Experience the power of protein! Together with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of the macronutrients that our bodies need to function properly. And given protein’s long list of key functions, plus the fact that it’s a vital component of every single cell in the body, it’s no wonder that proteins are often referred to as “the building blocks of the body”. Protein is required by everyone at all stages of life, but the amount a person needs depends on their age, activity level, and general health. We need proteins to help synthesise and repair cells, build and maintain bones, muscle, and skin, and ensure that our body is working properly and efficiently. They also help to provide the structure of our hair, skin, and nails. As you can see, proteins have a pretty big job!
However, proteins are not one and the same – there are many different types, all of which play different but equally key roles in the body, including: structural proteins, transport proteins, enzymes, hormones, and immunoproteins. Just as proteins are the building blocks of the body, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are either essential or non-essential, essential meaning that they cannot be produced by the body and must be provided by our diet.
Not all proteins are created equal! Some are of higher quality than others – such as the proteins found in our Natural Balance Shakes:
Egg & Whey Protein: Egg & whey protein are great sources of high-quality protein, as they are easily digested and absorbed, and provide all 9 of the essential amino acids that the body cannot make1. Whey protein (a type of milk protein) is an excellent source of branched chain amino acids (BCAA) including leucine, which is the key amino acid in stimulating muscle protein synthesis1.
1Miller GD, Jarvis JK and McBean LD. Handbook of dairy foods and nutrition. 3rd ed. CRC press, Taylor & Francis group, Boca Raton (2007) 1-55.
Pea protein: This is a sustainable, plant-based protein. Pea production is sustainable across the following environmental measures: greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, land use and water use2. What’s more, pea protein is one of the more easily digested plant-based proteins compared to many other plant-based proteins. In general, animal proteins are more easily digested and absorbed by the body than plant-based proteins – pea protein, however is one of the more easily digested plant-based proteins3.
3 Rutherfurd, S.M., Fanning, A.C., Miller, B.J., & Moughan, P.J. (2015). Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid scores and digestible indispensable amino acid scores differentially describe protein quality in growing male rats. The Journal of nutrition, 145 2, 372-9 .
You’ve probably been told to add more fibre to your diet at least once in your life and this is very sound advice, as dietary fibre has lots of health benefits, especially when it comes to gut health. Dietary fibre sources include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and wholegrains (i.e. non-processed grains where the peel or bran has not been removed). It adds bulk to the diet, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and keeps you regular! But what is it, exactly? Dietary fibre is a type of carbohydrate, but unlike other carbohydrates such as sugars or starches, it cannot be digested by our body’s enzymes in the small intestine and instead, reaches the large intestine or colon where it is fermented by gut bacteria, producing short chain fatty acids and gases. Despite the many benefits of a fibre-rich diet, consumers worldwide are not getting enough fibre in their diet, with many falling short of the 25-35g daily amount recommended by the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. In fact, many countries are only meeting half or two thirds of this recommendation, with most people worldwide consuming less than 20 g of dietary fibre per day4.
Every serving of our Natural Balance Shake contains 1.6-1.8g grams of the dietary fibre required for a healthy diet. The dietary fibre in our Natural Balance Shake comes from natural sources such as apples, rosehip, and sugar beet. Dietary fibre helps to:
•Add bulk to your diet, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and helps keep you regular
4Stephen, A. M., Champ, M. M.-J., Cloran, S. J., Fleith, M., van Lieshout, L., Mejborn, H., & Burley, V. J. (2017). Dietary fibre in Europe: current state of knowledge on definitions, sources, recommendations, intakes and relationships to health. Nutrition Research Reviews, 30(2), 149–190. Cambridge University Press.