Protein Sources and Supplementing Safely—Maximize Usability and Minimize Negative Impact on Your Body
Posted Sep 28 2010 1:47pm
It’s not a secret that I am a fan of Sun Warrior protein powder. Aside from the taste being good, I also like what its made out of—-sprouted brown rice protein. Remember my post about hemp protein ? I like that too! In fact, I think hemp is my favorite, all things considered.
I like plant protein over animal protein (I’m not telling you not to eat meat) and I’ll tell you why.
When we’re talking about protein, quality and usability (which correlates with ease of digestibility) is much more important than quantity. If extracted correctly, plant protein is almost 100% digestible. Sun Warrior (and others) contains a complete amino acid profile—so not only are all the parts you need there, but they are highly usable too. In general, your body knows what to do with amino acids whether they come in the form of complete proteins (meat that has to be broken down) or incomplete proteins (already in amino acid form). Additionally, plant proteins are packaged with lots of other important nutrients.
Side note: The terms Complete and Incomplete lend connotations that aren’t true—incomplete sounds like its less good than complete. Not true. It’s just in a different form. Unfortunately, people make statements about the vegetarian diet saying that it does not provide enough protein, which is only true for vegetarians who don’t eat vegetables (Oreos and Doritos are vegan…). There is an overconsumption of protein in America today because lots of processed meaty foods are calorically dense and nutritionally lacking—typically high in protein, sodium, sugar, and saturated fats.
I don’t like processed soy, and even unprocessed soy is something I’m cautious about recommending (it messes with your estrogen levels….a serving ofsoy baby formula has the same amount of estrogen as 4 birth control pills). Additionally, I’m not against whey, per say, but I do think some people are sensitive to it—especially those who have other food allergies and/or intolerances—only you can figure out if this applies to you! Also, although less research has been done on the ill effects of whey compared to soy, it is usually processed with heat and chemicals, which is a con in my book.
I completely agree with Brendan Brazier (and highly recommend his books) regarding his opinion of protein isolates. Isolates are acidic. This is bad because stress, toxins, junk food, etc. are already nudging our bodies to be acidic (or to work harder to remain alkaline). We need to do and eat as many alkaline things as we can that make staying alkaline easier on our systems (pH 7.35 is ideal).
More processing and heating = more acidic
Isolating protein means the carbs and fat have been removed. High temperatures and chemicals have generally been used to do this, and the result is a lower (acid-forming) pH.
Raw, unpasteurized (or flash pasteurized) proteins are best—they are most alkaline and least processed.
Additionally, plant proteins are more likely to contain chlorophyll, which is highly alkalizing. Known for this are hemp protein and yellow pea protein.
Now, we could totally get into how you should consume protein, but no one asked me that question so I’ll spare you that!