A guide to Vitamin D3 & K2

What is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids that are responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate. The most important compound in this group is Vitamin D3, which is known as Cholecalciferol.

Vitamin D3 is vital for the body as it regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood. You need these in order to have healthy bones and a strong immune system. 

It has also been proven through clinical trials that strong levels of Vitamin D can also boost weight loss. In one study, subjects taking Vitamin D supplements were able to lose more weight than other subjects taking a placebo. The scientist behind this study claimed that the extra calcium and Vitamin D suppressed the subject’s appetite. 

How Does Your Body Absorb Vitamin D?

The Human Body is able to absorb vitamin D through the small intestine. This is the most common route of absorption for most minerals. Vitamin D is then taken to the liver via the bloodstream and becomes 25(OH)D. This is also known as Calcidiol, and is the primary form of circulating vitamin D. Few foods contain Vitamin D naturally, therefore food manufacturers have created fortified foods. These contain enhanced levels of the vitamin – an example of these foods are cereals and dairy products. 

Foods that contain naturally higher levels of Vitamin D include salmon, egg yolk, prawns and sardines.

Your body can also create Vitamin D to help regulate the body. This is considered to be a hormone. Vitamin D falls under the category of a steroid hormone. The liver and kidneys produce it, and it originates from the skin. 

When the hits your skin, UVB, an ultraviolet wave the sun emits, triggers a biochemical reaction. This then initiates the production of Vitamin D. Cholesterol is the precursor in this process and is in the skin. It becomes 7-Dehydro-cholesterol. When exposed UVB radiation, this is transformed to Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3). At this stage, it follows the same process as the food source and the liver and kidneys metabolize it. 

What is Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 belongs to the K Vitamin family, which are essential for the body to produce prothrombin. This is a protein that promotes blood clotting and regulates bone metabolism. Research on Vitamin K2 also shows that it may prevent calcium buildup in the arteries, thus preventing risk to cardiovascular diseases

You can find K2, or menaquinone, in small quantities in organ meats and fermented foods. Importantly, the gut bacteria also produces Vitamin K2 as a byproduct of their metabolism.

Similar to Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, which gains entry to the blood via the lymph channels in the intestinal wall. Carrier proteins escort much of this vitamin.

How Do Vitamin D3 and K2 Work Together?

Vitamin D3 and K2 are essential for the regulation of calcium. Vitamin D3 and K2 ensure that calcium is absorbed easily and it reaches the bone mass, whilst preventing calcification of the arteries. Specifically, D3 allows the absorption of calcium and K2 activates a protein called osteocalcin, which integrates the calcium into the bones.

For reduced calcium plaques in the arteries, Vitamin K2 activates matrix GLA protein (MGP) to bind excess calcium which promotes arterial flexibility and total flow.

Summary

Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids that are responsible for increasing intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphate.

Vitamin D3 is vital for the body as it regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in your blood. You need these in order to have healthy bones and a strong immune system.

Vitamin K2 belongs to the K Vitamin family which are essential for the body to produce prothrombin, a protein that promotes blood clotting and regulates bone metabolism.

What is the AIP Diet?

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet has been around for a few years. It’s a food-based approach to eliminating unwanted inflammation in a person’s body. It is a diet that is designed to help reduce inflammation and help heal your body’s digestive system should it be infected by autoimmune conditions.

The diet is very restrictive. It’s therefore only designed to be followed for around 30 days. It can cause a nutrient imbalance due to only eating a limited number of selected foods. The diet mainly includes meat and vegetables. After the suggested period, you’d start adding one food at a time (something you ate before starting the diet) and see whether it causes inflammation.

Elimination diets are designed to determine which foods are not compatible with a person’s body. Generally, it can be difficult to analyse which food is causing inflammation, as multiple food sources are cut at once. Or if one food is cut at a time, the gut may not have recovered from the previous diet. Therefore by following the AIP diet, you gives your body the chance to reduce inflammation before exploring which foods are not compatible with the body.

The Aims of the AIP Diet

  • To reduce inflammation-causing foods and reset the body’s immune system. The idea is to reduce overall inflammation, which is caused by autoimmune disorders. The diet is able to put the condition into remission due to less inflammation.
  • To treat leaky gut syndrome. It has been hypothesized that autoimmune disorders can create micro holes in the intestinal tract. This means that the food is able to escape and causes inflammation to spike significantly. Therefore by only eating foods that don’t cause inflammation, this will give the gut the chance to heal.
  • It focuses on following the paleo diet, though in a much more restrictive format. The AIP diet also promotes the intake of vitamin and nutrient-dense foods. 

