How does Vitamin C help the body?

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vital vitamin the body needs in order to function on a day to day basis. The body requires Vitamin C to aid the Immune System, healing injuries and maintaining bone health. 

Benefits

Reduced risk of serious illness 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body fight against free radicals that occur in the body. By reducing the amount of free radicals in the body, this will stop them from gathering and will help stop the body from becoming infected or contracting a disease. 

Prevents against Iron deficiency 

Iron is essential in an individual’s diet. It assists in the transportation of oxygen around the body. Without Iron, the red blood cells will struggle to support the body and vital organs with nutrients needed to function. Ample levels of Vitamin C in the body assist in absorbing iron from food sources. A person lacking in Iron risks developing anaemia, although only a temporary condition, this causes the person to be tired and weak and therefore unable to function properly on a day to day basis.

Regulating blood pressure

Blood pressure is the force of blood flow against the walls of blood vessels in the body. A person with high blood pressure over a long period of time runs an increased risk of cardiac arrest and other serious heart diseases that can be fatal. Research indicate an ample amount of Vitamin C on a daily basis helps relax the blood vessels and strain on the circulatory system in everyday life and while exercising. It is important for an individual looking to manage blood pressure that a reliance solely on Vitamin C is not advisable, an individual should also consider all elements of their diet and participation in exercise.

Shortens recovery time from illness 

Vitamin C plays a key role in the formation of white blood cells, these are the body’s defence mechanisms in fighting infections. A person that has contracted an illness may look to supplement with Vitamin C. They can simply increase the consumption of foods high in Vitamin C in order to shorten recovery time. 

Protects your memory

Oxidative stress and inflammation on the brain and nervous system over a prolonged period can promote the early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, causing the decline in memory, language and thinking skills of an individual. Studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin C are linked to cognitive impairment. A high intake of Vitamin C can help preserve this ability as a person ages.

Vitamin C in the diet

To maintain Vitamin C levels, an indidual is able to do this by eating a balanced diet. Oranges, Broccoli and Spinach can provide high levels of Vitamin C. It is not possible to store Vitamin C in the body over a long period of time because it is a soluble vitamin. As a result, it can only be maintained it through regular consumption. The daily intake advised for an individual depends on age, condition and body composition. It is important an individual looks at their own dietary requirements and seeks medical guidance for Vitamin C when looking to lead a healthy lifestyle. An individual who takes Vitamin C supplements should make sure the recommended daily intake is not exceeded as this can be harmful.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#1.-May-reduce-your-risk-of-chronic-disease

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c

A Guide to The B Vitamins

How do the B Vitamins help the body?

The body requires vitamins and minerals in order to function to an optimum level throughout the day. These are vital for the body systems. B vitamins are split into smaller subcategories due to their composition, different B vitamins contain different nutrients. These subcategories and shown below.

Thiamin (vitamin B1)

This is essential in order to help the body convert carbohydrates into energy. By having the recommended amount of B1 on a daily basis it helps greatly with muscle function and therefore the heart. As well as helping with the function of the brain and the heart. Eggs, Fruit and Liver are all high in B1. The recommended daily intake of B1 in the diet for a male is 1mg and 0.8mg for a female

Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

This is vital in the breakdown of macronutrients in the digestive system, then into energy and into the bloodstream. It also plays an important role in the maintenance of the skin and eyes. Eggs, Oats and Mushrooms all contain B2. It is important to be aware that the overexposure of these foods to sunlight will deplete the B2 contained in the food, therefore storage should always be done out of sunlight. The recommended daily intake of B2 in the diet for a male is 1.3mg for a male and 1.1mg for a female.

