Aria Protein Powder Review

Fair warning: I don’t hold back any punches in my Aria Protein Powder review. I call ’em as I see ’em, and out of all the other protein reviews I’ve done (Vega, Orgain, Arbonne, and PlantFusion), Aria has some of the most questionable ingredients.

For those who don’t know, Aria is a top-selling protein powder marketed to women. It’s sold at Walmart and at their online store, Jet. Aria is owned by Designer Protein (which I used as a teenager back in the 90s!).

Before we get to my Aria protein review, it’s important to note that all my protein powder reviews are based on the nutrition, ingredients, and overall value for the money of each product. I don’t review products based on taste, because I don’t care to taste most of the products I review because of what’s in them. If you want a great tasting protein powder with a bunch of crappy ingredients in it, then this is not the review for you.

However, if you are (or aspire to be) a clean eater, then I’ll show you some facts about what’s in Aria’s proteins that may make you think twice about buying it (to that end, check out Pure Food if you’re looking for a clean protein powder alternative).

Here are the long and short versions of my Aria Protein Powder review:

Aria Protein Powder Review (Short Version)

There are three main things I look at when reviewing protein powders:

  1. Ingredients: are there organic, real food ingredients that you can pronounce? Any inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten? How about fillers, flavors, or gums?
  2. Nutrition Facts: What do the key nutritionals looks like (carbs, fat, protein, fiber, sugar)?
  3. Cost: What’s the cost per gram and overall value of the product given the other two pieces of information above?

Aria fails miserably in each of these areas.

Here’s a quick breakdown … if you scroll down further after the chart, I’ll explain which of these concern me most.

aira chocolate protein powder aria vanilla protein powder aria vegan chocolate protein aria vegan vanilla protein
Aria Women’s Wellness Protein Powder – Chocolate Aria Women’s Wellness Protein Powder – Vanilla Aria Women’s Wellness Vegan Protein Powder – Chocolate Aria Women’s Wellness Vegan Protein Powder – Vanilla
Calories 90 90 95 95
Grams of Protein 15 15 15 15
Protein Source(s) Soy protein isolate, whey protein Soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate Pea protein concentrate, organic rice protein Pea protein concentrate, organic rice protein
Grams of Sugar 1 1 1 1
Free of “Natural” Flavors No No No No
Free of Gums & Thickeners No No No No
100% Organic No No No No
Vegan No No Yes Yes
Cost Per Gram $.04  $.04 $.04 $.04
Nutrition/Ingredients (click each image to enlarge) aria chocolate protein nutrition aria womens wellness nutrition aria vegan chocolate nutrition facts aria vegan vanilla nutrition

 

Aria Protein Powder Review (Long Version)

When I browsed through various Aria Protein Powder reviews online, they all had one thing in common: a vested interest in selling Aria! In other words, bloggers create “review posts” in which they get incentivized for every time someone clicks on a link and buys Aria. On Amazon, my most trusted source for reviews, Aria has a 3.9 rating (out of 5 stars).

On Aria’s website, it’s abundantly clear their products are marketed toward women.

aria protein powder review
Look at those fit women doing yoga … if that’s what artificial chemicals and fillers can do to my body, sign me up!

Behind the pretty packaging and stock imagery of “aspirational” women doing yoga (that’s a term marketers use … it means they think you should aspire to be like the women in this happy photo), I have some major issues with the ingredients in Aria’s protein powders.

Here we go …

1. None of Aria’s Protein Powders Are Organic

This means their ingredients are likely contaminated with pesticides and herbicides. Yuck.

2. Aria Uses “Natural” Flavors

Natural flavors are NOT natural. They can contain hundreds of chemical ingredients that food companies may disguise under the name “natural” flavors. See this CNN article for a good explanation or check out my article about natural flavors if you want to learn more.

3. Aria’s Protein Powders Are Loaded with Highly Processed Fillers, Gums, and Additives

Aria uses lots of cheap, processed fillers in their protein powders. Here are a just a few:

  • Lecithin: a processed thickener that’s usually extracted from GMO soybeans using harsh, chemical-based methods.
  • Prebiotic Vegetable Fibers: While protein powder companies like Aria will tout their “beneficial prebiotic fiber”, the truth is these prebiotics are not always beneficial … especially for those with sensitive stomach. Prebiotics can actually lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or worsen existing digestive issues. If you have had any type of food sensitivities before, these prebiotics will likely ferment and create more gas that will cause your symptoms to worsen. Get your fiber from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and seeds instead. The good bacteria in your gut will thank you.
  • Gums: Aria uses guar gum and xanthan gum, which can be disruptive to your gut as well.

4. Aria Sweetens Its Protein Powders With Stevia Extract and Monk Fruit

Stevia extract is often derived using chemicals or alcohol. It’s certainly not the worst sweetener in the world but it doesn’t have the same health benefits as actual ground stevia leaves.

Monk fruit is a healthy sweetener in its natural state. But if the other aforementioned ingredients are any indication, my guess is Aria uses the cheap, processed version of monk fruit that’s extracted using GMOs (or contains thesugar alcohol erythritol).

Summary: Is Aria Protein Good for You?

I rate Aria Protein Whey/Soy Protein a 1/10 and Aria Vegan Protein Powder a 2/10.

Aria’s proteins are loaded with highly processed fillers. They’re not organic, which means they most likely have chemical pesticides. And at $.04/gram, you can pay a couple cents extra and get an organic protein powder with probiotiocs instead.

They’re sold at Walmart and marketed to women … but ladies, please make sure you give that ingredients and nutrition panel a second look and really understand what you’re getting.






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Chocolate Chip Vegan Protein Cookies

Vegan protein cookies. When most people hear those three words, their first thought is “yuck.”

However, it is possible to create a cookie that’s free of dairy, gluten, and boatloads of sugar and still make it taste good.

These chocolate chip vegan protein cookies are proof.

