Whilst Fifty Cent may have had 21 questions, only one question really matters: why try Swisse Me’s Protein Range?! To this we’ve found 100+ answers! Now, it may seem like a lot, but Swisse Me’s Protein Range is an over-achiever: from dense nutrition to incredible taste, this new kid on the block is going places. I had the chance to try it all, and let me tell you they passed the nutritional test by far! Psst... There’s going to be some legal stuff, but you’re going to be learning something new and very useful (just syaing).
Read on for all the reasons why we’re top of the class:
These protein balls and protein powders contain a healthy dose of plant-based protein, and all 9 essential amino acids
Protein is vital for staying healthy: for example, in terms of muscle growth and repair as well as in helping our bodies produce enzymes and hormones (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Amino acids are the building blocks to protein, of which nine must come from our diets (they are ‘essential’ amino acids), since our body can’t synthesise them (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
In contrast to plant-based protein, animal-based sources of protein tend to contain significant amounts of all nine essential amino acids, they are more ‘complete’ sources of protein (Sizer and Whitney 2017). However, plant-based sources of protein can easily be paired with one another to provide everything we need within a meal (Sizer and Whitney 2017). For example, by combining hemp and brown rice protein in these protein balls, and pea, pumpkin seed and hemp seed in these protein powders, we’ve ensured you get all the amino acids your body needs.
This is great news! In fact, the China Study - a comprehensive, large-scale study by Chinese, British and American scientists - concluded plant-based protein provides a protective factor against poor health, as opposed to animal-based protein which correlates with an increased risk of chronic health issues (Campbell 2004).
Swisse Me's range contains slow-release carbohydrates and is a good source of fibre
Carbohydrates are our body’s preferred source of energy and, for this reason, most of our calories should come from carbohydrates (Sizer and Whitney 2017). However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. For example, carbohydrates found in wholemeal bread, pasta and rice, as well as in fruits and vegetables are important components to every meal (Sizer and Whitney 2017). These cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar when eaten and are therefore known as ‘slow-release carbohydrates’ (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Dates, also rich in carbohydrates, are a key ingredient within these protein balls, offering slow-release energy, as well as impressive amounts of fibre and B-vitamins (DH 1991).
This range contains a whole lot of B-vitamins
B vitamins are essential to keeping our cells in tip-top shape. They are a group of eight water-soluble micronutrients which work synergistically to create new blood cells, maintain healthy skin and brain cells and convert food into energy (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
They each have unique functions: for example, thiamine (B1) is vital for synthesizing certain hormones (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Meanwhile, niacin (B3) is the pre-cursor to the coenzyme NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is fundamental for correct functioning of our metabolism (i.e. converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy) (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Another B-vitamin, biotin (B7) is widely used to improve the condition of hair, nails and skin, and folic acid (B9) is essential during pregnancy (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
These protein powders are also packed with Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital for bone health (Holick 2004). This is because it increases calcium absorption and maintains blood calcium concentrations within an acceptable range (Holick 2004). Worryingly, the amount of vitamin D obtained from the average female’s diet in the UK is below recommended levels (PHE 2018). Get your daily fill of vitamin D from a serving of these protein powder or get out in the sunshine. We got you covered!
These protein powders use the power of Asian mushrooms
Some mushrooms are a great food source of vitamin D (Mizuno and Zhuang 1995, Sizer and Whitney 2017) as well as three B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, which assist in the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates from our food (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
Chaga mushrooms also contain high amounts of selenium, a mineral which is important in the production of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, amongst others (Sizer and Whitney 2017). This humble mushroom therefore provides key nutrients which have been said may help lower our risk of developing a range of diseases and even influence the rate at which we age as well (Wolfe 2012).
Meanwhile, cordycep mushrooms have been traditionally used for centuries in Chinese medicine. They are thought to be a tonic for our body balancing our energy systems.
Speaking of brain health, lion’s mane has been suggested to increase levels of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in vitro (Lai et al. 2013). NGF is essential for maintaining healthy brain cells as well as regenerating old and damaged cells. NGF also promotes neurological connections and therefore has the potential to have protective effects on the brain (Rocco et al. 2018). There’s even some emerging evidence that NGF might be beneficial for the some neurological disorders (Tuszynski et al. 2015).
You'll find added nut butters to these protein balls
It’s recommended that adults consume 30g of fibre daily but most of us only manage to get about half of this (SACN 2017, BNF 2018). Fibre is essential in helping our guts do their job (Sizer and Whitney 2017), as well as in decreasing the risk of developing heart disease (Pryor 2000). Luckily, both almond and cashew butter are a winning nutritional combination of protein and fibre (USDA 2019).
Meanwhile, cashew nuts have extra health points in the form of Zeaxanthin (USDA 2019), an antioxidant pigment which may assist in preventing damage to our eyes by harmful UV rays (and magnesium (USDA 2019). Whilst often completely overlooked, magnesium is key for many body functions, including keeping our bones strong and energy levels high (Sizer and Whitney 2017). It may also be important when looking to manage the symptoms of stress. This is because magnesium assists in the release of GABA (Möykkynen et al. 2001), a neurotransmitter that calms the brain and central nervous system.
