Pea and Rice Protein: Good for Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
The pea proteins that I use in my products are already known to be one of, if not the, cleanest proteins available. They fill you up, making them terrific for weight loss and maintenance, and I often have people tell me that they feel much better on plant proteins than animal ones.
But what if they could go one step further than stopping you from overeating and keeping you lean?
Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
When animals were fed a diet designed to give them high cholesterol and given either pea protein isolate or casein (a protein from milk), after 28 days those that had received the pea protein had markedly lower plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels than rats fed casein. Not only that, the genes responsible for making fats were also lower in the pea fed rats.
Another study similarly gave animals either casein or pea protein and, once again, found that the pea protein group had lower levels of both total cholesterol and VLDLs (Very Low Density Lipoproteins are the nastiest component of blood fats, much more so than LDLs, because they can get into arterial walls and create blockages. The lower these are the better!).
They also found that the lucky pea protein animals excreted more bile in their faeces, which would please any naturopath but delights me, because it means that the liver is less “sluggish” and therefore able to filter toxins more efficiently.
Helps to lower blood pressure
Researchers in Canada recently discovered that when animals genetically predisposed to develop high blood pressure were given pea protein, there was an on average 6mmHg reduction in systolic pressure (the top reading). Now that might not sound like much, but other research has suggested that a 2 mmHg reduction could lead to 6% fewer strokes, a 4% lower rate of heart disease and a 3% reduction in overall deaths.
Intriguingly rice protein seems to have a very similar effect to pea protein in terms of its ability to lower blood pressure. Proteins found in certain food are known to have an inhibitory effect on Angiotensin I-converting enzyme, or ACE as it’s better known, which in turn lowers blood pressure (you might be familiar with the class of drugs called ACE-Inhibitors).
When researchers gave rice protein to animals that had high blood pressure, they found it had a very strong ACE inhibiting effect and significantly lowered systemic blood pressure.
Now, I’m not suggesting that taking my Better Protein every day is going to reverse your high blood pressure and lower your cholesterol, but the preliminary research certainly seems to show that it couldn’t hurt!
Kate’s Better Protein is a blend of pea and rice protein, naturally sweetened with a prebiotic fibre to encourage growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.