In my quest for optimal health I’ve been playing around with my banana bread recipe and I’ve come up with something new and nourishing.
If you are over 35 years old, chances are you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet. And the older you get the harder that ideal becomes. But before I get to the recipe lets talk about protein options.
When it comes to protein, not all protein is equal and it is super important to know what you are buying and if you are like me and trying to protein up more because you want to stay strong as you age, quality is key.
So, what makes a protein powder superior? In case you haven’t noticed, the protein supplement isle seems to be growing by the month. You can buy protein supplements made from whey, hemp, soy, seaweed, plants and animals. I don’t know about you but I just want someone to tell me which one to buy – there’s way too many choices and every new option tells me on the packet that it’s the best! How has food gotten so complicated?
After much reading and researching this is what I’ve come up with.
Not all proteins are equal
There are many different brands and many varying qualities of protein so today I am breaking down whey protein and soy protein which are the 2 most common supplements on the shelf.
WPI – whey protein isolate is the top shelf product on the market. It’s the most highly refined version of whey protein. Whey Protein Isolate has the highest level of protein and the lowest level of fats and carbohydrates. A 100 gram scoop of powder is 90 grams or more of protein. It’s the cleanest, purest option available in supplement form.
WPC – why protein concentrate may have variable levels of protein in it because it has not been refined as much as WPI. A 100 gram scoop of powder, is between 25 and 89 grams of protein. Big difference! WPI and WPC are made from the whey portion of cows milk. It has a creaminess to it that will thicken your shake or yoghurt… and add a treat to your baking!
Soy protein – an option for vegans and vegetarians, this supplement is made from hulled and refined soy beans. There are also isolate and concentrate forms with isolate being the most refined and offering about 80 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. As a plant, soy is also high in carbs and fats so if you are trying to reduce your carb intake it is harder to do that using plant proteins. Plant proteins don’t have as much essential amino acid make up of whey protein so you will need more (nearly 3 times as much) of a plant protein for the same benefits. Soy protein does tend to have a grittiness to it which is not palatable to everyone and it probably pays to ask for some samples before you splash out.
Amino acids are essential building blocks of the body and you need to source 9 of those amino acids in your food. They are best accessed by the body when they are consumes in their complete form (altogether). The chart below shows how much amino acids are in whey protein vs soy protein. For a vegan to be getting the same amount of protein and amino acids each day they will need to consume nearly 3 times the amount of nutrient dense food such as someone who eats meat and consumes whey protein.
So even though both Whey Isolate and Soy Isolate have a similar amount of protein per scoop, the availability of the protein to be synthesised in the body is 3 times higher in the whey protein which means that you need 1 scoop of whey or 3 scoops of soy protein.
Protein isolates have 1.6grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams compared to 5.7grams of carbohydrate in protein concentrates. The refining process that protein isolate goes through gets rid of carbs and fat which is a better option for people who are counting carbs. The total amount is variable and you may find that plant proteins have a higher carbohydrate count than whey protein because plants are carbohydrate dense.
Whey comes from cows and cows eat grass, naturally but let’s not fool ourselves and assume that all milk products are healthy for us – because that is far from the truth.
Conventional cow products including meat, cheese, butter, milk and whey protein is toxic. The cows in big agricultural factories are fed the cheapest possible muck and then injected with antibiotics to keep them alive for long enough to do their job. Those poor animals are so sick that the cows end up with mastitis from over milking and undernourishing and although farmers have to discard of any milk with blood or puss in it, the fact is, these animals are kept in poor condition and its inhumane and unhealthy for them and you.
Which is why I choose whey protein isolate products that are made with New Zealand grass fed whey. New Zealand dairy cows aren’t fed grains packed full of additives, they feed on luscious green pastures free from pesticides. A diet that allows for the production of milk and dairy richer in beneficial nutrients, good fats, essential amino acids and of course taste. They are the only commercial cows in the World that are still GMO free.
Soy is one of the most genetically modified products in the World. We don’t know what implications GMO has to humans. We simply don’t know. The technology is relatively new. Studies on health are scarce and there is a lot of money to be made on mass production of food, and a lot of people on the planet to feed. What we do know is that when cells are modified, when structures in nature are messed with then it disrupts the natural make up of the plant or animal being modified and those disruptions may result in prolific tumours and gene resistance. Mass agriculture also uses glyphosate to keep pests at bay which is a known carcinogen and responsible for millions of dollars in litigation claims against manufacturers. If you choose soy, consider choosing certified organic products.
Now that you have decided which protein is best for you, let’s get to the recipe.
▢2 cups blanched almond flour
▢2 tablespoon granulated sweetener of choice (I use Lakanto monk fruit sweetener)
▢1 teaspoon bicarb powde
▢1 teaspoon cinnamon
▢1/4 teaspoon salt
▢3 large overripe bananas, mashed
▢2 flax eggs *see below
▢1/2 cup coconut oil
▢1 teaspoon vanilla extract
▢1 scoop protein powder
▢2 teaspoon green banana flour
*flax egg – 2 tablespoons milled flax seed + 10 tablespoons filtered water
Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Grease a loaf pan
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in a mixer and whizz until smooth.
Pour into the greased pan
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre
Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Slice and enjoy with grass fed butter
If you are looking for more information on where to source protein and how much protein you need in your diet for optimal function, check this article that I wrote a while ago.
And if you are ready to invest in the best quality protein supplement in store, you can find Boomers WPI powder at Encore Pilates and Wellness studio.
Need more guidance on your health and don’t know where to start? Come and take a deep dive into women’s health at my women’s day retreat at our exclusive health lodge Sanctuary By The Sea