There’s lots of buzz around plant-based proteins and their beneficial health effects. Hemp protein is easily digestible and contains the right ingredients for good health. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or not, hemp protein is a nutrient rich food source. It contains a full spectrum of amino acids, plus vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and omegas 3 and 6. In short, if you had to choose one plant-based protein source for your daily dietary requirements, hemp is a standout choice.
Choose Natural Hemp Protein.
We’re spoilt for choice with protein powders, ranging from animal and plant-based protein powders, concentrates, isolates and blends. Flavoured and sweetened protein blends containing other ingredients for a quick and easy breakfast smoothie are hard to go past. Beware of over-refined “protein” products (and over-refined foods in general), which may be detrimental, and check the ingredient list before buying.
Protein isolates (including hemp protein isolates) may have a higher protein concentration up to 90%. Some Isolates are made by solvent extraction processes leaving undesirable residues in the final product. The healthier alternative is to use a naturally milled protein which will have a lower protein concentration (usually around 50%). This simply means you need to take twice as much natural protein powder compared to an isolate for your daily protein needs. Taking more natural hemp protein is better because it contains extra nutrition besides the high quality protein it’s well known for!
How much Protein do I need daily?
The recommended protein intake for an average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you exercise regularly about 1.1–1.5 grams per kilogram, and if you’re training hard or pumping weights, you may need up to 1.7 grams per kilogram bodyweight. Over 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight each day is probably excessive and not beneficial. If you’re overweight these numbers may not be right for you – talk to a nutritionist for a good diet plan.
So if you weigh 75 kilograms you should consume at least 60 grams of protein per day. Studies show that more than 40 grams protein intake in one sitting is not beneficial. Try to spread your protein consumption evenly between meals.
Remember, 100g of hemp protein powder (which is typically 50% protein content) will contain 50g of protein. If you’re getting your daily protein from whole foods like meat, seeds, beans and eggs, simply adjust your intake accordingly. Consuming a variety of foods containing proteins is the best way to ensure a healthy diet, and an enjoyable one.
Your body needs amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are made from long and complex chains of individual amino acids. When you eat proteins, your body breaks them down into amino acids which are responsible for building and repairing muscle tissue. So it’s important to eat proteins which contain all amino acids or your body misses out.
There are basically 21 amino acids (depending on which scientific literature you read) of which 9 are essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are not manufactured by your body so it’s essential they’re consumed in your diet.
Hemp protein contains all 21 amino acids, and is considered to have a very balanced profile. Arginine and methionine amino acids which perform important tasks in the body are found in high amounts in hemp protein.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are made up of 3 amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs make up around one-third of the protein found in muscle so they’re important for muscle development. Furthermore, BCAA’s are essential amino acids so find some foods which contain them, especially if you’re a body builder.
Eat Protein – Naturally.
A rich and varied diet is the key to good health, and unless our food becomes dull and repetitive our bodies should be getting all the protein and nourishment they need. Many foods contain protein so it’s a matter of sampling and enjoying raw, unprocessed natural foods in our meals.
The amazing thing about food is that it’s essential for life, and enjoyable! Good food should be nutritious, good tasting, and varied. Energy and good health come from our food choices so mix it up and enjoy everything that good food has to offer!