processed protein powders. Hemp contains all 8 essential amino acids needed to build protein, plus is an excellent source of perfectly balanced Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids essential for mood, immunity and the absorption of nutrients (remember, we can’t make these ourselves – we need to get them from our diet every single day). Hemp protein also contains plenty of fibre to sustain energy levels and keep us feeling fuller longer, is easy to digest, doesn’t contribute to bloating or gas and is seldom allergenic (unlike dairy and soy derived protein). Plus it tastes great.
Hope this makes the choice easier!