Whey protein – I am a huge fan of it and believe that it should be part of your eating plan as well. Why? Because whey is great for building up the immune system and is the perfect protein, packed with every essential amino acid your body needs to help it soar through the day. So, what exactly is whey protein? Interestingly, it’s a by-product of cheese manufacturing. To make whey, pure amino acids are extracted from the cheese’s cast-off milk proteins, leaving the sugar (lactose), casein, fat and cholesterol behind. The resulting whey, which eventually is converted into powder, is simply the purest, cleanest, most easily absorbed protein source around. And why else do I love the stuff? Let me count the “wheys”:
Whey Wears a Lot of Hats.
For most people, whey is an easy-to-digest protein powerhouse. It boosts immune-system function by replenishing glutathione levels in the blood. It does this by supplying cysteine, a precursor to glutathione, that’s frequently lacking in the typical American diet. Glutathione is one of the most important molecules in the body because it neutralizes free radicals, supports the immune system and is an essential nutrient that’s key in aiding the body’s ability to detoxify itself. Problem is, it tends to decrease with age, but the good news is that Whey can help keep glutathione levels steady and liver function stable, thereby helping to sustain health over the long haul.
If Whey Protein was a Drug, They’d Call it a Miracle.
Whey protein is a nutritional superstar in part because it feeds your body with the richest source of the 8 essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids needed for cellular growth and energy. Whey helps stabilize blood sugar, slows cortisol production and promotes the release of serotonin. It also plays a critical role in increased muscle growth, bone growth and fat loss – so body-builders, dieters, diabetics and stressed-out moms and dads have a lot to gain from frequent whey-based meals. There’s even some research to suggest that whey may help lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and possibly even help prevent prostate cancer. Sounds like a winner to us!
Whey is the Fountain of Youth – or Close to it.
Whey protein contains immune factors to boost immunity as well as lactoferrin and insulin growth factor. These help build and maintain the immune system as well as helping with muscle recovery and absorption of iron into the blood. These factors can slow, stop, even reverse the aging process and make you less susceptible to illness. It may not take 10 years off your face, but eating more whey is a virtually effortless way to enhance your physical and mental vitality.
Whey’s OK for Most People.
Since whey is a milk protein, people who are mildly allergic to milk proteins may experience minor gastric distress, which usually disappears when the dose is reduced. For those with lactose intolerance, whey shouldn’t pose a problem provided the brand you buy is casein-free, lactose-free (or reduced lactose) and is hypoallergenic, meaning it rarely causes allergic reactions. Who should not use whey? People with rare but serious milk protein allergies.
Buying the Right Whey.
What to look for when buying Whey? It should be cold-processed to maintain the full range of the immune boosting and regenerative components that are naturally present in fresh raw milk. Look for whey that comes from cows that have grazed on pesticide and chemical-free natural grass pastures and who haven’t been fed grain or raised on antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, hyper-immunizations, chemicals or bovine growth hormone. The whey you choose should also be free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors and preservatives.
I’ll drink to That!
How to incorporate more whey into your diet? I created a potent blend of high quality whey protein with nutrient-dense greens and red and blue berries called RECHARGE. It comes in single serving packets for people on the go and is delicious. It’s a great whey to start the day and is perfect for adults or children. I usually have a whey protein smoothie for breakfast or after the gym. Here is my favorite smoothie recipe
The Greeno Mojito (serves 1)
1 RECHARGE packet
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Juice of one lime
3/4 cup filtered water
3-4 ice cubes
Sweeten to taste with either raw honey, xylitol or stevia. Blend in a blender until smooth and creamy.
*Image of “women” via Shutterstock