Smoothies are a big deal around here, as they have a presence in our nearly daily diets. But some people find that regular smoothies made with fruit, water and/or milk simply aren’t filling enough, especially among those who are the athletic and gym going types – which is why protein powders are an essential addition for people attempting to supercharge their smoothie efforts.
But not all protein powders are created equal; protein isolates, found in protein powders, are heavily processed, and their impact on health is the subject of many debates in holistic circles. And while I don’t believe that they’re terrible, there are less processed and more nourishing options out there.
Brown rice protein
Many vegans look to this allergen-free and high-quality protein powder for their workout and recovery smoothies. For people with sensitive stomachs, this type of protein is extremely gentle on the digestive tract. I have become rather fond of the Sun Warrior brand, as it comes in many delicious flavors.
Hemp is a nutritional dynamo, and its oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated, essential fatty acids (the “good” fats). Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, and hemp proteins are similar to proteins found in the human body. That makes them easy to digest, providing us with an excellent alternative to whey and soy proteins, which are often heavily processed.
For vegan and raw athletes, hemp proteins are a solid choice for athletic recovery and muscle repair. And although the green color may put you off, hemp proteins are tasty, and come in several flavors. Unlike other protein sources, hemp protein is rich in fiber, boasting eight grams per serving!
Yellow Pea Protein
When I heard of this type of protein, I was initially shocked – I had no idea that there was such a thing as pea protein. This, however, is a favorite among raw athletes – and although I don’t know much about it, it appears to be a great vegan choice.
With so many healthy choices like this, there really is no need to consume highly processed and sweetened powders. Hemp protein, which is by far my personal favorite, is merely powdered hemp seeds. So if you’re looking for natural, it can’t get more natural than that!