Now, before we get to the recipe, let me say a few things:

  1. Any cookie recipe with protein powder and without butter, eggs, and/or milk added is going to taste a little drier than what you’re used to. That’s just part of the deal.
  2. The consistency for these cookies was kind of halfway between a cookie and cake or biscuit. So I guess you could call these “vegan protein biscuits” if you want. I think I made mine a little too thick. If you want a more cookie-like consistency, make them a bit flatter (mine were about 3/4″ thick).
  3. I used a combination of oats and gluten free flours (coconut and almond) because I have a lot of customers who can’t tolerate gluten (I, fortunately, don’t have a problem with it). You can try a whole wheat pastry flour or other whole grain flour if you’d like too.
  4. To lower the sugar content, I used dried dates (Costco sells a nice big bag for cheap) and organic dark chocolate with 85% cacao. I always recommend using 70% cacao or higher. The higher you go, the more health benefits you get.  There are several good dairy-free dark chocolate brands. I list my favorite one below. These cookies have more fiber (6 grams) and protein (6 grams) than sugar (5 grams), which is pretty impressive. You can cut down the sugar even more by using less (or no) dates and adding a little stevia.

Dark Chocolate Chip Vegan Protein Cookies Recipe 

What’s In ‘Em:

  • chocolate chip protein cookies ingredients1 scoop Pure Food Raw Cacao protein powder
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup organic dried dates (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 organic vegan dark chocolate chocolate bar (I used Alter Eco’s Blackout Chocolate with 85% cacao … it’s my fave)
  • Optional: pinch of organic stevia leaf powder (if you like things a little on the sweeter side … these cookies were NOT super sweet)


How to Make ‘Em:

  1. Put the dates in a food processor and pulse for about a minute. Or, just chop the dates up with a large knife and cutting board (that’s what I did).
  2. Finely chop the pecans.
  3. Chop up the dark cacao into chocolate chip-sized pieces.
  4. Stir together all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until you don’t see any more dry powder and the chocolate has been distributed evenly.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your vegan protein cookies into 2 rows of 5 (or however many you want).
  6. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes (check after 15 and see how they look … I left mine in for 20 and think it was a tad bit too long).
  7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per cookie… this recipes makes about 10):

  • 182 calories
  • 13 g fat
  • 14 g carbs (6.5 g fiber, 5 g sugar)
  • 6 g protein

Here’s the final product:

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Simple Protein Pancakes Mix & Recipe

The problem with most pancake mixes is their nutrition labels look like this: unhealthy pancake mix

High fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and enriched flour … no thanks.

But most pancake recipes online aren’t much better. They, too, contain various forms of sugar, enriched flour, and junk ingredients. And science shows eating these types of foods definitively leads to major issues down the road.

I created a protein pancakes mix / recipe using Pure Food Vanilla Protein that’s healthy and tasty (my toddler even loves them).

I used 7 all-natural, nutrient-dense ingredients in this recipe.

This protein pancakes mix makes a simple and healthy breakfast and will appease all carb lovers like myself without the added sugar and refined grains. I used white whole wheat flour but you can substitute a combo of almond, oat, and/or coconut flours if you want a gluten-free version.

This recipe is vegetarian/vegan too … it has no butter or milk (I used almond milk instead and coconut milk works too). One serving has 10 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Simple Protein Pancakes Mix / Recipe 

What’s In ‘Em:

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flourprotein pancakes mix ingredients
  • 1.5 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 scoop Pure Food Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 apple (sliced into thin pieces)
  • 1 T cinnamon


How to Make ‘Em:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.*
  2. Heat a medium-sized frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Add 1 T coconut oil to the pan.
  4. Add the almond/coconut milk to the dry mix and stir until it’s clump-free.
  5. Pour about half the batter into the pan (I made 3 pancakes at a time).
  6. Cook for 3-4 minutes then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add the other T of coconut oil to the pan and cook the rest of the protein pancakes mix.
  8. Top with apple slices and cinnamon and enjoy!

*Pro Tip: jar up some of the pancake mix by combining only the dry ingredients and saving it for another day.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (note: this recipe made about 3 pancakes each for my wife and I plus some for my toddler.)

  • 428 calories
  • 17 g fat
  • 54 g carbs (10 g fiber, 10 g sugar)
  • 14 g protein

Here’s the final product:

pancakes with protein powder

And close-up …

healthy high protein pancake

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Plant Fusion Protein Reviews: Nutrition and Ingredients Analysis

Plant Fusion sells a lot of protein powder. But based on the Plant Fusion reviews on Amazon, it’s clear many people are awfully confused about what constitutes a “healthy” protein powder.

Not to worry, because I’m here to clear up the confusion with my typical sardonic wit and wisdom. 🙂

Here are the long and short versions of my PlantFusion Protein Powder review:

Plant Fusion Protein Powder Review (Short Version)

Similar to my other protein powder reviews, I am evaluating Plant Fusion’s protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste.

There are four key criteria I use to determine the “healthiness” of a protein powder in my reviews:

  1. Organic, whole food ingredients.
  2. No allergens or inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten.
  3. No fillers, flavors, or gums.
  4. No added sugar or artificial/highly processed sweeteners used.

On its website, PlantFusion says:

Let’s stick to the facts … the “supplement facts”

Clever marketing talk, but here’s a fact they’re not telling you:

Plant Fusion uses the same processed junk as every other popular plant protein powder!

Here’s a quick breakdown of their ingredients and nutrition facts:

PlantFusion Organic Protein Powder PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder Plant Fusion Phood Review PlantFusion Lean Protein PlantFusion Ready to Drink
PlantFusion Organic Plant Based Protein Powder PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder PlantFusion Phood PlantFusion Lean PlantFusion Ready-to-Drink
Calories 120 120 200 170 150
Grams of Protein  20  21  18 21  19
Protein Source(s)  Organic pea protein, organic amaranth, organic quinoa, organic flax seed  Pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth powder, organic sprouted quinoa powder Pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, organic sprouted amaranth powder, organic sprouted quinoa powder, algalin Pea protein isolate, artichoke protein, algae protein, fermented & sprouted organic millet, organic lentil, organic flax, organic chia  Pea protein isolate, artichoke, organic sprouted amaranth, organic sprouted quinoa
Grams of Sugar  0 4  1 2 7
Free of “Natural” Flavors No No No No No
Free of Gums & Thickeners No No No No No
100% Organic Yes No No No  No
Vegan Yes  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cost Per Gram  $.07  $.04  $.03 $.05 $.01
Nutrition/Ingredients (click each image to enlarge) PlantFusion Organic Protein Powder Nutrition Facts PlantFusion Complete Protein Powder Nutrition Facts Phood nutrition ingredients PlantFusion Lean Nutrition Facts Plant Fusion Ready to Drink Nutrition Label

The “facts” speak volumes about the quality of PlantFusion’s protein powders and shakes. So my reviews of all their products are summed up as-follows:

PlantFusion makes yet another very average line of plant-based protein powders and shakes. If you’re a clean eater who avoids processed ingredients like flavors, fillers, and sweeteners, you may want to choose something with organic, whole food ingredients instead. 

