Getting enough protein on a vegan diet can be challenging sometimes. Try these best vegan protein powders to boost your daily protein intake.
A GUIDE TO VEGAN PROTEIN POWDERS
Large scale surveys believe that 30-40% of Indians practice vegetarianism. A well planned and balanced vegan diet can meet the nutrient requirements of the body perfectly, says Wikipedia.
Research also suggests that following a healthy vegan diet may reduce the risk of cancer!
Protein is usually obtained from consuming a non-vegetarian meal. Yet vegans can also stock up on their proteins very easily. There is a variety of plant-based protein powders available in the market that can act as a protein supplement to your diet. Indeed, most plant-based proteins are not enough to account for the protein needs of the body. But food processing techniques can easily isolate and concentrate the protein content to create protein powders.
Let’s look at some of the best plant-based protein powders.
- Pea protein
Unlike the common misconception, this protein powder is not made from green peas. Instead, it is made from yellow split peas, which is said to have a higher protein content. Studies show that pea protein powder can make your belly feel full. It can also reduce blood pressure.
Like other plant-based proteins, peas are low in an essential amino acid called methionine. But the good news is that pea protein is something else called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Studies prove that regular consumption of pea protein powder can increase muscle mass. It will give the same kind of muscle gain as experienced by people who drink milk.
- Brown rice protein
Brown rice protein powder is a very common and inexpensive source of protein. This too, like pea protein, contains BCAAs, which can help in building stronger muscles. A normal-sized cup of brown rice protein powder can contain up to 22 grams of protein, as per studies. It is a very good option for vegans who are into weight training. Brown rice protein powder in the diet can have a similar effect as that of consuming whey protein.
A small difficulty with rice-based protein powder is the dangerous arsenic levels. Some of the rice products may be contaminated with high arsenic levels which is harmful to the body. So make sure to select a high-quality brand.
- Hemp protein
This protein powder is made from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds are seeds from the cannabis plant. But a variety of the cannabis plant has been created to harvest the seeds. This is done so that the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol is negligible. In larger amounts, this could create a euphoric feeling as given by substances like marijuana.
Specially created hemp protein can contain a large amount of fibre, zinc, magnesium, iron etc. It is especially rich in the plant version of omega 3 fats, which is difficult for vegans to get without fish in their diet.
Hemp is low in lysine which is a type of amino acid essential for the body. The best way to fill this deficiency is to add a steady amount of hemp protein powder along with other plant-based proteins like quinoa in your diet.
- Sunflower seed protein
Sunflower seed protein powder is relatively new in the vegan protein powder market. Sunflower seeds are not a great source of essential amino acids like lysine. Yet studies show that sunflower seeds are exceptionally high in other kinds of amino acids needed by the body. To account for the deficiency of lysine, sunflower seed protein powder is used in combination with quinoa protein powder. They are also rich in BCAAs, which support muscle building.
Research shows that a cup of sunflower seed protein powder contains up to 13 grams of protein in it. This might be a little less when compared to other vegan protein powder options but it can be a good source of proteins nonetheless.
- Chia protein
Chia seeds are the edible seeds of the flowering plant Salvia hispanica. It belongs to the mint family. Chia seeds are oval and grey with black and white spots. They are commonly used in smoothies, porridges and baked goods as an ingredient. Yet, chia protein powder has quickly become a popular vegan protein powder in the market. Like many other plant-based proteins, it is also low in lysine, which is an amino acid. A serving of chia protein powder in a cup may contain up to 10 grams of protein. This amount could vary depending on the brand though. When compared to consuming chia seeds, digesting it in powdered form seems to be easier. This means that the body can get a larger amount of amino acids from the powder than directly from the seeds. Another advantage of chia protein powder is that it is rich in fibres, vitamins and minerals. These include biotin and chromium.
Now see listed below the best of vegan protein powders available in the market:
- Now sports pea protein powder
This is unflavoured protein powder made from a single ingredient – peas. It has a very smooth texture. This means that it can be easily made into a smoothie or a shake. It can also be used to make protein pancakes and waffles. One serving of this contains 120 calories and around 22 grams of protein in it. It is priced at $43.19.
- Health warrior Superfood protein powder
This is made from a mix of different plant-based proteins including hemp, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds. Apart from being vegan, it is also paleo-friendly. It contains pro and prebiotics for gut health. Monk fruit is added to provide a sweetening effect as well. It costs $29.99.
- Aloha Organic plant-based protein powder
The USP of this brand is that it is USDA certified organic and non-GMO. It is said to contain up to 18 grams of protein per serving. It comes in flavours like mixed berry, vanilla etc. It contains almost 12 ingredients. The advantage of using this is that your body can get all the needed amino acids and omega 3 fats from this one protein powder! It costs $25.91.
- Vega sports premium protein
This is a relatively costly brand of protein powder. The price can go up to $54.99. It is made from many ingredients including peas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and alfalfa. The benefit is that it becomes a complete source to meet your daily protein needs. It is one of the most common brands utilised by professional athletes. Along with being a good protein source, it has other healthy ingredients too. It contains tart cherry for recovery, turmeric to fight inflammation, and probiotics to assist the gut.
- Garden of life raw organic protein powder
You can get it in vanilla, chocolate and many other flavours. It is made from a variety of sprouted gluten-free grains and seeds. It contains an organic plant formula and is vegan. It is not made of any dairy or soy ingredients. It is also USDA certified. It is gluten-free, contains no sugar and 22 grams of protein. It helps in the absorption of protein and certain micronutrients. This makes it very easy to digest. It also contains digestive enzymes to promote gut health. It costs $28.25.
Many of the plant-based proteins cannot account for the needed amino acids in the body. The easiest way to ensure that your body has the required proteins is to consume animal-based proteins. Since vegans don’t have this option, it is better for your health to add vegan protein powder to your diet. Make sure to check the packaging information to get an idea about its nutritional content as it may vary with different brands. Also, a steady and balanced diet can make all the difference to your health. Stay happy and healthy!