Niacin (vitamin B3)

Similarly to B1 & B2, vitamin B3 aids the body systems in everyday functions. Everybody system in the body will require some level of B3 in order to operate efficiently and effectively. In particular the nervous system and maintenance of the skin. B3 is found in Eggs, Milk and Fish. The recommended daily intake for B3 is 16.5mg for a male and 13.2mg for females.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

This vitamin is essential for making red blood cells and converting food that is consumed on a daily basis into energy. It aids in the transportation of oxygen to the organs and is found in Chicken, Beef, Eggs and Broccoli. It is often used for many treatments such as acne, conjunctivitis and diabetic nerve pain. The recommended daily intake for both a male and female is 5mg.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps the body maintain energy levels by helping to breakdown and store Protein and Carbohydrates that are consumed on a daily basis. It aids in the formation of Hemoglobin found in red blood cells that are then transported around the body to vital organs and the muscles. It is found in Eggs, Milk, Potatoes and Milk. The recommended daily intake for a male is 1.4mg for a male and 1.2mg for a female. 

Biotin (vitamin B7)

Biotin is an essential vitamin for the body. It is only needed in small amount and is found in a varying range of foods, albeit in small amounts. Therefore it is easily consumed in a person’s daily diet. It aids mainly in the breakdown of fat in the body. The body is able to make B7 in the bowel therefore it is very uncommon for a person to be deficient in this vitamin. The recommended daily intake for both a male and female is 0.03mcg. 

Folate and Folic Acid

This vitamin greatly assets in the production of red blood cells that transport oxygen around the body to the vital organs and the muscles. Folic acid is found in foods while folate, is the manmade form of the vitamin, that is engineered in a lab. Folate helps with a range of treatments including the prevention of certain types of cancer. Broccoli, Chickpeas and Brussel Sprouts. The recommended daily intake of Folic acid is 200mcg a day for an adult. 

Vitamin B12

Similarly to Folic acid, B12 plays a vital role in the creation of red blood cells and supplying oxygen to the vital organs and muscles. It also aids the body in the conversion of food into energy to help the body function on a daily basis. B12 also allowed the body to use Folic acid stored in the body. A B12 deficiency will lead to a person being anaemic. Without sufficient red blood cells, a person will feel weary and weak throughout the day. Eggs, Cheese and Meat all contain B12. The recommended daily intake of B12 for a person on a daily basis is 1.5mg for an adult. 

B Vitamins in the Diet

A person eating a balanced diet can obtain all these vitamins through the consumption of food. However, a person struggling to met the recommended daily intake of these vitamins can consume supplements. It is important that the recommended dosage is not exceeded as the overconsumption can lead to health implications.

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114311/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287720

Protein Sources for Vegan Diet

Best Sources Of Protein For Vegan Diet

Protein is essential for muscle growth and the repair of body tissue. Consuming complete proteins is vital for body function. A complete protein has all 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and therefore your body requires all essential amino acids to function correctly. Individuals who follow veganism may struggle to consume all 9 amino acids as vegetables typically do not contain them. Food derived from meat typically contain a complete protein profile. 

However there are multiple sources for which you can get your protein hit and still follow the Vegan Diet and if a wide variety of the examples are consumed, it will mean that your body will receive the enough protein for optimal body function. These examples are the following:

Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed that comes in a variety of colours. This is a complete Protein, therefore contains all 9 amino acids that are essential in the diet and for muscle growth and repair. Quinoa holds the status as a superfood, this results in a high demand and can be bought in most UK supermarkets. There are 4g of Protein per 100g of Quinoa, it is more nutrient-dense than Oatmeal and Rice and therefore a much healthier option.

Tofu

Derived from Soybean, Tofu has been a regular choice in vegetable protein for many years. Popular cooking methods are stir-fry and baking. Soybeans are used to make Soy Milk which is the most popular Alt-Milk in the market due to Soy’s high protein to low calorie ratio. It is high in amino acids as well as calcium and iron. There is 8gs of Protein per 100g of Tofu. When the Soybeans are processed, Tofu is commonly pressed into blocks. It is a low-calorie food source and often eaten by vegans. 

