PEA PROTEIN AND OUR DAILY HEALTH
Protein is greatly required by our body daily, and within a day about a half kilogram is broken down into amino acids to be reconstructed into new proteins. Protein helps us to grow, heal and defend our health internally on a continual basis, and it is found in hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and other body structures. It also functions within the body as enzymes, hormones, and in components of other cells e.g. our genes.
What are amino acids? They are building blocks, and our body is capable of manufacturing some amino acids, but there are essential amino acids that it cannot make. These essential amino acids are Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine. Arginine and Histidine are particularly essential during growth (childhood / adolescence). Extra protein is also required during pregnancy, lactation, endurance and intense strength training, for illnesses such as AIDS and cancer, and sometimes the elderly.
As protein wears out within our body regularly and needs to be replaced, it is important that we consume foods that contain protein so that our body is given a new supply of amino acids to use for all its important functions.
ANIMAL PROTEIN vs PLANT PROTEIN
In regenerating these essential amino acids it is important we provide our body quality protein, and this effectively means how efficiently food proteins can promote healthy growth. Animal protein in our diets is a very efficient option in providing the complete amount of essential amino acids e.g. milk, eggs, red meat, even so, the best efficiency does not necessarily mean the greatest health. Plant protein often lacks in one or more of the complete essential amino acids, and so as a result is often considered the 'low quality' alternative. However, 'low-quality' plant protein is the healthiest choice of protein.
IF I DON'T EAT ANIMAL PROTEIN WHERE DO I GET PROTEIN?
Plants have protein, and our amazing complex metabolic system is capable of deriving all the essential amino acids from a variety of plants we digest daily.
The body deals with animal proteins differently from plant proteins, but it is valuable to understand that it is not merely a matter of protein quantity, but that the protein source is equally significant.
|Health risks from a high intake of animal protein|
- Heart disease – increased intake
- High blood pressure – increased intake
- Numerous cancers – grilling and blackening meats, cooking processes, gut bacteria issues from undigested proteins
- Kidney disease – kidneys struggling to eliminate the breakdown products of protein causing damage
- Osteoporosis & Kidney Stones – high intake increases the excretion of calcium in the urine
Pea protein, is currently demonstrating good results in research as a natural treatment to aid chronic kidney disease (CKD) and high blood pressure. Studies also show that supplementation with pea protein improves muscle thickness for those starting or returning to muscular strengthening which would include not only endurance athletes, but also those recovering from muscle damage or trauma. Peas contain an excellent vitamin and mineral source of vitamin C, B1, folate, B6, B3, B2, pro-vitamin A carotenoids, iron and copper, and also include phosphorus, potassium, zinc and magnesium. Peas are are also high in fibre (soluble and insoluble) which help protect the bowel, and cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure. Peas are an excellent source of vegetarian protein.
If your keen to complement your daily diet with a sprouted, prebiotic and easily digested pea-protein, and ensure your body is daily given all its' essential amino acids, then give The Good Health Room a call to discuss how it could work for you.
Campbell, C., & Campbell, T. (2006). The China Study. BenBella Books Inc: Dallas
Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. Atria Books: NY