Friendly bacteria feature throughout this protein range
Our guts are home to a range of bacteria. Whilst most of us worry about the potentially harmful ones, we don’t do enough for the good guys, also known as ‘friendly bacteria.’ These are true superheroes, helping our immune function and balance bad bacteria (Sizer and Whitney 2017). When we’re healthy, friendly bacteria vastly outnumber unfriendly ones and literally create a barrier against them.
That’s why this new range of plant-based protein powders contains 1 Billion CFU of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum per serving, as well as four other species. Meanwhile, inulin act as food for our friendly bacteria (Sizer and Whitney 2017). For this exact reason, this protein powder includes 6g of prebiotic inulin per serving.
The matcha protein balls are packed with antioxidants
Catechins, specifically Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG – also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate), are abundant in matcha, a type of green tea. EGCG is thought to work as a potent antioxidant, fighting against harmful free radicals that can cause a whole host of chronic diseases (Eng et al. 2018). EGCG may contribute to reducing an individual’s risk of developing heart disease (Momose et al. 2016) and in the prevention of type 2 diabetes (Chacko et al. 2010). There’s even suggestions that EGCG may support bone health. For example, an in vitro study by Vali et al. (2007) reported that EGCG in green tea may play a role in increasing bone mineralization. More studies are needed for sure, but EGCG from green teas (like matcha) looks very promising when it comes to helping in the fight against aging and disease.
All the protein balls feature the wonder ingredient, baobab
Speaking of antioxidants, vitamin C is one of our body’s main forms of defence from the damaging effects of oxidation (Sizer and Whitney 2017). However, unlike other animals, humans cannot naturally produce vitamin C, so it is essential we obtain it from our diet (Pham-Huy et al. 2008). Luckily, baobab is packed full of vitamin C: it even has a higher concentration of vitamin C than oranges (Rahul et al. 2015)!
Vitamin C is also essential for helping our bodies produce collagen, a key component of our skin, hair and nails (Borumand & Sibilla 2015, Avila Rodriguez et al. 2018), and assists in wound healing (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Crucially, vitamin C supports our bodies in absorbing iron from plant-based sources and can therefore contribute to preventing anaemia in those at risk of iron deficiency such as women, athletes, vegans and vegetarians (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
Baobab also contains a high amount of both soluble and insoluble fibre (Coe et al. 2013). Soluble fibre dissolves when it encounters water in our gut, helping to lower cholesterol, control blood glucose and promote the growth of ‘friendly’ probiotic bacteria in our large intestine (Sizer and Whitney 2017). Meanwhile, insoluble fibre helps us feel fuller for longer and stay on a ‘regular’ bathroom schedule (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
Top in Taste
We use stevia and xylitol over sucralose
Sucralose is a popular sugar substitute. However, there is growing evidence that sucralose, in fact, could have negative effects on our bodies. For example, a small study by Pepino et al. (2013) found that, in certain populations, sucralose increased blood glucose and insulin levels while decreasing insulin sensitivity. This could be bad news for those who use sucralose to manage their blood glucose, particularly diabetics. Later studies by Romo-Romo et al. (2018) and Lertrit et al. (2018) found similar effects in healthy subjects.
Whilst more research is needed to confirm that sucralose is in fact not the best option for human health, Swisse Me isn’t taking any chances. We believe that if there’s current uncertainty about the health effects of sucralose, it is best just to avoid this ingredient. Therefore, unlike our competitor brands, you won’t see it in any of these products.
These protein balls make an easy and healthy snack
Snacking can help keep our metabolism and blood sugar balanced, prevent over-eating at our next meal and fuel our workouts (Karpinski and Rosenbloom 2017). Therefore, next time hunger strikes, reach for these protein balls. Yes, you could make your own if you’re feeling creative, but most of us are short on time and just need something delicious. Stat!
This range is good for the environment
Plant-based protein is not only better for our health, but the environment also. For example, reducing the amount of meat and animal products in our diet can help reduce our carbon footprint, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from our daily lives, and water use (Sizer and Whitney 2017).
Moreover, these new protein products have recycle-friendly packaging! This Protein Powders and Protein Balls feature widely recyclable packaging made from a plastic which has a recycling percentage of around 80-85%. We are literally offering a full package of goodies!
There you have it: 100+ benefits
We're proud of you if you made it this far and read all the 100+ reasons to try Swisse Me’s protein range. Whether your lifestyle goals these guys will support these by providing a dose of nutrients in the most convenient way, without compromising on taste or your environmental principles. Too good to pass up.
Holding an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Nutrition from King's College London, Lizzy Cole is an accredited nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (licence number 11722). She is working with spas, sports teams, private members clubs, meal delivery services, supplement companies, magazines and gyms in both the UK and US.
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Written by Lizzy Cole, Accredited Nutritionist, MSc in Nutrition & MA in Natural Science