If you’re interested in taking a little deeper dive and learning more about PlantFusion’s ingredients and nutrition facts, keep reading.

Plant Fusion Protein Powder Review (Full Version)

Let’s switch gears for a brief moment and talk about what I like about Plant Fusion. As a company, I admire their commitment to plant-based nutrition and sustainable, eco-friendly products. I also really like most of the plant protein sources they use (pea protein, amaranth powder, chia powder, flax powder).

And their fermented, sprouted foods blend in the organic product is great:

sprouted food blend protein

On its website, you can read about Plant Fusion’s story. Here’s an excerpt:

Plant Fusion Reviews
Ironic they mention “inferior ingredients” …

The second part I highlighted in red is what really concerns me … and what should concern you too if you follow a clean, plant-focused diet.

Allow me to elaborate:

1. “Natural” flavors are NOT natural.

Natural flavors aren’t real food … they’re science experiments. All the big protein powder companies, PlantFusion included, claim that they make “proprietary natural flavor blends”.

This means nothing.

Ask them exactly what ingredients and how many ingredients go into those “natural” flavors and you won’t get a straight answer (if they answer at all … I emailed them and didn’t get a response).

Natural flavors are often chemical-filled junk. Check out our article “What Are Natural Flavors?” to learn more.

2. Inulin

PlantFusion (along with many other protein powder manufacturers) contains inulin, which is a starchy carbohydrate that’s not absorbed by your upper GI tract (and is thus considered a type of fiber).

While protein powder companies will tout inulin’s benefits as a “beneficial prebiotic fiber”, what they don’t tell you is that these prebiotics are not always beneficial … particularly for those with GI sensitivities. Prebiotics can actually lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or worsen existing digestive ailments. If you have SIBO, certain prebiotics will ferment and create more gas that will cause your symptoms to worsen.

On top of that, studies have shown that inulin encourages the growth of Klebsiella, a bacteria implicated in Ankylosing Spondylitis and leaky gut syndrome. Klebsiella can lead to serious infections in the urinary tract, pneumonia, and even death. So while inulin may indeed promote the growth of good bacteria, it feeds “bad” bacteria too.

If you suffer from GI sensitivities like I do, prebiotic fibers like inulin may only exacerbate your suffering.

3. Xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is another highly-processed, mostly-indigestible starch that’s used to thicken protein powders. It’s made by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing food. Usually that food is an allergenic and/or GMO-containing substance such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat.

Here’s another little-known (and tragic) fact about xanthan gum. In 2013, several infants who consumed a baby formula with xanthan gum tragically passed away after developing necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease where the wall of the intestine is invaded by bacteria, causing infection and inflammation that can ultimately lead to death in infants.

Scientists reviewed the cases of xanthan gum-associated NEC, and found that the xanthan gum caused increased bacterial production of short chain fatty acids in the newborns’ intestines, and thus contributed to the development of NEC, which led to their deaths. (side note: the New York Times reported the story if you care to read about it)

On top of that, it can cause unpleasant gut symptoms in adults. No thanks.

4. Sugar

One of PlantFusion’s products, the Ready to Drink Complete Plant Protein, has 6-7 grams of sugar per serving (depending on which flavor you choose). On its website, Plant Fusion says you shouldn’t worry about this because the type of sugar they use (fructose) is lower on the glycemic index:

Plant Fusion Sugar Content

Patrick Skerrett, former Executive Editor of the Harvard Health, disagrees:

Crystalline fructose … is not fructose gently extracted from fruits or vegetables; it is crystallized high grade HFCS.

Ouch.

Physician and author Dr. Joseph Mercola also warned about the potential dangers of crystalline fructose in a HuffPost article.

Crystalline fructose (a super-potent form of fructose the food and beverage industry is now using) may contain arsenic, lead, chloride and heavy metals.

Sugar is sugar. Please Plant Fusion, do us a favor and stop trying to spin it.

PlantFusion’s other protein powders use a combination of highly-processed fructose, stevia, and erythritol. You can read about the potential dangers of these pseudo-healthy sweeteners here.

Plant Fusion Reviews Summed Up

Plant Fusion makes very average vegan protein powders that contain too much junk, in my opinion. Personally, I’d rather spend a few extra dollars on a product with organic, real food ingredients.






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Honest Arbonne Protein Powder and Shakes Reviews

arbonne protein powder reviews

While doing research for this article and looking at Arbonne protein powder reviews online, I had some reservations.

I’m friends with people who sell it, and they’re generally very passionate about Arbonne’s shakes and other products. And I sell a plant-based protein powder of my own, so this opens the door for potential bias.

So first off, let me say I have always thought of Arbonne as a good company that has helped a lot of people lead healthier lives.

But the goal of every review we publish is to present what’s on the nutrition label and ingredients list.

Read on to learn what we discovered about Arbonne protein powder and shakes.

Arbonne Protein Powder Review

Similar to our other reviews, we’re reviewing Arbonne protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste.

