Plant-based protein is becoming a top competitor on the shelves next to whey and casein powders. There are several proven health benefits found with plant-based protein to optimize health and to help meet your fitness goals. Plant-based proteins are more commonly found to be lactose free, gluten free, and vegetarian -- these qualities allow plant-based protein to be the popular choice of protein among many different communities.
Here are some proven benefits of plant-based protein:
Antioxidants provide a variety of benefits to your health, ranging from promoting healthy skin to supporting the immune system.1
Our body is filled with free radicals. Think of free radicals as our body’s evil little monsters; they are unstable atoms that have an uneven amount of electrons.2 Due to the fact these atoms are short an electron, they search the body for another electron to make a pair and in doing so, destroy all the cells in its path. This can contribute to many different diseases as well as aging. Therefore, these little monsters are robbing our youth and health.
Free radicals are generated from several different substances, including: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath, and so on. It’s inevitable -- free radicals are making their way into our bodies whether we like it or not.2 Luckily, there is a way to stop free radicals in their tracks -- antioxidants. Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing free radicals from our bloodstream.1 They do this by ‘donating’ an electron to the free radical, making it stable.2
It is no secret we are living in a polluted world. Our bodies cannot keep up with the amount of antioxidants needed to battle these free radicals in order to maintain optimal health.3 Therefore, it is essential to boost your antioxidant intake to provide your body with the protection it needs. Luckily, plant-based proteins, such as Modus Professional Plant-Based Protein, are filled with ingredients such as cranberry seed and pumpkin seed protein to allow a helping hand of antioxidants into our bodies.
“Fiber keeps you regular” -- we often see “includes fiber” on the front of many different items in the grocery store and we feel we should buy it because it makes us regular, but what does it mean? Why is fiber soooo good for us?
Well, fiber alone delivers so many benefits that it’s almost worth using plant-based protein just for the fiber content! Fiber can support weight loss, promote healthy gut bacteria, regulate blood sugar levels, and more!4
Fiber promotes weight loss as it fills you up faster, and keeps you satisfied for longer, which in turn means you are not eating as much or as frequently as you would without it.4 Fiber also binds to fat and sugar molecules as they travel through your digestive systems, preventing you from absorbing as many calories from those molecules. Due to the fact fiber binds to the sugar molecules, also means it assists in regulating your blood sugar.4,5 Sounds like a pretty good deal!
Let’s circle back to the saying “fiber keeps you regular” -- what exactly does that mean? Well, you can laugh all you want but the simple truth is, fiber helps you poop! Trust me, it’s a good thing! No one wants the terrible pain and discomfort of constipation.5 Fiber makes stool softer and bulkier through your gastrointestinal tract for an easy and speedy exit from your body.4
Another added bonus seen from fiber is a natural cleanse! Fiber promotes the elimination of toxins from your gastrointestinal tract as it scrubs and absorbs several harmful chemicals along the way. This happens in two ways: soluble fiber (mixed with water) soaks everything up, while insoluble fiber (does not absorb water) pushes everything along.4
3) Healthy Fats
Fat has been coined an ugly term, especially in the fitness community. The goal is to lose the fat right? Well believe it or not, fat is required for optimal health.
It is important to note there is not just one ‘fat’. There is saturated fat, unsaturated fat, trans fat -- the list goes on.6 For the purpose of this article I will only focus on these common three fats. To give a brief explanation -- saturated fats and unsaturated fats are coined ‘healthy fats’ within the nutritional community. It’s trans fat that ruins the term ‘fat’ for everyone.
Trans fat is harmful as it transforms unsaturated fat into a solid state by overpowering it with hydrogen gas. This substance is not natural and becomes harmful to the body.6 It is this kind of fat that is seen in cakes, pies, fried foods, etc.
If your diet is high in saturated fat, chances are your calorie intake is high too, which can lead to weight gain -- hence the negative stigma of saturated fat.6 But in reality it isn’t the saturated fat that’s causing the negative effects, it’s the overconsumption leading to excess calories that happen to be paired with it. Therefore, foods high in saturated fat are actually fine to eat, as long as they are eaten in moderation to avoid weight gain.
