- A lactose free and milk protein free source of protein
- It is usually also free from other allergens, and an ideal choice for vegetarians and vegans, too.
Sadly, more and more people suffer from intolerance for some type of protein or protein compound, and lactose intolerance has also become an everyday phenomenon. No doubt: sadly, the number of people with food allergies or intolerances is increasing each year. Rice protein as a supplement is a protein source with a good amino acid profile for the human body. Even those with intolerance to milk-based proteins can consume it without any problem. i.e. they have trouble digesting them or cannot digest them at all. Often they have problems with other protein sources as well, including soy protein or other animal protein sources like egg protein, and they might avoid beef protein, too, because of intolerance or special eating habits (vegetarians or vegans).
The biological value of pure rice protein is between 70 and 85, depending on the product. The difference between various products can be traced back to many reasons: the amino acid profile of rice protein is basically whole. However, it does not contain enough histidine and lysine for the human body and its tryptophan content is negligible. For this reason it is often complemented with other vegetable proteins, typically pea protein. The end result is a product with a balanced amino acid profile. This means, you can find protein matrices labeled as rice protein which also contain pea protein for example, to make its amino acid profile more complete and to ensure more pleasant texture. However, similarly to other sources, the biological value of rice protein does not only depend on the amount and proportion of amino acids for a given product, but on digestibility and actual absorption rate as well. Being an easily and relatively quickly digestible source, rice protein is quite strong in this respect. Although a product which is made solely of rice has quite a week amino acid profile, it is far better than, say, soy protein or casein, regarding digestibility and absorption (however, in the latter case, slow absorption is a favorable property).
Another benefit is that the production of rice protein does not require production technology solutions which are not really environmentally friendly, but are necessary for the production of animal source proteins. So, we can say rice protein is an environmentally friendly choice. And since the main target group of rice protein products are sufferers of food allergies, vegetarians and vegans, in most cases, quality rice protein products are completely gluten, lactose, milk and soy protein free as well. (Rice in itself is a gluten free source. However, it may get contaminated with the above allergens during processing, as protein products are often manufactured at factories where these allergens are processed, too.)
The amino acid profile of rice protein (for 100 g of pure protein):
Essential amino acids:
Isoleucine: 4400 mg
Leucine: 8300 mg
Valine: 6000 mg
Lysine: 3400 mg
Methionine: 3170 mg
Phenylalanine: 5450 mg
Threonine: 3600 mg
Tryptophan: 1200 mg
Non-essential amino acids:
Alanine: 5400 mg
Arginine: 9100 mg
Aspartic acid: 8600 mg
Cysteine: 2400 mg
Glutamine: 17,200 mg
Glycine: 4250 mg
Histidine: 2100 mg
Proline: 4900 mg
Serine: 4800 mg
Tyrosine: 5400 mg
Why it is worth using it
- Rice protein is lactose free.
- Gluten free.
- Usually free from other allergens as well.
- A perfect alternative for anyone who do not or cannot consume animal proteins or soy for any reason.
- Easily digestible; rarely causes any stomach or intestinal problems.
As any other protein product, rice protein can also be used for cooking or baking. Its wheat-like consistence and neutral flavor makes it a good flour substitute in different meals. Beside improving the consistence of your food, you can also enhance its protein content.
How to use it
You may consume rice protein as an alternative to other animal or vegetable source proteins, in the amount required for your individual needs.
In very rare cases some people do not tolerate rice protein. In this case you should definitely avoid it.
There are no known side effects. Rarely it may cause stomach or intestinal problems, but it also depends on other additives in a given product (sweeteners, coloring etc.).
Contra-indication and restrictions
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