Foods and Substances to Avoid on the AIP Diet

The AIP diet is very restrictive, therefore there is a long list of foods that you can’t eat. These are foods known to cause inflammation of the gut. The list below is broken down into two sections – foods you would not eat whilst on the paleo diet and foods on the paleo diet, which is also limited.

Foods to avoid whilst on Paleo and AIP diet:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Processed foods
  • Refined sugars
  • Industrial seed oils (vegetable and canola oil)

Foods to avoid which are included in Paleo: 

  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds (including spices like cumin)
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Nightshade vegetables – these are a family of flowering plants that are also known as Solanaceae (tomatoes peppers, aubergine, potatoes)
  • Gum
  • Alternative sweeteners
  • Emulsifiers 

Substances such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, ibuprofen etc.) and alcohol should also be avoided whilst on the diet. This is because they can have an effect on the immune system.

Foods You Can Eat

Whilst the list is small, it is still possible to eat well whilst on the AIP diet. These foods can help while your body is recovering from chronic inflammation. The following foods you are able to eat:

  • Coconut, including oil
  • Olives, including oil
  • Fermented foods – as long as they do not contain dairy
  • Vinegars (Red, white balsamic etc)
  • Honey and maple syrup (in small quantities)
  • Herbs
  • Gelatin from grass-fed beef (a lot of cows are fed a grain-based diet)
  • Teas derived from leaves, not seeds
  • Fruit – only recommended to consume no more than two pieces. This is due to the body’s difficulty to break down fructose.

Does it Actually Work?

Research has been conducted to determine if the AIP diet can help overall inflammation of the human body. The disease in concern was Hashimoto’s Disease. This is an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism, as it causes your body to attack your thyroid. 

The study’s findings suggest that AIP may decrease systemic inflammation and modulate the immune system. This is evidenced by a decrease in mean hs-CRP and changes in white blood cell (WBC) counts. Given the improvements seen in the participants’ symptoms, as well as markers of immune activity and inflammation, this would suggest success. But further studies in larger populations implementing AIP as part of a multi-disciplinary diet and lifestyle program are needed to be sure.

The paper showed that although the diet did not cure Hashimoto Disease, it did reduce overall inflammation. Researchers now want to do larger generalised tests to see if this diet could be effective in combating overall inflammation.

Summary

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet has been around for a few years. It’s a food-based approach to eliminating unwanted inflammation in an person’s body.

It’s a diet designed to help reduce inflammation and heal your body’s digestive system, should it be infected by autoimmune conditions.

The diet is restrictive and should only be followed for a suggested time of 30 days. This is because it can cause a nutrient imbalance – you’d only be eating a few specific foods.

The diet is mainly made up of meat and vegetables. After the suggested period, you would start adding other foods back into your diet.

When do Vitamins Start to Work in the Body?

What are Vitamins and Why are They Important?

Vitamins are molecules which the body needs in small amounts. They are also essential for multiple processes in the body. They are classified as micronutrients, which means the body only needs a small quantity to function properly. This can range from milligrams to micrograms per day. The majority of vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body, so you will need to get them from your diet. The exceptions to this rule are Vitamin D (synthesized by sunlight on to the skin) and Niacin (B Vitamin which can be synthesized from tryptophan, an amino acid).

How Does Your Body Absorb Vitamins?

Vitamins are absorbed on the basis of the molecule structure. They fall into two different categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

You can find water-soluble vitamins in the watery portions of the food you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream once the food has been broken down. As your body is mostly water, water-soluble vitamins circulate the body easily. Therefore the kidneys are constantly regulating the level of these vitamins. If you have too much, your kidneys will push them out of the bloodstream and into the urine.

The Water-Soluble Vitamins are the B Vitamins and Vitamin C

Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, you absorb differently. They enter the blood via the lymph channels in the intestinal wall and many of them have to be escorted by carrier proteins. Fat-soluble vitamins do have the ability to be stored within the liver or in fat cells too. So if the body requires the vitamin, it can be easily accessed without needing further food intake. If you have too many of these vitamins, this can lead to the body storing too much. This in turn can lead to toxicity, as the kidneys do not have clear access to the fat-soluble vitamins to remove from the blood.

