Protein Bites That Pack a Punch
Although these little bites may look like they don’t pack an awful lot in to them, they are full of a whole host of great ingredients that can give you a needed boost when you are on the go, hitting the gym or just peckish!
So let’s start with the chia seeds that we use in there! Chai seeds are recognised by many as being a super food. Their makeup in itself is super; 15-25% protein, 30–33% fats (most of which are unsaturated), 26-41% carbs and high dietary fibre of 18-30%. Plus vitamins, minerals and a high amount of antioxidants[i]. They are full of omega 3[ii] which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, by reducing the harmful cholesterol and not affecting the healthy cholesterol. Its believed that most of us aren’t getting anywhere near enough omega 3 in our diets so we thought we should add even more for you by throwing some nutritious flax seed in too! Both beneficial for providing omega 3, protein and fibre[iii]. That’s just 2 of the ingredients!
Another superfood we have added is maca, ‘a Peruvian plant of the Brassicaceae family cultivated for more than 2000 years, which grows exclusively in the central Andes between 4000 and 4500 m altitude.’[iv] Used for its medicinal properties, it has an abundance of health properties from increasing sperm count[v] and sexual desire to improving memory and learning ability[vi]! (a very convenient matching of benefits there…move over fifty shades of grey for the next baby boom). Maca has also been suggested in studies as an energiser[vii], so I guess what we seem to be saying is we have added a little superfood aphrodisiac to our protein bites.
So back on to a sensible trail of thought, almonds are used as another source of protein and according to studies almonds can make you less likely to snack and balance blood sugar levels[viii]. Which is always a plus if you are trying to get in to shape, or like us have a weakness for grazing. The main source of protein however comes from soy isolate, the purest form of protein, packing a 90% protein content[ix]! While soy protein was once argued to reduce the level of testosterone in the body and hinder muscle gains[x], studies have found that no such thing happens! Soy has been found to benefit training regimes to the same level as whey as well as benefiting health like reducing bad cholesterol[xi]. That coupled with our heart healthy chia seeds is a match made in coronary heaven!
Like our fabulous brownies, we use dates to sweeten things up whilst packing in goodness at the same time. Dates contain numerous minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium. Plus selenium; important in supporting immune function. On top of this they contain B vitamins and vitamins A and K that are great for eye health and healthy skin. We add a bit of maple too for the wonderful flavour with its range of minerals, oligosaccharides, amino acids, organic acids, and phenolic compounds[xii].
As they are mocha bites, we must mention the raw cacao powder and freshly brewed coffee. Cacao has a whole host of benefits. ‘Studies strongly suggest that cocoa has several beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including the lowering of blood pressure, the improvement of vascular function and glucose metabolism, and the reduction of platelet aggregation and adhesion.’[xiii] Of course there is no getting away from the fact that it is also DELICIOUS! Finally we use freshly brewed coffee in the bites to add a zing of caffeine to help you bust a move.
[i] Ixtaina VY, Nolasco SM, Tomás MC. Physical properties of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds. Industrial Crops and Products. 2008;28(3):286–293.
[v] Gonzales GF, Gasco M, Córdova A, Chung A, Rubio J, Villegas L. Effect of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on spermatogenesis in male rats acutely exposed to high altitude (4340 m) Journal of Endocrinology.2004;180(1):87–95. [PubMed]
[vi] Gonzales C, Rubio J, Gasco M, Nieto J, Yucra S, Gonzales GF. Effect of short-term and long-term treatments with three ecotypes of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on spermatogenesis in rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2006;103(3):448–454. [PubMed]
[xi][xi] Wilcox JN, Blumenthal BF. Thrombotic mechanisms in atherosclerosis: potential impact of soy proteins. J Nutr 1995; 125:631S-638S.
[xii] Ball DW. The chemical composition of maple syrup. J Chem Ed. 2007;84:1647–1650