Oats

As a complex carbohydrate, they are a popular choice for most individual’s diet. Complex carbohydrates release consistent energy throughout the day and are a preferred choice for breakfast. Oats are high in double and insoluble fibre and therefore help lower Cholesterol. They are also high in Protein, Per 100g, there is 10g of Protein. 

Vegetables

Vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense food sources a person can possibly eat and are also typically high in Protein. Examples include Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus and Sweetcorn, they all contain high Protein as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. These are all also low-calorie options and source of protein when compared with food such as Steak, therefore should not be neglected in a balanced diet

Chickpeas

This food source contains 19.5g of Protein per 100g and is a great source of vegan-friendly Protein. Chickpeas greatly assist the digestive system in function and reduce the risk of many diseases due to being high in antioxidants. They are high in Iron, Zinc and a range of B vitamins. 

Vegan Protein in the diet

A person looking to lead a Vegan-friendly diet and eating the recommended daily intake of Protein should always make sure they vary food sources. This is in order to get the range of nutrients contained in the above foods as well as many other foods that are high in Protein. Recommended Protein levels will vary due to a person’s age, body composition and possible health conditions. Therefore it is important a person seeks medical guidance and pays attention to information on the packaging of foods if unsure if they are meeting required Protein intake on a daily basis. 

 

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-tofu#heart-health

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/best-sources-protein-vegans

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vegetables-high-in-protein.php

https://dietitianwithoutborders.com/does-broccoli-have-more-protein-than-steak/

A Guide to CLA

What is CLA and how does it help burn fat?

CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid which is largely found in meat and dairy. CLA has a number of health benefits and is considered to be a necessity to a balanced diet. People who follow the Vegan Diet will struggle to obtain CLA through natural diet, therefore, will need to use supplements to ensure they receive the recommended amount.

Contemporary research may also support the belief that CLA can assist in preventing cancer, however research for this is still in its infancy. Although most CLA supplements are marketed for their anticancer properties, athletes and participants in bodybuilding in more recent years have been taking the supplement due to its fat-burning ability.

It is also possible to purchase CLA in supplement. A person supplementing with CLA will likely be doing this due to its ability to maintain weight loss, retain mass and regulate diabetes. 

CLA for fat loss

Increased levels of CLA stimulates the Human Body to burn fats. The Human body will therefore increase the enzymes and proteins responsible in the breakdown in fat.

Speeds up metabolism

Research shows that CLA will increase the speed of metabolism. By having a fast metabolism, the body will burn more calories while resting and during exercise. Meaning that a person with more CLA will be generally able to eat more without putting on weight. 

Mobilise stored fat

Providing the Human Body has an increased levels of CLA, this will encourage the breakdown triglycerides which is the main compound in fat cell. A person with high triglycerides will likely also have thicker artery walls and therefore have increased risk of serious illness such as heart disease. It is important to factor in that illnesses such as these also need to be combated with limited sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates. Dietary CLA or CLA supplements will not prevent this on their own. 

Fat to muscle ratio

Due to reducing the ability for fat cells to become larger while assisting with muscle growth and endurance. A person participating in strength training on a regular basis will, therefore, be able to work out harder and faster for longer. This will contribute to a stronger body system that requires more energy to support bigger muscle groups. Bodies with a larger muscles will result in an increase of Basal Metabolic Rate. 

CLA in the diet

A recommended baseline for an adult looking to supplement with CLA on a regular basis is 3.2-6.4 grams per day. Research shows that this can help contribute to weight loss. However, as with all supplementation for weight loss, this only works when combined with a healthy diet and caloric deficit. 

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20040520/cla-weight-loss

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/weight-management/weight-loss/can-cla-help-lose-weight/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/conjugated-linoleic-acid#dosage-and-safety

A Guide to Vitamin A

How does Vitamin A help the body?

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient which is consumed in the diet through food. It is vital in helping the body fight infections and many other health benefits, these are shown below.