This is what we look for in a healthy protein powder:

  • Organic, real food ingredients sourced from North America
  • No allergens or inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten
  • No fillers, natural flavors, or gums
  • Protein per serving
  • Protein sources
  • No added sugar or other artificial sweeteners used

Here’s an analysis of the ingredients Arbonne uses in its protein powders:​

arbonne feelfit protein powder arbonne essentials daily protein boost
Arbonne Feel Fit Pea Protein Shake Mix Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost
Calories 130 50
Grams of Protein  20  10
Protein Source(s)  Pea protein, rice protein, cranberry protein  Pea protein, rice protein, cranberry protein
Grams of Sugar  1  0
Free of “Natural” Flavors No Yes
Free of Gums & Thickeners No Yes
Organic No No
Vegan Yes  Yes
Cost Per Gram  $.06  $.06

Arbonne Protein Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  1. The Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost and FeelFit Protein Powders have a unique plant-based, multi-source protein blend. The benefits of multi-source vegan blends is they provide a wider array of nutrients. 
  2. Low or no sugar in all of their protein products
  3. Arbonne also has an Ingredients Policy “Not Allowed List” page that states:

We develop each product with meaningful ingredients, continuously raising the standards to find the perfect balance between plant-based, bio-based, and scientifically derived ingredients. We set the standards for our high-quality and effective ingredient policy, and continue to back our formulations with science, clinical research, and third-party certifications.

Cons: 

  1. Unclear where Arbonne sources its protein ingredients from (most pea protein is from China).
  2. These are all unnecessary filler ingredients that have no nutritional value: natural flavors, high oleic sunflower oil, xanthan gum, dicalcium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate
  3. Cost is on the higher end and is comparable to organic plant based proteins (even though they don’t use organic ingredients).

​Arbonne FeelFit Protein Powder Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Vanilla

arbonne feelfit vanilla protein
Ingredients: Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend (pea protein isolate, cranberry protein, rice protein), natural flavors, high oleic sunflower oil, xanthan gum, steviol glycosides, flax seed, dicalcium phosphate, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, rice hull

Chocolate

arbonne chocolate protein powder nutrition
Ingredients: Arbonne Protein Matrix Blend (pea protein isolate, cranberry protein, rice protein), cocoa, natural flavors, high oleic sunflower oil, xanthan gum, steviol glycosides, flax seed, dicalcium phosphate, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, rice hulls, chicory ro

​Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost Nutrition Facts and Ingredients

Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost Nutrition

Let’s wrap this up …

Arbonne Protein Powder Reviews Summed Up

Based on my nutrition and ingredients analysis, Arbonne FeelFit Protein Shake Mix (formerly Arbonne Essentials Protein Shake Mix) and Arbonne Essentials Daily Protein Boost are both decent products that check most of the boxes for a healthy plant based protein. They contain zero sugar but do have some filler ingredients like natural flavors, high oleic sunflower oil, xanthan gum, dicalcium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate.

What’s a Good Arbonne Alternative?

What sets Pure Food Protein Powder apart from Arbonne and other vegan powders is Pure Food has none of the filler ingredients … and these make up a healthy percentage of most proteins on the market.

On top of that, every ingredient we use is sourced from North America. You will not find another multi-source plant-based protein that can say the same.

Try Pure Food Protein risk-free today 






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No Bake Chocolate Protein Balls (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free)

no bake protein bar

Creating this no-bake chocolate protein balls recipe (that will please both vegan and paleo palettes, by the way) stirred up some hilarious mental images of the classic SNL Schweddy Balls skit.

All jokes aside, these protein balls are made for clean eaters. They contain 100% real food ingredients, no added sugar, and are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly.

Best of all, there’s no baking required. You just mix all the ingredients together, roll the dough into balls, and refrigerate it.

My Schweddy balls (sorry, couldn’t resist) are a guilt-free dessert too. One ball will only set you back 122 calories, while delivering a healthy balance of carbs, good fats, and protein.

No Bake Chocolate Protein Balls Recipe (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free)

What’s In ‘Em:


How to Make ‘Em:

  1. Put the dates in a food processor and turn on for about a minute.
  2. Add pecans and pulse 8-10 times.
  3. Stir in the almond flour, protein powder, and coconut milk powder. Turn on food processor for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Use a sharp knife to chop up dark chocolate into fine shavings and combine with slivered almonds in a bowl.
  5. Roll the dough from the food processor into balls. Roll each chocolate protein ball in the bowl of slivered almonds/dark chocolate shavings.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your protein balls into 5 rows of 3 (or however many you want).
  7. Refrigerate overnight. They’ll be ready to eat the next day. They should keep in a tupperware in the fridge for about a week.
vegan protein balls
Here’s what the batter looks like.

Nutrition Facts (per ball … this recipes makes 15 balls):

  • 122 calories
  • 9 g fat
  • 9 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar)
  • 5 g protein

Here’s the final product:

These chocolate protein balls would be a hit at any holiday party (and gives you a funny ice-breaker starter because someone is sure to mention the Schweddy balls skit). Or just make them as a healthy snack like I did. Either way, you’ll be happy you tried this awesome recipe.

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No images found.

Orgain Review: The Truth About Their Protein Powders & Shakes

Finally, the long-awaited, much requested Orgain protein powder review.

Just like my other reviews, in this article I’ll show you exactly why clean eaters should avoid Orgain organic protein powders (and shakes). 

I’ve broken this into two versions: a short version for those who have a limited attention span like me, and the full version for those who want to explore Orgain’s ingredients and nutrition facts a little deeper.

(Disclaimer: I sell a protein powder. This admittedly creates some potential bias. That’s why my reviews focus on Orgain’s nutrition facts and ingredients. At the end of the day, this is just one person’s opinion).

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20 of the best plant protein powders (including Orgain) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.

Orgain Protein Powder Review

First, let’s get this out of the way: I evaluate protein powders based on health and nutrition … NOT taste. If taste is your number one priority when choosing a protein powder, then this article probably isn’t for you. I’ve tasted most of Orgain’s products and they taste quite good.

Anyways …

When I analyze whether a protein powder is “healthy” or not, I look at the only two objective pieces of information you will see on any protein powder package:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts

The ingredients and nutrition facts label will help you answer these important questions:

  • Do they use organic, real food ingredients?
  • Any allergens or inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten?
  • What about fillers, natural flavors, and gums? (these are all warning signs of a cheap, highly processed protein powder)
  • How much protein does it have per serving?
  • What are the protein sources?
  • How much sugar is added?
  • What other sweeteners (real or artificial) do they use?