The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

Do They Actually Work?

There has been extensive research in the benefit of taking multivitamins. Unfortunately, there has not been a definitive conclusion that taking multivitamins can improve your body’s health or prevent illness.

Examples of Research:

  • An analysis of research involving 450,000 people, which found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for heart disease or cancer.
  • A study that tracked the mental functioning and multivitamin use of 5,947 men for 12 years found that multivitamins did not reduce risk for mental declines such as memory loss or slowed-down thinking.
  • A study of 1,708 heart attack survivors who took either a high-dose multivitamin or placebo for up to 55 months. Rates of later heart attacks, heart surgeries and deaths were similar in the two groups.

It was concluded that eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight is more fundamental to protect the body from illness than taking a daily vitamin. The exceptions to this rule are young women who are childbearing – all women of reproductive age are recommended to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. When a woman takes the vitamin before and during early pregnancy, folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects in babies .

If you feel that you are unwell, and the symptoms link to a deficiency of a vitamin, you should consult your GP first. They can do a blood test to determine if you need to change your diet or if they need to prescribe further supplements.

The bottom line is that taking vitamin supplements can aid the body in primary functions. However, medical professionals recommend eating a well-balanced diet, as the diet can provide further benefits to maintain homeostasis.

Banana Bread Recipe | Paleo Friendly!

What is the Paleo Diet?

Following any diet or healthy eating lifestyle will always come with limitations and the paleo diet is not exclusive of this. The Paleo diet is brilliant in terms of the health benefits you will receive from eating natural products which are in their purest forms. The Paleo Diet is a complex, but it can be simply interpreted as anything can be forged which has not cultivated by mankind. This means you are able to eat a wide variety of meats, eggs, fruits and veggies but avoiding processed foods, grains and sugars. The result of this is a diet which is dairy, gluten and refined sugar-free, which many studies have shown eliminating them from your diet can help with weight, energy levels and overall inflammation of the body.

Baking With the Paleo Diet

The downside with Paleo is that it doesn’t go hand in hand with baking. The first ingredient you’ll think of when it comes to baked goods is flour, which is prohibited. And trying to swap it for any other grain is a no-no. This makes having a cheeky sweet treat, which is not fruit or dairy-free chocolate, difficult on this diet.

However, by scouring over the web, the team at wellplated.com have devised a banging banana bread which ticks all of the boxes of paleo. They substitute flour with coconut flour which also makes it gluten-free. 

Coconut flour was not the easiest product I could find until I went to Tesco! They sold Groovy Food Organic coconut flour. Alternatively, you can find coconut flour online at a competitive price – supplement supplier Bulk Powders does a decent 1kg bag for £6.99. They also sell nut butters in 1kg tubs which is super convenient for anyone on paleo or on the keto diet. Wellplated.com chose almond butter over peanut as almond butter is heavenly, and peanuts are not actually a nut. Interestingly they are a legume, which is restricted on the paleo diet. 

Their recipe makes 10 slices – I recommend 2 slices per portion if you’re following paleo, as the total calorie content is a good amount for a healthy snack. If you are following keto, I would only recommend one slice as that will provide no more than 20.4g of carbohydrates. Just make sure to factor the remaining carb count for the rest of the day. As you’re having one slice, feel free to add some tasty keto toppings on to this, whether that is a another nut butter or a protein chocolate spread. This will balance out the carbs ratio and will be very filling!

Wellplated’s Paleo Banana Bread 

Yields 10 slices

Nutritional information per slice

Calories 169 kcal

Carbohydrates 20.4g

Fat 6.4g

Protein 6.4g

  • 3 very large ripe bananas 
  •  6 large eggs
  •  3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  •  3 tablespoons almond butter
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  3/4 cup coconut flour
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over two sides. Lightly coat with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas (I like to use a hand mixer on low speed to make this quick and easy). Double-check to make sure you have about 1 1/2 cups of banana total. Briskly whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla. Sprinkle the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt over the top. By hand (I find a whisk works best for this part), stir until evenly combined. The batter will be thick. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top.
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the top, is golden and springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If it any point the bread starts to brown more than you would like, loosely tent the pan with foil and continue baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, using the parchment overhang as handles, remove the bread from the pan to cool completely.

A Guide to Pre Workouts and Fatburners

What are Preworkouts and Fatburners?