Now that we have an understanding of the ‘bad fats’ we can focus on the ‘healthy fats’, specifically unsaturated fats. These are the fats that scientists back in the 1930s discovered were required for energy. Unsaturated fats have double chemical bonds, which result in a change in how our bodies store and use the fats for energy.6 It is now understood that unsaturated fats not only provide energy but also have several other benefits that are crucial for your well-being.
Unsaturated fats promote healthy brain function, good cardiovascular health, and also provide anti-inflammatory benefits.7 These fats are not produced naturally in our bodies, therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy portion of fat in your diet! Studies show plant-based is the way to go!
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a unique form of dietary fat. Studies have found MCTs decrease lactic build up, allowing for longer duration of exercise without fatigue.8 MCTs help heal an inflamed gastrointestinal tract and is easily digestible.
MCTs in the professional plant-based protein Modus are a great source of fuel that is less calories per gram of a standard fat at seven versus the average nine on the market!
4) No Growth Hormones or Antibiotics
Every young animal produces natural growth hormones, but with an increase in our human population, farmers need their cattle growing faster, bigger, and increasing their milk production in order to maintain a balance of supply and demand. The only way to control this rate is with the use of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics.9,10 The use of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics no doubt increase profits in the food industry, but how healthy or safe are they in our bodies?
The scary truth is, there is no exact measurement of how much of these chemicals are entering our bodies.10 Scientists believe the amount that enters your body after eating a product containing these chemicals are fairly low, but they also state even low levels can have a strong effect on the human body. Unfortunately, it takes years to understand the amount of damage these chemicals can do to the body.
Luckily, plant-based proteins are free of growth hormones and antibiotics. You don’t have to worry about gambling your health with these chemicals in your body when you choose plant-based.
5) Vitamins and Nutrients
There are several vitamins and nutrients provided in plant-based proteins, which vary depending on the plant source. Although many plant-based proteins have overlapped benefits, for the purpose of this section I will focus on one brand -- Modus Nutrition, to grasp the extent of vitamins and nutrients found in this one plant-based protein. Modus contains a special blend of pumpkin seed protein, cranberry seed protein, and potato isolate protein.
Pumpkin seeds found in Modus are an excellent source of protein, iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, as well as B vitamins.11 They are also rich in antioxidants, and contain all essential amino acids, including arginine, which is considered by many scientists to be a conditional amino acid. What is neat about how Modus is made, is that none of these nutrients are added - they are retained from the original source -- pumpkin seeds.
So there you have it! When you choose plant-based protein such as Modus, you are receiving numerous health benefits without any harmful chemicals!
- Benefits of Antioxidants. Nutrex Hawaii. https://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/blogs/learn/benefits-of-antioxidants. Published 2018. Accessed October 9, 2018.
- Szalay J. What Are Free Radicals?. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html. Published 2016. Accessed October 10, 2018.
- Arnarson A. Antioxidants Explained in Human Terms. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained. Published 2017. Accessed October 9, 2018.
- Dreisbach S. 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating More Fiber. EatingWell. http://www.eatingwell.com/article/287742/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-eating-more-fiber/. Published 2016. Accessed October 10, 2018.
- Fritz A. The Power of Fiber. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-snacks/fiber-benefits.aspx. Published 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018.
- Thorpe M. Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats: What You Need to Know. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-vs-unhealthy-fats. Published 2018. Accessed October 10, 2018.
- Tremblay S. The Dangers and Benefits of Fats. Healthyeating.sfgate.com. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dangers-benefits-fats-2508.html. Published 2018. Accessed October 9, 2018.
- Nosaka N, Suzuki Y, Nagtoishi A, Kasai M, Wu J, Taguchi M. Effect of Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols on Moderate- and High-Intensity Exercise in Recreational Athletes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol. 2009;55(2):120-125. doi:10.3177/jnsv.55.120
- McLaughlin A. Are Hormones in Meat Affecting Humans?. Livestrong.com. https://www.livestrong.com/article/464430-are-hormones-in-meat-affecting-humans/. Published 2017. Accessed October 11, 2018.
- Hoffman M. Safer Food For a Healthier You. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/safer-food-healthier-you#1. Published 2018. Accessed October 11, 2018.
- Olsen N. Pumpkin seeds: Benefits, Nutrition, and Dietary Tips. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303864.php. Published 2018. Accessed October 16, 2018.