Orgain’s ingredients and nutrition facts information for their protein powder and shakes reveal a lot:

orgain organic protein review orgain organic protein powder Orgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake Healthy Kids Shake Orgain Slim Protein Powder review
Orgain Organic Protein Powder Orgain Meal Powder Orgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake Healthy Kids Shake Slim Protein Powder
Calories 150 220 250 220 200 150
Grams of Protein  21  20  16  16  8  20
Protein Source(s) Organic brown rice protein, organic pea protein, organic chia seed, organic hemp protein Organic brown rice protein, organic pea protein, organic chia seed  Organic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate  Organic brown rice protein concentrate, organic chia seeds, organic flax powder, organic hemp protein concentrate Organic milk protein concentrate, organic whey protein concentrate  Organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic chia seed
Grams of Sugar  1  1  12  9  13  1
Free of Natural Flavors No No No No No  No
Free of Gums & Thickeners No No No No No No
Organic  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vegan  Yes Yes  No Yes  No  Yes
Amazon Review Rating  4.3  4.3  4.2  4.1  4.2  4.4
Cost Per Gram  $.02  $.04  $.10  $.08  $.09  $.05

Let’s start with what I like about Orgain …

  1. Orgain only uses Organic ingredients.
  2. The plant-based protein sources in Orgain vegan products are solid.
  3. Orgain was developed by a medical doctor and cancer survivor.

However, when I analyzed the ingredients list on many of Orgain’s products, there were some things that concerned me:

1. Sugar content

The sugar content in many Orgain Shakes is quite high:

  • Orgain Original Shakes: 12 grams
  • Orgain Plant-based Shakes: 9 grams
  • Orgain “Healthy” Kids Shakes: 13 grams

Orgain uses LOTS of different sweeteners. Tap/click the following links to learn about some of the negative health effects of each:

2. “Natural flavors

The Environmental Working Group says natural flavors are:

Unspecified mixtures of as many as 100 flavoring substances and solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives.

Food manufacturers are only required to list “flavors” on their ingredients lists, without revealing the original sources or chemical mixtures of these flavors.

Long story short:

[bctt tweet=”Your natural flavors may not be natural at all” username=”nutritionguy”]

To learn more about this mystery ingredient, read my article “What Are Natural Flavors?“.

 

So let’s look at the big picture view of all the junk ingredients in Orgain’s products … I’ve highlighted ingredients that I personally avoid:

orgain protein review Orgain Meal Powder Orgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake Healthy Kids Shake Orgain Slim Protein Powder review
Product Orgain Organic Protein Powder Orgain Meal Powder Orgain Nutritional Shake Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake Healthy Kids Shake Slim Protein Powder
Nutrition orgain vegan protein powder nutrition facts orgain meal nutrition facts orgain nutritional shake nutrition facts orgain vegan shake nutrition facts orgain kids nutrition facts orgain slim nutrition facts
Ingredients orgain ingredients - organic protein blend orgain meal replacement ingredients orgain original shake nutrition facts orgain ingredients - vegan shake  orgain kids shake ingredients orgain slim ingredients

Phew, that’s a lot of red flags! Let’s sum up this review …

Orgain Reviews: The Final Verdict

Orgain’s sugar-free products are cost-effective and contain all organic ingredients. 

However, many of their products contain 10 grams or more of sugar per serving. The average American already gets plenty of sugar (82 grams per day).

I recommend sticking with one of their sugar free products or looking for a plant-based protein powder  style=”font-size: 14.4px;”>instead.

Click here to get instant access to my FREE Google spreadsheet comparing 20 of the best plant protein powders (including Orgain) by ingredients, nutrition, and cost.

Vega Protein Powder Reviews: Nutrition & Ingredients Analysis

When I started looking at the Vega protein powder reviews scattered across the Internet, I noticed they were all missing one hugely important thing: a fair analysis of the stuff that Vega actually puts in their products.

First, a disclaimer: I sell a protein powder. So that naturally invites some bias into the equation. That’s why when I review whether a protein powder is nutritious or not, I look at two objective criteria:

  1. The Ingredients
  2. The Nutrition Facts

They reveal the answers to these important questions:

  • Are the ingredients all organic and made from real food?
  • Any allergens or inflammation-causing soy, dairy, or gluten?
  • Do they contains gums, fillers, and/or natural flavors?
  • How much protein per serving?
  • What are the protein sources?
  • How much sugar is added?
  • What other sweeteners (real or artificial) do they use?

With that said, let’s dig in!

Researching Plant Protein Powders?

CLICK HERE to get our FREE Google Sheet comparing 25+ brands by nutrition, ingredients, and cost.

Vega Protein Powder Reviews (Summary Version)

Vega is one of the biggest plant based protein powder brands on earth. WhiteWave–the gargantuan corporation that makes soy-based products Silk and So Delicious–acquired Vega for $550 million in 2015. (side note: Dannon, the huge yogurt maker, acquired WhiteWave in 2016 for $10 billion!)

Here’s what I found out by looking at Vega’s ingredients and nutrition facts information:​

Vega Protein Smoothie Review

Vega Protein and Greens Review

Vega Sport Protein Powder Review

Vega One Review

Vegan Clean Protein Reviews

vega protein reviews vega protein and greens review vega sport protein powder review vega one reviews vega clean protein review
Calories 90 110 160 170 130
Grams of Protein  15  20  30  20  25
Protein Source(s) Pea protein, saviseed protein, hemp seed protein, brown rice protein Pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp seed protein, sacha inchi protein Pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, organic sunflower seed protein Pea protein, hemp protein, sacha inchi protein Pea protein, hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein
Grams of Sugar  2  2  1  1  1
Free of “Natural” Flavors No No No No No
Free of Gums & Thickeners No No No No No
Organic  No No No No No
Vegan  Yes Yes  No Yes  No
Amazon Reviews  3.9 3.9  4.0  4.0  3.5
Cost Per Gram  $.05  $.04  $.05  $.06  $.05
Nutrition Facts (click/tap to enlarge) vega protein smoothie nutrition label vega protein & greens nutrition  vega sport nutrition  vega all in one nutrition facts information vega clean nutrition label
Ingredients (click/tap to enlarge) vega protein smoothie ingredients protein greens ingredients vega sport ingredients vega all-in-one shake ingredients vega clean ingredients

I noted a few red flags here, as you may have noticed in the ingredient images above.

