The last few shakes we’ve looked at didn’t get the best grades (sorry about that!). Let’s see how the plant-based formula of the week, PlantFusion, holds up against the competition (nutritionally speaking of course). Here’s what the label looks like:
Pretty cute looking, right? I mean, I was almost fooled by the look and sound of this brand, smearing PLANT PLANT PLANT all over the container. And when you take a look at their proprietary PlantFusion AA Protein Blend, you just about WANT to love it. Here’s why I gave this section a GRADE B+:
- pea protein isolate (albeit very stripped-down ingredient, pea protein is one of the highest quality plant-based protein sources currently available AND peas are way down low on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, meaning organic or not, these little munchkins are a great protein choice)
- artichoke protein: artichoke provides really clean starches, B vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, etc.
- sprouted amaranth powder: what’s the deal with things being sprouted? When you pre-soak your grains overnight, you are actually feeding the little seedlings within, thus releasing the grains’ key nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins and folate, fiber, and other proteins… not to mention that sprouting your grains can lessen the allergenic load on your system — great for those with all types of grain sensitivities. Amaranth is a beautiful little gluten-free seed (like quinoa) that provides an awesome punch of protein, fiber, high digestibility, and amino acid lysine (not found in too many other places) great for energy and muscle protection.
- sprouted quinoa powder: quinoa contains one of the higher ratios of protein and fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), manganese.. each with a specific role in the teeniest enzymatic pathways working hard to keep your cells young and fresh 24/7. Love it!
As for the Enzyme Blend, first of all, I am SO impressed and happy that they supply bromelain — one of the BEST antioxidants you can find — that comes from the juicy, tropical pineapple. Only issue is that we aren’t sure HOW MUCH bromelain is actually IN their proprietary blend, as it also contains ‘other’ naturally occurring enzymes. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that helps breakdown inflammation, and is super powerful when it comes to healing all types of digestive disorders, allergies, asthma, sinus infections, and even joint pain. Best when taken AWAY from food for some of these disorders, but that’s a whole other discussion point.
Technically, they can use as little of the good stuff as allowed to be part of the label, and then the rest or ‘other’ as filler stuff. Too bad they don’t specify how much you get for your $! GRADE B+ for lack of disclosure.
Now, the Other Ingredient List. Luckily, it’s short. But take a look at the first listed ingredient: Fructose! UGH! Fructose when isolated from whole fruit, can potentially harm the body’s metabolism since our cells cannot properly metabolize it; the liver must do it all (similar to alcohol metabolism). Our liver is already busy enough balancing hormones, vitamins, drugs, detoxification pathways, cholesterol molecules, etc. Excess fructose can contribute to insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, etc. Too much fructose on a daily basis can potentially lead to overeating since it can stimulate appetite and encourage overeating, and also fatty depositions within the liver — so let’s keep this out of our daily routines, please. GRADE F
Cocoa: they do not mention the sourcing, nor the type — how was it processed? Very vague.
Flavoring: Can someone please tell me where on earth you can find or buy ‘natural’ cookies and creme flavor?? I will buy it! But as of now, this flavor is certainly NOT natural, and the word natural is just as much a bust as the idea that you can find cookies and creme in nature. Too bad.. GRADE F
Silica, guar gum, natural flavor (what? more ‘natural’ flavor? why?), stevia. Nutritionally speaking, very generic ingredients, nothing exciting or worth trying. Keep in mind that if you have a soy allergy, you might not want to try this brand due to the guar gum. GRADE C for potential allergenicity.
Taking all of this into consideration, I am neither excited nor overly interested in trying this product. Maybe their Organic plant-based protein powder will exceed my expectations as we continue to search for the Perfect Shake!!
OVERALL, I rate PlantFusion with a GRADE B-… Going in the right direction, Laura!