Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Benefits of Pea Based Protein

Before my “cambiati”, or lifestyle change, I did a lot of research. As an avid reader of the writings of neurosurgeon, Dr. Russell Blaylock, and pioneer of women’s alternative health, Dr. John Lee – much research went into choosing a breakfast meal replacement that I felt safe in consuming. I had read Dr. Blaylock's article, "The Dark Side of Soy", and used much of the information he provided on protein shakes to steer me in, what I feel, is the right direction.
Through Blaylock's article and other sources, I found plenty on the adverse effects of soy, and chose not to go there for personal reasons:
a) I am woman and personally feel I do not need to add estrogen to my body, even in a mild, plant-based form (cancer statistics alone shy’d me from soy based products).
b) I do have a well funcitoning thyroid and plan to keep it so. I have heard of adverse effects of soy on the gland – when Dr. David Brownstein’s information arrives in my mailbox shortly on thyroid diseases I will learn more about this for sure, and have more to share with you. Dr. Blaylock recommends this read, “The Whole Soy Story”.
c) Soybeans absorb a LOT of fluoride from the ground, more so than most crops, and fluoride is a known toxin when consumed.

Regarding whey based…I am of an age where my body does not need dairy, and in fact, dairy can cause some issues, one that many experience, such as myself, is acid reflux. I also have no knowledge of how the cows are being raised from which whey protein is derived – are they grass fed? Or are they fed grains and anti-biotics? A very interesting article I found explains the difference in the proteins and amino acids produced between whey and casein based protein sources. I have added this article to my sidebar as a permanent resource, but you may read it by clicking on the link as well. Another blogger/article I found had a reader ask about the danger of heat processed whey protein concentrates and oxidized cholesterol as a result, and the author felt there was not enough to worry about – no different than cooking egg whites on the stove, he figured. I had never even heard of oxidized cholesterol before – so yes, I learned something new today, even if I don’t understand it. My sister-in-law reminded me of the issue her son had while involved with school sports, and that was the feeling of being bloated using whey-based. Again, listen to your body and if it is doing something that is not pleasant – eliminate a food and see if you can pinpoint the problematic food.

Types of protein powders got me to thinking…besides the fact that the pea/rice/cranberry protein powder I use is easily digested…what of it? I had a friend tell me of a pea based protein powder she used offered by a company I never heard of, developed by a doctor. Although it lacks the selenium (an important anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory mineral derived from brown rice), it made me realize that pea based protein powders are a very good thing if doctors are developing their own protein powders using peas.
I thought I would peruse the internet to learn more, and had to chuckle to myself when I see that another doctor, whose postings I follow (Dr. Joseph Mercola) has also developed a pea-based protein powder, for those busy mornings when you simply don’t have time to cook yourself a healthy breakfast (a healthy breakfast does not include processed cereals, by the way).
Benefits of yellow pea protein per Dr. Mercola include:
• Yellow peas are an environmentally friends protein source (fertilizers are not needed got grow)
• Allergen-free source of protein, the protein powder I use is gluten-FREE, and allergies to animal protein/dairy is fairly common
• History backs up sound nutritional benefits of yellow peas
• Helps rebuild muscles after work outs and provides higher protein needs
• Easily digestible
    o studies demonstrate that human digestive retention of pea protein is very high
    o Isolated pea proteins can be very easy to digest and comparable to the best animal protein source.
    o As recommended by world health organizations -- Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) -- the pea protein essential amino acid profile is very close to ideal for human nutrition.
• Pea Protein delivers, per Dr. Mercola, a good source of beneficial amino acids. I actually checked into the brand that I use, and found that it scores 100 percent in the list of provided amino acids - which far outshines the list of 6 that Mercola listed in his product promo.
My daily vegan protein shake provides me with:
  • Alanine 880 mg
  • Arginine 1,820 mg
  • Aspartic Acid 2,500 mg
  • Cysteine 220 mg
  • Glutamic Acid 4,006 mg
  • Glycine 820 mg
  • Histidine 540 mg
  • Isoleucine 940 mg
  • Leucine 1,740 mg
  • Lysine 1,540 mg
  • Methionine 240 mg
  • Phenylalanine 1,120 mg
  • Proline 880 mg
  • Serine 1,120 mg
  • Threonine 780 mg
  • Tryptophan 200 mg
  • Tyrosine 780 mg
  • Valine 1,004 mg 

The Satiel Factor Pea protein has an aspect of digestibility that provides another potential benefit…satiety. Satiety is the satisfied feeling of being full after eating, which explains why I do not feel hungry, even at lunch time, if I have a pea/rice/cranberry based protein shake for breakfast. Today I forced myself to eat a piece of chicken left from the Memorial Day BBQ well past lunch time. We have a busy evening ahead, including an ice cream social for the worship arts team at church. I don’t want to be overly tempted two have more than a scoop and want to continue this “too full to eat” feeling into the evening. (LOL)
Dr. Mercola reports: Recent scientist research demonstrated satiety is associated with the release of certain gastro-intestinal peptides. These peptides stimulate your nervous system to start or stop you eating. Higher PYY (peptide YY) levels promoted by pea protein delay gastric emptying and thus could provide an increase in satiety. Another peptide, ghrelin, which is primarily secreted by the stomach, helps stimulate your appetite. Studies show lower ghrelin levels indicate a delay in the return of your appetite after a meal. And as pea protein promotes lower levels of ghrelin, the potential for you to feel full could increase.
Now I truly understand the slogan of the brand I use, “feel fuller longer”. For me it has been a journey of replacing my weakness…which was breakfast. Now, there is no need to skip it, nor do I feel compelled to run across the street from work to snag a cinnamon roll at 10 a.m. Although the natural vanilla flavor is loved by my husband, I am a berry-holic and love to add berries to my smoothie. When fresh pineapple is in the house – I am in smoothie heaven! Since discovering the deliciousness of almond milk (I use Silk brand which does not contain soy) I am absolutely loving a chocolate protein shake for lunch or dinner – seriously, who doesn’t love having dessert for a meal?!
To your health!
Rita S.

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