Here’s why …

Vega Review (Extended Version)

There are several things I wish Vega would improve with its line of protein powders:

  1. They’re not organic.
  2. They contain “flavors”.
  3. They use gums, fillers, and other highly processed ingredients.
  4. Some of their processing methods involve heat treating, which kills essential nutrients and means their products are not raw.

Let’s explore each of these…

Issue #1: Not Organic

Here’s the deal:

[bctt tweet=”Non-organic ingredients means there could be chemical pesticides and herbicides in your protein shake.” username=”nutritionguy”]

If there’s one reason to spend a few more dollars on an organic product, this is it.

Eating foods contaminated with pesticides increases the odds you will get cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases. See this video from Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org:

This is Vega’s explanation for why they don’t use more organic ingredients (you can find this on the FAQs page of their website):

As demand for organic ingredients grows, it’s getting easier every year to find reliable sources of organic ingredients, but the cost of certification remains prohibitive for smaller-scale farmers.

C’mon Vega, you guys were acquired for half a billion dollars! You’re telling me you can’t find reliable sources of organic ingredients?

I run a protein powder business that’s 1/5000 of the size of yours and I have had no problems.

They’re right–it does cost more to produce organic ingredients. A lot more.

But when you’re owned by Big Food, unfortunately you often need to put shareholder profits first.

In my humble opinion, and according to the latest and greatest research, paying more for products with organic ingredients is worth every penny for your long-term health and wellbeing.

[bctt tweet=”Vega’s use of non-organic ingredients is the #1 reason why I recommend avoiding their products.” username=”nutritionguy”]

Problem #2: Natural Flavors

David Andrews, senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, said:

“[Natural flavors] will often have some solvent and preservatives — and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume. In the end product, it’s a small amount, but it still has artificial ingredients.”

Andrews go on to point out that adding any type of “flavoring,” both natural and artificial, means you may be ingesting anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients.

All of Vega protein powders–Vega One, Sport, Clean, Protein and Greens, and Protein Smoothie–contain natural flavors. Even their newest product, “Clean Protein,” has two types of natural flavors:

vega protein powder reviews
These heavily processed ingredients are not “clean!”

When I wrote the first version of this review in November, 2016, Vega All-in-One Nutritional Shake listed 4 types of natural flavors on its ingredients label:

is vega protein healthy

Now they only list “natural flavors” once.

At least they’re making progress. But the problem is, we still don’t know what’s in those flavors.

I contacted Vega and asked.

It’s a question many others must have asked, because their quick response–while friendly–sounded well-rehearsed:

Natural flavors include a variety of compounds obtained from the natural essence or extracts of plants to produce the characteristic flavor and aromatic sensation of the intended (and labeled) flavor. The essences and extracts can be from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, but always exclusively plant-based, and never artificial. These natural flavor blends are proprietary.

Here’s the bottom line, gang:

Unless you know exactly what those “variety of compounds” are, I recommend avoiding products that have them.

Learn more by downloading my FREE report about natural flavors here

Problem #3: Gums, Fillers, and Other Processed Ingredients

Beyond Vega’s “natural flavors,” there are a handful of other ingredients in most Vega protein powders I don’t like. These are called “gums,” which are thickening agents/fillers. Some of them can cause digestive distress for many people.

Problem #4: High Heat Processing Destroys Vital Nutrients

I also asked Vega about how they process the ingredients in their protein powders.

Here’s what they said:

There are certain ingredients that are heated. For example our SaviSeed protein is heated in order to make it easier on the body to digest. Our products are not considered raw.

While it’s true heating makes certain ingredients easier to digest, it also can destroy many vital nutrients in the plant. All protein powders (and all foods, for that matter) are “processed” to some extant. But clearly Vega more so than others.

Summary: Is Vega Protein Good for You?

While I admire what Vega has done for plant-based nutrition as a whole and I respect them for politely answering all my questions, I’d like to see them make a line of all organic products and stop using flavors, fillers, and gums.

As you can see from my reviews above, Vega Protein and Greens, Vega One, Smoothie, Vega Sport, and even Vega Clean protein powder products all have at least one of these ingredients.

Problem is, if they’re not organic, they may contain additives, preservatives, gums and fillers that may cause intestinal distress and bloating, and exacerbate existing GI conditions.

For those reasons, I recommend choosing another powder if healthy, clean ingredients is your top priority.

best plant-based protein powders

The Effect of Sleep on Muscle Growth, According to Science

How many hours would you say you sleep in an average night? If you answered 7-9, the National Sleep Foundation says you’re doing pretty well.

Around 40 percent of us get less than 7 hours though.

If building lean muscle mass is important to you, your lack of shut-eye may be a bigger problem than you think. Let’s dig a bit deeper into what the science says about the effect of sleep on muscle growth.

effect of sleep on muscle growth
This is exactly what I look like when I sleep.

Not getting enough sleep inhibits your ability to grow muscle

Research shows that being sleep-deprived can actually encourage loss of muscle mass and hinder muscle recovery after a tough workout. Sleep deprivation can have major effects on athletic performance too, especially for endurance athletes.

Lack of sleep affects your ability to grow and repair muscle regardless of your age.

One study showed that a week of sleep deprivation in otherwise healthy young men resulted in decreased testosterone levels and increased spikes of cortisol, a stress hormone. Furthermore, cortisol levels may stay elevated until the following evening when you don’t get enough sleep.

Another study found that from ages 30 to 40, the total amount of growth hormone secreted during a 24-hour span decreases by two-to-three times. So for all you thirty-somethings, you already have biology working against you … don’t compound it by thinking you can get by on 4-6 hours per night (a common range among my more ambitious friends).

Finally, there’s a connection between shorter periods of sleep and weight gain leading to obesity. So even if you’re healthy now, as you age, not getting enough sleep can catch up with you.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, check out this step-by-step guide to falling asleep. If you have trouble staying asleep (like me), here’s a helpful resource.

There’s a silver lining in all this though …

Getting ample sleep encourages muscle growth

While it’s clear that being under that 7-9 hour threshold may negatively impact your muscle gains, getting some extra rest is a proven way to encourage more muscle growth.

In one sleep extension study, a group of researchers instructed six basketball players to get as much extra sleep as possible following two weeks of “normal sleep”. The researchers found that these athletes exhibited faster sprint times and increased free-throw accuracy at the end of the sleep extension period (as well as decreased fatigue and improved mood).