Pre-workout and fat burners are supplements which are often used across the fitness world. They are designed to increase the metabolism, so workouts are more explosive. These supplements can also help burn more calories to result in fat loss. They are divided into two categories as pre-workouts are designed to give you a short powerful boost for a workout, while fat burners are designed to be used throughout the day, providing you supplements which can influence the body to utilise fat stores more efficiently.

Pre workout supplements are multi-ingredient formulas that are designed to boost energy and performance. There is no preset formula for a pre-workout, but the usual range consists of caffeine, vitamins, creatine and other extracts which boosts the metabolism. Below is the guide of what you can usually find, and how they influence the body.

Caffeine

Caffeine is the most common supplement on the market. It’s used across the world to boost energy and focus. Pre-workouts (and fat burners) use it as one of the main ingredients in their formula.

Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, which increases alertness and arousal, giving a boost on a workout. Research has indicated that it may help the body burn more fat. As a central nervous stimulant, caffeine has the ability to increase the blood levels of the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline is the hormone which the body induces when a you need a boost of energy. The classic analogy for adrenaline is the fight or flight response. Adrenaline can signal to the fat cells, telling them to release fat into the blood to provide an additional energy source. Therefore adrenaline has the ability to unlock this energy source, which can result in fat loss, providing the individual is in a calorie deficit.

Nitric Oxide Precursors

You can commonly find nitric oxide precursors in fat burners and pre-workout. This is because the body requires nitric oxide to promote metabolism and fat loss. A precursor is a molecule which becomes the desired product with a bit of help. By increasing nitric oxide precursors in the body, you can give the body a higher affinity to produce nitric oxide. This comes with numerous benefits.

Nitric oxide has the ability to expand and relax the blood vessels. When expanded, this increases blood flow, allowing the body to perform better when induced in exercise. Increased blood flow will result in the delivery of oxygen and energy from the blood to the skeletal muscles, allowing more powerful training. Alongside caffeine, which allows fats to enter the bloodstream due to the increased adrenaline, nitric oxide gives the body every opportunity to utilise this free-flowing energy.

Creatine

One of the most popular supplements in the fitness industry, creatine has the ability to improve endurance in workouts. 

Creatine is found in the skeletal muscles. Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, create creatine. You can consume creatine by eating protein-rich foods. However, you would need to consume a lot of protein-rich food to obtain the right amount! Therefore, as creatine is readily available and inexpensive, it may be best to supplement in order to meet this goal.

Creatine works in the resynthesis of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is the body’s main energy source. Carbohydrates create ATP. When ATP is utilised by the body, it is broken down to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) and an inactive phosphate. This happens via hydrolysis, which releases free energy – this is then utilised by the cell. Creatine is fundamental for the replenishment of ATP. It has the ability to recycle the phosphate group and pass it back to ADP to create ATP. This means that the body can have a further energy source. You can therefore boost your workouts and prevent fatigue, resulting in extra calories spent.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play a vital role in cell metabolism. They help enzymes that work in the cellular metabolism system. This system creates ATP and releases energy, which is vital for growth homeostasis across all systems of the body. Therefore by implementing B vitamins in pre-workouts and fat burners, this gives the body the ability to create and expend ATP. This will then lead to more accessible energy for the body to perform better, boosting the metabolism and creating a higher energy expenditure.

Summary

Pre-workouts and fat burners can give your body every chance of utilising energy in a workout, creating a bigger energy expenditure which can result in fat loss. You can enhance your current performance by using them. Pre-workouts and fat burners can be a great supplement to use in your fitness journey if used correctly. They tick many boxes in strength, fat loss and endurance.

The Keto Calculator – How to Calculate Your Own Ketogenesis

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The Ketogenic Diet is a diet that focuses on fats being your main source of nutrients. Research has shown that the Keto Diet can help with weight loss and also protect the body from numerous disorders such as Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular diseases.

In order for your body to go into a state of ketosis, the body needs a reduction in carbohydrates and a boost of fats in the diet so the body can create Ketones.

Ketones are the primary source of the Ketogenic Diet and are produced in larger volume when the body is depleted of its regular energy source through carbohydrates, this is known as ketosis.

How Do I Calculate the Keto Diet?

