We’ve all heard the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” If that’s the case, then what can a smoothie do? According to a new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming whey protein – a popular ingredient in smoothies – may be linked to a healthier heart! Whey protein powder is touted as a convenient and effective way to increase protein consumption in children and elderlies, manage blood sugar levels in diabetes patients, control hunger during weight loss efforts and aid in muscle recovery for athletes. Now, the benefits of whey protein can extend to our tickers.
In the study, 42 people who were diagnosed with pre-hypertension, or borderline high blood pressure, were asked to drink two smoothies per day. The smoothies either contained whey protein, casein protein or no protein at all. The group that was given the whey protein smoothies had the highest reduction not only in blood pressure, but also total cholesterol levels at the end of the study.
In the realm of health and wellness, this study provides further evidence that we should turn to lifestyle behavior before medication when treating risk factors. Medicine plays an imperative role in health and wellness, but lifestyle factors, such as nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and sleep, are the keys to prevention; more and more studies continue to prove this. The study also heightens our awareness of the benefits of high quality protein, whether it’s through whole food options or supplements like whey protein.
Because of the increased popularity of whey protein as a supplement, it became a “buzz” word in marketing food products. The highest quality and most biologically available whey protein powder is whey protein isolate. Many times, you will see whey protein concentrate or a whey protein “proprietary blend”; these do not ensure a high quality product. Look for 100 percent whey protein isolate on all labels when choosing a protein powder. Steer clear of other synthetic ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated fats, and artificial colors and flavorings.
Whey protein is an excellent ingredient to give your daily smoothies and body a healthy boost. So, enjoy those smoothies and keep your ticker beating strong!