Benefits of Vitamin A

Eye health

Vitamin A helps to aid a person’s basic vision, a person with an ample amount of Vitamin A is able to see more easily by dim light. A person deficient in Vitamin A will likely lack sufficient rhodopsin. This is found in the retina of the eye, a person lacking in this will struggle to see when light is dim. Due to this, Vitamin A also negates the impact of age-related damage on eyesight.

Skin health 

A deficiency in Vitamin A makes a person more likely to develop skin disorders. This is largely due to Vitamin A aiding in the body’s ability to remove dead skin cells. Without being able to do this, pores become blocked and skin will become itchy and irritated. In more serious cases, a person can develop acne, impacting a person’s self-esteem and even leading to mental health disorders. Due to this, it is not uncommon for medications to treat poor skin health to be rich in Vitamin A. 

Lower risk of Cancer

Although research for this is still in its infancy, studies carried out in recent years on Vitamin A indicate due to it aiding in the development of cells in the body, regular consumption of Vitamin A on a daily basis show a person has a decreased risk of cancers such as lung and bladder cancer. 

Immune system 

Vitamin A helps the body fight against infections and disease and therefore strengthens the immune system, this due to aiding in the development of white blood cells that fight infections and diseases. A person suffering from a deficiency is more likely to develop serious illnesses and take longer to recover.

Bone health

Vitamin A is one of the main nutrients needed for the body to maintain healthy bones. Research indicates that a person with low levels of Vitamin A is much more likely to develop fractures and bone breaks. An adolescent still developing will require Vitamin A in order to grow and develop stronger bones. It is important to consider that other nutrients such as Calcium and Vitamin D are also important contributors to the overall condition of a person’s bones, therefore sufficient levels of all of these are required for overall bone health.

Vitamins A in the diet

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A is 900mcg per day for a man and 700mcg per day for a woman. This is easily achievable through eating a balanced diet rich in foods such as dairy products, eggs and some oily fish. A person struggling to meet these daily amounts over a long period can consider taking supplements but should also seek medical guidance and advice while considering the recommendation of the supplement.

 

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a-benefits#section5

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a

Why Should I Stretch Before Training?

Why is stretching important?

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a muscle or muscle group is moderately flexed. Typically before, during or after exercise. This allows muscle tissue to lengthen which holds many benefits to an individual.

Why should you stretch?

Injury Prevention – Stretching helps to prevent possible muscle damage such as strains and sprains. By warming a muscle up and elongating it through performing holds over time this will allow muscle fibres to release stress and improve elasticity, more strenuous exercises can then be carried out with a much-lessened risk of injury.

Performance – Participants in exercise may choose to perform stretches in order to improve performance. When exercising, muscles will contract and relax, by stretching before exercise circulation of blood to the active muscles is improved, increasing the supply of nutrients which aids with recovery and the ability to perform more vigorously for longer. 

Range of motion – Closely linked to performance, stretching before exercise helps muscles become more pliable. The muscle can then achieve a greater range of motion aiding in effective sporting performance.

Cooldown – After performing the exercise, it is important that the body is given adequate time to recover. Stretching can be used in order to help bring the heart rate down gradually, this is often used for participants comfort in relieving aches and pains as well as previously mentioned prevention of injury while getting blood back into a muscle that has been put under stress.

Types of Stretching

Static stretching – This is a form of stretching where a participant holds a position for typical 30 – 60 seconds, allowing muscles to become elasticised, research suggests that the application of this method of stretching and doing it for long periods of time can hinder the muscle’s performance before exercise as it is being put under a period of strain

Dynamic Stretching – Usually performed for no longer than a few seconds, this allows the muscle to increase in length without suffering fatigue. Performed incorrectly or too rigorously, this can cause injury. 

Ballistic Stretching – Sometimes considered a controversial method of stretching, this form of stretching uses quick and dynamic movements in order to warm up muscles and can put strain on muscles before they are warmed up, causing possible injury.