To determine your tailored Keto plan, you will need to first calculate how many calories you need each day to sustain regular body function. This calculation is known as the BMR calculation and once calculated, you will need to factor in the Ketosis Ratio. The Ratio usually follows 70-80% fats, 15-30% protein and 5 – 10% carbohydrates. Protein and carbohydrates per gram equal 4 calories whilst fat per gram equals 9, therefore by dividing the calories for each group by these numbers, you will gain your grams of macronutrient s you will need to consume each day to enter Ketosis and also meet your dietary needs. 

What is BMR?

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories the human body burns at a basic function to sustain life. This includes breathing, circulation, cellular processes and production. It’s important to know what is BMR should you want to understand how your body uses its energy. Understanding BMR means you can adjust your nutritional intake for whatever goals you are wanting to achieve.

Why Do People Calculate It?

People calculate BMR so they can understand what calories are required to allow their body to function at a basic rate so they can add on the calories burned through day to day life plus what is burned during working out. At this stage a person will know how many calories they need to eat every day to maintain their current weight, deviating from this figure will cause either to gain weight (calorie surplus) or to lose weight (calorie deficit). Factoring in macronutrients which are protein, carbohydrates and fats, it is a formula to hit the goal which you are aiming for.

An example of this is a BMR of 1800 calories + 700 calories from day to day living and working out equal to 2500 calories per day.

If only consuming 2000 calories, that will put the body in a calorie deficit which will result in losing weight. An estimated figure is that a cut of 3500 kcal a week will lead to a loss of 1 pound of fat per week which is an achievable amount if factoring in regular exercise.

BMR Equation 

Step 1) Using the Mifflin-St- Jeor equation below, by inputting your specific age weight and height, it can generate your BMR without an activity measure in a simple calculation. The measurements are in metric, therefore if you record your measurements in imperial, you will need to convert them to Kg and cm before inputting into the equation.

It is important to remember to calculate the values in the brackets before completing the equation

Mifflin-St Joe Equation

BMR (kcal / day) = (10 x weight (kg)) + (6.25 x height (cm)) – (5 x age (yrs)) + s (kcal/day)

Where is s is +5 for males and -161 for females 

Example

27 year old male who is 1.82m and weighs 97kg

BMR (kcal / day) = (10 x 97 (kg)) + (6.25 x 182 (cm)) – (5 x 27 (yrs)) + 5 (kcal/day)

970 + 1137.5 – 135 + 5 = 1977.5 BMR (kcal/day)

Step 2) To determine your calorie requirements you will need to multiply your answer above by one the multiplication which fits your situation best.

If you are:

  • Sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  • Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  • Moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  • Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  • Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

1977.5 kcal/day x 1.375 (lightly active) = 2719.1 k/cal to maintain weight

If you are looking to increase or decrease in weight, you will need to alter your total calories. Fewer calories will result in you losing weight and more calories to gain weight.

Step 3) To determine your grams of macronutrients, you will need to split your calories to the ratio explained above. For this example, I will do use 70% fats 20% protein and 10% carbohydrates

Fats –  70% of 2719.1 = 1903.34 kcal

1903.34 / 9 (9 kcal equals 1g of fat) = 211.48g

Protein 20% of 2719.1 = 543.81 kcal 

543.81 / 4 (4 kcal equals 1g of protein) = 135.95g

Carbohydrates 10% of 2719.1 = 271.90 kcal

271.90 / 4 (4 kcal equals 1g of protein) = 67.97g

Summary

Using the Ketogenic Calculator will enable you to work out how many calories you should be consuming each day. It also tells you how much of each macronutrient you should consume to remain in ketosis. It is important to remember to adjust your eating should your weight change and grow older. This will ensure you are maintaining your calorific and keto goals.

5 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Over the years recipes have been created with protein powder so people are able to get a cheeky protein meal in the form of a dessert. Flapjacks, brownies, and mug cakes are all great examples, but of course the most popular is the humble pancake. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, a midnight snack or whatever, if you Google protein pancake (like you probably have today) there are countless recipes you can find, normally with either banana or flour added to them. 

These are fine for a treat. However flour is not the greatest thing to consume in large quantities, and not everyone wants to have their protein pancake with an undertone of banana running through it. But this problem has been cracked, and I have a banging low calorie, high protein pancake that has zero flour and zero bananas! And the end result is on point – light, fluffy, stackable pancakes. Best of all, these are the perfect pancakes to add additional ingredients to them.

