Is Pea Protein Good For You?
Reader question: I've been seeing a lot of products with pea protein. What the heck is that? Is it ok for me?
Ashley’s answer: Indeed, pea is popular these days! The pea protein craze is likely due to the increased desire for plant-based protein options, as well as the rise of allergies and intolerances to many plant and animal protein sources. Whether you take it as a protein supplement or a standalone ingredient, here's what you need to know about pea protein:
- Vegan (often blended with other sources like rice protein).
- Very low allergen profile, especially compared to soy or egg.
- Contains both essential (need to eat) and non-essential (body can make) amino acids.
- Non-GMO, though you should still look for the non-GMO on the ingredient label.
- Good choice for sports and performance recovery. The amino acids in pea protein—like lysine, glutamine, arginine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine—support a healthy digestive tract lining. What's more, pea protein may help satiety.
- Some people are allergic or intolerant to peas.
- Pea protein contains purines, so people with gout should ask their healthcare provider before taking a supplement.
- Processing peas into protein could lead to contamination by fertilizers, chemical solvents, and other ingredients. Make sure you're buying a high-quality brand.
As with any food that becomes the "it" ingredient, I advise caution.
Video: Pea Protein - Healthy Food Trend - Beneficial for Heart Health and Weight Loss
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