Stretching and Wellbeing

Not only does research highlight the importance of stretching for sports performers but also for an individual in everyday life. Everyday activities such as sitting at a desk for long periods of time can contribute to tight hamstrings due to not being active. This will then inhibit walking. Injured or damaged muscles can then not support tendons and ligaments and can cause injury.

 Muscles can hold a lot of tension after exercise when beginning the day or at the end of a day where a person has been physically active. By performing stretches, this will help a person feel less stressed which helps mental wellbeing

Doctors or physios may also give patients a daily stretching routine to perform as a result of medical conditions. This can help lessen the impact of the condition or simply aid the individual to live life without any discomfort. 

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretching

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-stretch-after-exercising/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

https://people.bath.ac.uk/masrjb/Stretch/stretching_4.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-stretching#benefits

https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19518988/stretch-every-day-result/

A Guide to Omega 3

How does Omega 3 help the body?

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that are essential for body functions and in an ample level, provide great health benefits. Omega 3 fats are absorbed through the consumption of food. These are mostly found in fish, seeds, oils and some nuts. A person without access to these foods can choose to take with Omega 3 supplements.

ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid)

The body uses this type of Omega 3 for energy and is the most common Omega 3 acid found in the body. This is mostly found in plant-based foods.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid)

This type of Omega 3 plays a key role in the maintenance of body systems such as the brain and the liver. As this is most commonly found in animal products, a person with a low consumption of animal products or a person with a vegan diet may often look to supplement this in order to get enough of this fatty acid.

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid)

This is largely found in animal products; it helps prevent heart disease and helps to reduce inflammation. It can also be given as a prescription by doctors for patients due to its positive effects on mental health as it can help prevent depression and aid in day to day brain function

Benefits of Omega 3 in the diet

Cognitive function and sleep – Ample levels of Omega 3 in the diet assist greatly with brain function and health when consumed on a daily basis. Helping the brain to rest and achieve greater levels of sleep and deeper sleep. It will also help boost a person’s memory when consumed on a regular basis.

Lower blood pressure – A person with increased levels of Omega 3 in their diet will have lower blood pressure. By reducing the strain on cells walls the circulatory system does not have to work as hard reducing a person’s blood pressure

Skin health – Sufficient levels of Omega 3 in the body greatly aids in protection against the sun if overexposed for long periods of time. A person with a skin disorder may also look to supplement to increase Omega 3 levels or be prescribed this due to its effect on fighting conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.

Hair health – Omega 3 helps increase hair growth. It helps against dry and flaky scalps and prevents against inflammation which is attributed to hair loss. Studies have also been carried out to support the belief that a person with high Omega 3 levels can also begin to reverse hair loss if that person is suffering from baldness.

It is not possible for the body to produce Omega 3, therefore it can only be consumed from food sources. A general recommendation of Omega 3 in the diet by medical professionals is 250 – 500mg on a daily basis. This can change due to a person’s health condition, therefore it is important an individual seeks medical guidance before looking to supplement Omega 3.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids#types

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/vitamins-and-supplements/supplements/omega-3/5-surprising-reasons-need-omega-3/

https://www.heartuk.org.uk/low-cholesterol-foods/omega-3-fats

What is MCT oil and why is it good for the Keto Diet and Health?

What is MCT Oil?

Medium-chain Triglycerides are a type of triglycerides with two or three fatty acids with an aliphatic tail of 6 – 12 carbon atoms. It is this tail that makes this type of fat interesting and has unique benefits. 

MCTs are found in palm kernel oil and coconut oil, these triglycerides can be isolated and are sold as MCT oil. MCT oil is 100% pure and ranges between the four different types of MCTs, which are categorised on the basis of the Carbon tail size:

Caproic acid (C6:0)

Caprylic acid (C8:0)

Capric acid (C10:0)

Lauric Acid (C12:0)

MCT oil is usually a mixture of Caproic acid, Caprylic acid and Capric acid as they have a higher affinity to be absorbed into the liver.

How are they metabolised?