The same group of researchers conducted another study in which swimmers increased their sleep time to 10 hours per night for 6–7 weeks. These athletes showed improvements in 15 m sprint time, reaction time, turn time, and overall mood.

But you don’t need to sleep for 10 hours a night to see improvements. Getting in that 7-9 hour range is what’s most important.

During those weeks where 7+ hours just isn’t going to happen because of other circumstances going on in your life, there are a couple things you can do, according to science:

  1. Take a nap. Athletes suffering from some degree of sleep loss may benefit from a brief nap, which can decrease your likelihood of muscle loss.
  2. Eat some protein (or drink a protein shake) before bed. Eating protein before bed may help your body recover from a workout faster.
Here’s the bottom line about the effect of sleep on muscle growth: if you focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, you will build more lean muscle and decrease muscle deterioration after age 30.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep!

How to Find the Best Probiotics for YOU, According to Science

how to find the best probiotics

In this guide, we’ll help you navigate the fascinating yet complex world of probiotics.

We’ll talk about the benefits and risks of probiotics. The best food sources of probiotics. The myths and misconceptions. And what to look for if you decide to take a probiotic supplement.

Let’s jump right in …

What Are Probiotics and Why Are They So Popular Right Now?

best vegan probiotics

There are 40 trillion bacterial cells in your body at any given moment (compared to around 30 trillion human cells).

Many of these bacterial organisms live in your gut, part of a stunningly complex network of neurons known as your “microbiome”.

The densest part of your microbiome is in your gut, where about 1,000 species of bacteria feast on complex carbohydrates and fibers you eat.

The microbiome plays an important role in your body …

Scientists have discovered that 70-80 percent of your immune system is controlled by your microbiome and 95 percent of your body’s serotonin—the neurotransmitter that’s the main contributor to your well-being and happiness—is made in your gut, not your brain.

The gut microbiome is largely shaped by what we eat and drink. And the Western diet, with its heavy use of heavily processed foods like refined flour and sugar, actually starves your microbiota, leading to a plethora of health conditions.

That’s why probiotics, these “good”, “friendly” or “healthy” bacteria you can take in supplement form, are so popular now.

The Best Food and Drink Sources of Naturally-Occurring Probiotics

1. Fermented vegetables 

Sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi are among the most popular natural sources of vegan probiotics. But most of the store brands contain vinegar and preservatives, which kill the beneficial bacteria.

So look for pickled vegetables that are naturally fermented using salt.

Or just make your own.

Personal note: I was inspired to start fermenting vegetables after reading Michael Pollan’s fantastic book, Cooked. All you need is vegetables/fruit, salt, and a fermentation vessel. This is the crock I use if you get serious but when you’re first starting out, any large container will work).

Also, the cellular structure of certain foods makes them act as “superfoods” for good microbes to feed on. These include onions, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, jicama, and peas.

2. Fermented tea 
Kombucha is black tea that’s fermented with sugar. Some store-bought brands also add sugar, which can strengthen harmful microbes like E. coli.

Personal note: I got this kombucha kit and use it to make a fermented tea called Jun that uses green tea and honey instead of black tea and sugar. Here’s how to make it.

3. Sourdough bread

There is not a more delicious way to enjoy the benefits of probiotics than eating a warm, crusty slice of sourdough bread (assuming you don’t have a gluten sensitivity).

Personal note: I also start making sourdough bread after reading Cooked. Seriously, read the book! Then pick up a sourdough starter and some flour and make this no-knead Cast Iron Sourdough Bread recipe. from the New York Times.

4. Fermented soy

Soy has gotten a bad rap because it’s used so much in processed foods and is one of the top 8 allergens. However, fermented soy products like organic miso, tofu, and soy sauce may actually have some health benefits.

5. Plants … lots of plants

Simple sugars cause conflict between our microbes and cells, but eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains encourages cooperation between them. Gregory Plotnifkoff, MD, coauthor of Trust Your Gut recommends adhering to the old Japanese adage of eating at least 30 different whole foods per day!

6. Supplements

Eating 30 different foods can be a challenge for time-strapped folks though. That’s where probiotic supplements may help.

How to Find the Best Probiotic Supplements for Your Health Needs

healthiest probiotics for vegansNot all probiotics strains are the same. Different strains offer different benefits and some probiotic strains survive manufacturing processes, shelf life and digestive transit better than others. When choosing a probiotic consider the following questions:

  1. Is it derived from dairy? 4 out of every 5 probiotic supplements contain dairy-based derivatives. This isn’t just bad news for vegans. Why Because up to 65 percent of adults are lactose intolerant, which means milk-based probiotics can make things worse for those with dairy sensitivities. On top of that, dairy-based probiotics are often only shelf stable for a few days. After this, the bacteria start to die. So, you have to take more of them to feel any effect. Choose “plant-based” or vegan probiotics instead. The product packaging or company website should tell you if the probiotic supplement you’re considering is from vegan / plant based sources.
  2. Does your probiotic survive stomach acid and/or manufacturing? As mentioned, most don’t. Certain strains fare better than others. Always ask the manufacturer of your probiotic if they have any clinical research to support their product. Just because they sell a popular strain, doesn’t mean their probiotic are live and active.
  3. Is your probiotic tested for safety and potency? The FDA doesn’t require probiotic companies to test their bacteria strains. So naturally, most don’t do it. Probiotic contamination is a big deal though. If your probiotic manufacturer doesn’t have strict quality control measures in place, your probiotic may be doing more harm than good. And, many of these beneficial bacteria die during processing because of the harsh processing methods most manufacturers use. Make sure the company you buy from tests its probiotics for safety and potency and can provide documentation to prove it.
  4. Is your probiotic backed by peer-reviewed clinical studies? Don’t trust marketing claims on product labels and websites. Even most clinical data large probiotic companies cite is funded by the companies themselves. Your probiotic should be backed by randomized, double-blind, peer-reviewed clinical studies (the gold standard in scientific research) whenever possible if the company makes any claims about its benefits.
  5. Does your probiotic contain artificial fillers, preservatives, allergens, and other junk? The answer is usually yes, but manufacturers are very good at hiding this information. The only way to know is to ask them what “excipients” are in it and what purpose those serve.
  6. Does your probiotic contain prebiotic fiber and digestive enzymes? Prebiotics are essentially “food” that probiotics feast on. They help make probiotics more effective once they reach your intestines and colon. Digestive enzymes can help you digest all foods better, so often times you’ll see supplements that contain these as well.
  7. What health challenges are you facing? Different strains of probiotics offer different types of benefits. Don’t just buy a probiotic without understanding the type or types of strains it contains—otherwise you’re very likely wasting your money. For example, I suffer from GI issues, so I make sure I take strains that help me with those.