My usual start to the day is usually a 30 min HIIT workout, preferably incline sprints on a treadmill. I usually have this done by 7 am, so once I get home, I am hungry and want something sweet and packed with protein! That way I can begin recovery before I start my day at work. These pancakes are perfect for this start to the day, allowing my body to replenish its carbs and getting my protein hit before most people have woken up!

Recipe

Servings: 2 (These pancakes can last in the fridge for up to 3 days after cooking, however, the longer left, the more they will dry out)

Calories: 512kcal

Carbohydrates: 42.4g

Fats: 19.9g

Protein: 33.1g

Ingredients

135g rolled oats

3 teaspoons baking powder

30g scoop vanilla whey protein powder

3 eggs

120g plain Greek yoghurt

Instructions

  1. Place the rolled oats in a blender and blend until a fine powder.
  2. Add in all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and no pockets of powder remain.
  3. Grease a nonstick pan and heat over medium heat.
  4. Cook pancakes (roughly an 8th of the mixture per pancake) for roughly 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second. Edges of pancakes dry out and pancakes will move around on the pan when shaken when they are ready to flip.

Storage

These protein pancakes are best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 1 month. As they don’t take long to make, it’s generally best to just make up a few servings at a time rather than making them in bulk!

The Benefits of Protein 

One of the great things about protein is that it can help to reduce your appetite, and lower your overall hunger levels. Protein, when compared with fats and carbs, is by far the most filling. This is mainly due to the fact that protein reduces the level of ghrelin in your body, which is the hunger hormone.

You may have also heard that protein is the building block of muscles. So by eating more of it, you can not only maintain your current muscle mass, you can also ensure your muscles are growing as much as possible when you undergo strength training.

Another benefit of protein is that it can help boost your metabolism and increase the amount of calories you burn. High protein intake can mean you’re burning between 80 and 100 more calories each day, than if you were on a lower protein diet. One study even showed that people can burn up to 260 more calories a day on a high protein diet!

For anyone looking to burn off more fat and increase their muscle mass, protein is the number one food choice. So try out these protein packed pancakes, and see the results for yourself!

The Benefits of Oats in a Protein Shake

Whether you like porridge, flapjacks or your oats with your favourite protein shake, oats have multiple benefits for good health. They are a delicious source of essential micronutrients!

I personally choose to put them in a protein shaker overnight with my favourite protein shake, some peanut butter and berries to make the easiest overnight oats. There are multiple reasons why I choose this breakfast, but the main factor is the properties that oats possess. They deliver essential nutrients and have a number of health benefits for the human body.

Good Source of Beta Glucans

Beta-Glucan is a dietary fibre found in high levels in oats. It has been recognised as having the ability to reduce cholesterol in the blood. The fibre is able to do this by creating a viscous layer in the small intestine, which reduces the uptake of cholesterol. This organ absorbs the majority of fats. So by creating a barrier, this ensures the body does not absorb cholesterol from other foods or allow it to pass. Thus beta glucans work to stop the level of cholesterol in the blood increasing. High levels of cholesterol in the blood heightens the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A Boost of Protein!

In just 100g of oats, you can get a solid 13g of protein! However the protein which oats deliver is known as incomplete protein. This means they do not possess all 9 essential amino acids in a consistent amount. Therefore it’s a good idea to combine oats with a complete protein source, such as whey protein powder. That way you can boost your protein intake significantly!

Minerals

Oats are packed with vitamins essential for the body. 100 grams of oats provide the following minerals:

  • 51% RDI of  thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • 8% RDI of riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • 5% RDI of (Vitamin B3)
  • 13% RDI of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
  • 6% RDI of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
  • 14% RDI of folate (Vitamin B9)

The B Vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play a vital role in cell metabolism. B vitamins work with enzymes that are involved in the cellular metabolism system which creates and releases energy which is vital for growth homeostasis across all systems of the body. 

26% RDI of Iron 

Iron plays an important role in the body. Most people are aware that iron is fundamental in creating Haemoglobin, the protein which is found in red blood cells. Your red blood cells transport protein from the lungs to the body, to maintain basic life functions. Iron is also known to help boost your immune system, aid in sleep and improve concentration!

44% RDI of Magnesium

You need magnesium for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps with regulating calcium, relaxing skeletal muscles, energy production, regulating heart contractility and cleaning the bowels.

26% RDI of Zinc

Zinc is necessary for more than 300 enzymes involved in the body. The main roles are gene expression, immune function, protein and DNA synthesis, wound healing, as well as growth and development.