MCTs are much easier to break down by the human body due to the tail size which results in the fatty acids being transposed to the liver at a faster rate, reducing the opportunity to be stored in fat cells. Once at the liver, they are converted to ketones. Ketones are created by the liver when it has to break down large amounts of fats.

How do they help the Keto Diet

Ketones are the primary source of the Ketogenic Diet, the ketogenic diet is when the nutritional intake of fats increases and carbohydrates, the body’s regular energy source, is reduced. When this occurs the body is starved from its usual source of energy and other pathways are opened to assure energy expenditure is met, this is known as ketosis. When the body undergoes ketosis, providing there is no calorie surplus, the body will use the fat stores more frequently and can lead to fat loss. 

MCT oil is extremely beneficial to the Keto Diet as it is a fat source that can be broken down quickly and can be used as an energy source. This is the equivalent as sugar in a regular, carbohydrate-based diet. Sugars are broken down quickly to glucose and then able to be converted to ATP which is the body’s main energy source when not in state of ketosis. Therefore when on a Ketogenic diet, MCT oil can be used as a quick source of energy should the body need a boost. 

Health Benefits

There are numerous benefits which MCT oil provides, here are the notable benefits and why so many people opt in to take these fatty acids:

Promote Weight Loss

MCT oil has shown that it has the ability to release two hormones which promote the feeling of fullness in the body, these hormones are known as Peptide YY and leptin. Therefore if MCT oils are consumed in the morning, this can lead to eating less food during lunch and dinner. This results in the body entering a calorie deficit and if this is met regular, the body will use other energy sources to compensate which will lead to weight loss.

May reduce lactic acid buildup

Lactic acid buildup occurs when vigorous training happens and your body does not have enough oxygen to breakdown glucose. This can result in cramping and burning sensations in the muscles which could mean that you are not able to train as hard after this period until the body repairs itself. A study was conducted where athletes took MCT oil in the morning with food before going cycling and test results showed that they had less lactate levels than the athletes who did not take MCT oil. This means that completing the same amount of exercise, MCT oil could have the ability to prevent lactic acid buildup, meaning that your body can train harder during sessions and be able to recover quickly.

Has Antimicrobial and Antifungal Effects

MCT has been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal effects in several studies. Coconut oil, which contains significant amounts of MCT oil has been shown to reduce the outbreak of Candida albicans on the skin. Candida is a common yeast which can cause skin infections and thrush. MCT oil has also been shown to combat against other harmful bacteria such as Clostridium difficile in test tube studies. Although promising, majority MCT research completed for immune support is completed in vitro, which means that the studies are completed in environments which are not in the human body. 

Conclusion

MCT oil has the potential to become a significant supplement which anyone may want to take to help them on their fitness and health journey. With its ability to promote fat loss, sustain energy throughout the day and preventing lactic acid buildup, it is clear to see why athletes and other fitness enthusiasts have adopted MCT oil in their diet.

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A Guide To BCAA Supplements

What are BCAAs?

BCAA stands for Branched-chain amino acids. These are a group of the essential amino acids; Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine. These can be found in food and are often taken in supplement form by athletes or sports participants in order to aid in the growth of muscles and boost sporting performance.

Valine

Valine assists the body in muscle growth and repair as well as assisting the body in maintaining the immune system, unlike other amino acids, this is processed by muscles as opposed to the Liver. It can also be taken as an appetite suppressant. It is also found in some medications for its assistance in insomnia and anxiety disorders. Valine can be taken in supplement form or found in food such as Milk, Chicken and leafy green vegetables.

Leucine

As well as assisting in muscular hypertrophy, Leucine is the most common amino acid found in the body. Contemporary studies would suggest that Leucine consumed on a weight loss diet, will help the body retain muscle mass while losing fat. It also assists the body in the regulation of blood sugar levels and reduces stress on blood vessels. It can be found in Beef, Eggs and Chicken.

