Touted as a popular ‘new it’ food, peas are nutrient-dense, phytochemical rich and inexpensive. They are also free of gluten, dairy, and soy–making them a great protein rich alternative.
It is estimated that by 2054, alternative protein sources will constitute one third of the milk market. Pea-based milks are on their way to taking up a large part of that market along with their use in faux meats.
Peas are a great source of: protein, fiber, vitamin K, manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Most manufactured pea protein products are also fortified with vitamins A and D, calcium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids.
This makes pea proteins a very popular commodity for so many unique dietary needs. While pea-based milks are naturally lactose-free, nut free, and soy free, they are a great option for individuals who eliminate those foods. Bodybuilders, small athletes, and vegans also enjoy pea powders as they are low calorie, and rich in protein. Most pea protein powders are also non-GMO, making them a popular alternative to soy based powders.
The market is now being flooded with so many options ranging from energy drinks to bars, and meal replacement shakes. Unexpected sources include: cereals, salad dressings, veggie burgers and pastas. Peas can also be found in an egg-free mayonnaise made by Hampton Creek called ‘Just Mayo’. This same company is currently working on egg-free cookie batters as well as egg alternatives for faux scrambled eggs.
Despite its numerous benefits, you should avoid relying on only one protein source in your diet. It is recommended that varieties are still consumed to ensure the best nutritional health. Consuming only one protein does create the potential for nutrient deficiencies so vary your sources as much as you can.