52% RDI Phosphorus

The main function of phosphorus in the body is to help with the formation of bones and teeth. It combines with calcium in order to make calcium phosphate! Other roles in the body include energy (P in ATP), protein synthesis and cell repair.

12% RDI of Potassium

Potassium’s main function in the body is to regulate nerve signals and muscle contraction. Potassium also helps with fluid balance and is a known electrolyte of the body.

31% RDI of Copper

Copper is essential for the body’s survival, it plays a role in the production of red blood cells, maintaining nerve cells and aids the immune system. Copper also helps maintain collagen and elastin, which are major components of the skin.

246% RDI of Manganese

At a whopping 246%, oats deliver an incredible amount of manganese, which is vital for your body. Manganese is required to deliver normal function to the brain, nervous system and works as a co-factor to many enzymes.

Summary

Oats have multiple benefits for good health and are a delicious source of essential micronutrients and having them as part of a balanced diet can enable you to hit your supplement and nutritional goals. Just remember to consume a complete protein with them if you are adding oats into your diet to boost your protein levels.

10-Minute Protein Pancake Recipe

Working out in the morning has amazing benefits, such as the fact it can ignite your metabolism for the day. It sticks your body straight into a calorie deficit, which gives you a headstart to the day. And that release of endorphins after completing a hard HIIT workout or a strong leg day in the gym has all the good vibes!

However, regardless of whether you train or don’t train in the morning, squeezing in breakfast – which is not toast, cereal or a protein shake – before a long day of work is always challenging. A lot of people in the UK work over 8 hours a day, and lunch facilities in a shared office space are rarely ideal. You’re either eating cold food or the microwave is your best friend (once you have queued up for it for over 15 minutes in your hour break).

This makes it even more important to make sure that you get your macro hit before you have left your home for a full day of work. This recipe I use is the perfect start to tick all of those boxes. The banana pancake is a revelation to everyone in the fitness world. Two bananas, two eggs, a good scoop of protein powder, whisk it all up and done, pancake mix ready to go, no flour. 

I use vanilla protein powder as that means I can be versatile with my pancakes, but you can add a cheeky handful of dark chocolate to the mix, or blueberries, or strawberry jam – the list goes on. The main thing is that you can have this whipped up and on a plate in 10 minutes comfortably. There’s protein, carbs and fats to indulge in, after a morning workout and getting yourself set up for a productive day.

10 Minute Banana Pancake Recipe

Calories: 553kcal

Protein: 57g

Carbohydrates: 57g

Fats: 14g

Ingredients

2 bananas, mashed

2 eggs, whisked

50g vanilla Whey protein

  1. Mix together bananas, eggs, and protein powder until well combined. An electric mixer is spot on for this step!
  2. Place a pan or pancake griddle over medium heat. Grease the pan with a bit of oil. Once the pan is hot, add a large spoonful of the pancake mixture to the pan, about 3-5 inches wide. If you are adding any other dry ingredients, add them on top of the pancake now – this can be blueberries, chocolate chunks etc.
  3. Once the pancakes begin to bubble, flip them. Cook for about 1 minute each side, depending on how hot the pan is.
  4. Repeat and re-grease the pan, as needed.

Simple Ingredients

When you’re making any recipe for the first time, it’s a good idea to know a bit more about the ingredients involved. So if you’re interested, keep reading to learn more about the three ingredients that make up this recipe!

Bananas

Bananas, like most fruits, are extremely nutritious. You’re probably aware that they’re rich in potassium, but they are also loaded with fibre, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. The nutrients in bananas have a number of health benefits, including helping with your digestion and improving your heart health. The potassium in bananas furthermore assists with controlling your blood pressure and plays a role in kidney function. 

Eggs

Eggs are often classed as a superfood, as they are full of nutrients, including folate, phosphorus, selenium, as well as vitamins A, B5, B12, and B2. Each egg only has around 77 calories too, with 6g of protein. Eggs additionally help raise the levels of HDL in your body, which is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. 

Whey Protein

Just like bananas and eggs, whey protein comes with a number of health benefits. Firstly, it’s a great source of high quality protein, which contains all the essential amino acids. Protein helps you build up muscle mass, and is also far more filling than fats or carbs, so you won’t tend to eat as much in total. In addition to this, whey protein has been linked to lowering blood pressure, and may help treat type 2 diabetes.

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