Isoleucine

This helps the body build muscle and repair body tissue. It greatly aids the body in performance in endurance training and recovering from strenuous exercise. Scientific studies would suggest that this amino acid is particularly effective at injury recovery and rebuilding damaged tissue. This is found in foods such as Eggs, Turkey, Chicken and Fish.

Other Benefits Of BCAAs

As previously stated, amino acids help build muscle and recovery from injury. Further benefits are shown below:

Decreased Muscle Soreness

Amino acids help the body prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which is the stiffness and acute pain and discomfort a person will feel when moving muscles 12 hours – 3 days after exercise. This is because they will reduce the damage to muscle tissue while exercising.

Reduce Fatigue

As well as muscle soreness after exercise, a person will often feel tiredness and exhaustion after strenuous exercise. BCAAs are utilised by the body in during exercise. It reduces the amount of serotonin converted in the bloodstream. This chemical is a contributing factor in fatigue after exercise.

Assist those with Liver disease

A person suffering from Liver disease or illness will benefit with BCAA supplements or high levels of BCAAs in the diet. This is due to reducing the strain the disease has on the Liver operating on a day to day basis and will decrease the likelihood of developing Liver cancers.

BCAAs in the diet

There are many benefits to a person taking BCAAs. These levels can be met when eating a well-balanced diet. A person unable to get adequate levels of BCAAs in their diet may then wish to supplement. It is important that the recommended dosage is not exceeded on the supplement and medical guidance is always considered, this is due to the harmful effect it can have such as fatigue and nausea.

Sources

https://aminoacidsguide.com/Val.html
https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-use-leucine-for-weight-loss-3495727
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa#section3
https://blog.blenderbottle.com/all-about-bcaas-bcaa-benefits-uses-and-side-effects

A Guide to Vegan Protein

What is Vegan Protein made from?

Vegan protein, like all vegan food, is free of animal-based foods, therefore is plant-based. Eating a vegan diet can be difficult for some people in order to still consume a lot of protein and build muscle. However, by being aware of different sources of vegan-friendly protein supplements a person eating this type of diet can still make the same health and fitness progressions as any other diet and often lead an even healthier lifestyle.

Different types of vegan protein are shown below.

Pea Protein

This supplement is made through removing the protein from yellow peas and concentrating it into powder form. As well as being a good source of protein it is also high in iron. Typically this powder is blended together with almond milk or water and consumed after workouts or during the day. This is also a low-fat protein source. 

Soy Protein

This is consumed as a wholefood through eating Soybeans or turned into a protein powder and consumed in a liquid form. When in powder form, it is washed through with water in order to remove sugar. It is a low-fat source of protein. There are many studies on soybeans that suggest it is not as strong at protein synthesis as whey and casein protein, although is low fat. Therefore when building muscle or looking to eat a balanced diet, an individual should make sure they vary their protein sources.

Hemp Protein

Hemp protein is made into powder form by processing Hemp seeds into powder form. It is then consumed in liquid form, by mixing with water or milk. This is popular among athletes or people wanting to consume a whole protein source as it contains all nine amino acids as well as being high in fibre. It is high in antioxidants and is nutrient-dense. However, when consumed on a regular basis, due to its high fibre content, it can cause diarrhoea and bloating. 

Sunflower seed protein

Sunflower protein is usually consumed through grinding the seeds to powder form and consuming alongside a liquid. It is often consumed in bar form and also eating the seeds whole. Sunflower seeds also help prevent heart disease and diabetes due to their anti-inflammatory nature. They are nutrient-dense but also high in calories, should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Vegan protein in the diet

As with all food sources and supplements, there are positives and negatives of the consumption of vegan protein. It is recommended that where possible, a person looks to consume their protein from whole foods, however, this is of course not always possible. Therefore an individual can take supplements in order to reach the recommended daily intake for protein. A person should always stick to the recommended daily intake and consume the supplement in moderation otherwise can experience discomfort or health implications. 

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