The Number One Myth About Probiotics

If you’ve shopped for probiotics before, you’ve probably noticed one statistic that all probiotics emphasize on the bottle, the CFU count. CFUs, or colony forming units, are the number of live probiotic bacteria that are supposed to be in each serving.

Some companies pack tens or even hundreds of billions of CFUs per dose. But what they don’t tell you is that most of these bacteria are going to die before they ever reach your small intestine (where they exert  the most benefits).

Probiotic companies have pushed CFU count as the singular point of comparison for the uninformed. In a way, this makes sense because it gives buyers an easy number that they can use to compare competing products.

But more CFUs does not always mean more effective! And in some cases, more can be worse.

The National Institutes of Health states:

Many probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFU per dose, but some products contain up to 50 billion CFU or more. However, higher CFU counts do not necessarily improve the product’s health effects.

How Many CFUs Do You Really Need?

CFU numbers on probiotic supplements can vary anywhere from several million to 50 billion, but  research has shown that effective probiotic dosage for general gut health seems to be in the range of 10 million to one billion CFUs per day in humans.

Another thing to keep in mind is that multi-strain probiotics will help you achieve better results than single-strain probiotics. Different probiotic strains excel at different mechanisms, so diversified collection of strains is ideal for overall health.

The Best Time to Take Probiotics

Research shows you can take probiotics before, during, or after meals. However, you may experience additional benefits if you take your probiotics with some form of healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, etc.).

Health Benefits of Probiotics

Let’s look at some of the strain-specific benefits of probiotics …

Sleep Benefits of Probiotics

We spend almost a third of our lives asleep. Researchers are discovering that the duration and quality of our sleep affect everything from our cognitive performance, mood, and memory to the health of our immune and endocrine systems.

It’s widely known that quality sleep can improve your memory, reduce inflammation (the pre-cursor to most disease), sharpen your mental focus, help you control your weight, and lower your stress levels.

Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) produce and regulate a number of neurotransmitters and hormones that impact our sleep:

Tryptophan and Melatonin: Probiotics can increase blood levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin and then into melatonin, the hormone that regulates how sleepy you feel.

Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and plays a significant role in sleep quality. Researchers found that serotonin deficiency in rats led to disrupted sleep-wake cycles. Most serotonin is made in the gut.

GABA: Beneficial bacteria help produce GABA, the calming brain chemical, as well as enhance its brain receptors.

Cortisol: If temporary stress and anxiety are the cause of your sleepless nights, rest assured that probiotics may even lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that becomes elevated during times of stress.

So what probiotic strains have been shown to be effective for sleep? Not many, just yet.

A small study showed that the probiotic Streptococcus can help improve sleep outcomes.

Mental Health Benefits of Probiotics

The relationship between the microbiota and anxiety/depression has been studied mainly in animals … but preliminary research is promising.

Your gut microbiota plays a major role in the communication between the gut and the brain.

A review of several research studies showed that certain probiotics have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. The researchers concluded:

Regulation of the gut microbiota using diet, probiotics and FMT (fecal microbiota transplantation) may have important benefits for preventing and treating depression.

Weight Loss Benefits of Probiotics

In a metaanalysis of over 800 studies, researchers found that:

Administration of probiotics resulted in a significantly larger reduction in body weight and fat percentage compared with placebo; however, the effect sizes were small.

Immunity Benefits

Research is still emerging in this area but it appears probiotics may be able to help you keep your immune system functioning at a higher level.

New research has shown that certain strains can activate health immune cells and decrease inflammation.

Gut Health Benefits

Several probiotic strains have been shown to help those suffering from GI issues like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowl disease (IBD), and food allergies.

Safety and Side Effects of Probiotics

According to the National Institutes of Health, the safety of probiotics depends on the state of your health and the strain you’re using.

In people who are generally healthy, probiotics have a solid safety record. Side effects, if they occur at all, usually consist only of mild digestive symptoms such as gas.

On the other hand, there have been reports linking some probiotics to severe side effects, such as dangerous infections, in people with serious underlying medical problems. The people who are most at risk of severe side effects include critically ill patients, those who have had surgery, very sick infants, and people with weakened immune systems.

Do your homework and ask your doctor about any certain strains so she/he can tell you whether it’s safe for you.

Bottom Line About Probiotics

the best probioticsFrom the day you were born, your digestive tract has been exposed to a steady stream of bacteria–some helpful, some harmful. One key to gastrointestinal (GI) health is maintaining a balance of these “good” and “bad” bacteria.

Over time, diet, aging, antibiotic use, travel, medications, illness, stress, and hormonal changes can disrupt your intestinal balance.

Keeping a healthy level of these “good” bacteria is key to maintaining your digestive and immune health.

To help level the playing field of good and bad bacteria, many people find it helpful to add a daily supplement or eat more probiotic fortified foods and beverages.

Like most industries, the market for probiotics is ripe with crappy products. The only way to know if your probiotic is legit is to answer the 7 questions above. If a manufacturer is hesitant to provide any information you ask for, that’s a big red flag for an inferior product that could do more harm than good.

10 minutes of research makes a world of difference when it comes to choosing the right probiotic supplement for you.

Learn More About Pure Food DIGEST (Probiotics + Prebiotics + Digestive Enzymes

Sources Not Linked to Above/Further Reading:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-HealthProfessional/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-humans-carry-more-bacterial-cells-than-human-ones/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10564096

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204468004577164732944974356

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

https://www.the-rheumatologist.org/details/article/1386089/The_Microbiome.html

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/gut-week-do-probiotics-work-are-they-good-for-me/ 

https://experiencelife.com/article/how-to-heal-a-leaky-gut/