Posts Tagged ‘Protein’

Do Digestive Enzyme Supplements Work?

Many glossy magazines have a special knack of convincing us that we can’t live without a particular supplement. Before you know it, your kitchen cupboard resembles a mini-health store. Yeah, so there are a number of supplements that are very good for you such as Evening Primrose Oil, Cod Liver Oil and Spirulina, however if you had to choose just one what would it be?

For me I think I would have to choose Digestive Enzymes.

What are Digestive Enzymes?

Digestive enzymes digest our food so that we can use the nutrients to keep our body healthy. There are many types of enzymes, each with a specific role. For instance, amylase digests starch, whilst lipase digests fats. Without these enzymes we will suffer from indigestion, malnutrition or even a weakened immune system.

How do We Normally Get Digestive Enzymes?

If you are eating a diet largely made up of processed food then it’s unlikely intaking enough enzymes. This means your body then has to produce its own enzymes. Unfortunately our bodies have a limited supply, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. Even eating raw fruit and veg may not be enough if they have been grown thousands of miles away or in soil that is poor quality.

What Digestive Enzymes to Take?

As I said, there are a number of types of enzymes available each with its own role. You can buy them either individually, for instance people who are intolerant to milk can take lactase or you could take a protease capsule with a protein drink. It you aren’t sure then it’s probably best just to take one which has the most important enzymes in it along with your main meal.

At the moment I’m taking a Bromelain (from pineapples) and Papain (from papaya) tablet with my protein shake every day. My boyfriend on the other hand takes Now foods Plant Enzymes because he suffers from indigestion. When taking the enzymes he doesn’t need to take any indigestion tablets. I call that a success.

(If you live in the UK, I buy these enzymes and protein powders from MyProtein.co.uk as I find they have a very good selection at competitive prices.)

So basically, it’s all very well to take lots of supplements however if you aren’t digesting them properly it could all be a waste of time (and money).  I don’t know, but it might even help with cleansing your liver.

My Review of MyProtein.co.uk (and Discount Code)

  • For 5% off your first order use discount code MP8745

I’m really annoyed with myself for not keeping up with exercising at the gym. I was going faithfully every other day last year until I moved to a different area. I’ve decided that I want to start back up again which means I need to get all the necessary protein powders to make sure I have enough energy to get me through a workout.

The problem with most shops selling protein powders is that 1) you are paying for brand names, 2) they come with horrible artificial flavours which make me want to gag and 3) you can’t buy smaller quantities to see if you like it.

This is where www.myprotein.co.uk comes in. What I like about them is:-

  1. You can buy the powders in plastic bags or in containers. The more you buy the cheaper it becomes.
  2. The powders are unflavoured but can you order different flavours if you want. Personally I just add in Nesquick to my protein shakes.
  3. If you have special dietary requirements such as being vegan or kosher then just look out for the symbols. Besides the usual whey and egg they also have hemp, pea and brown rice.
  4. You can customize your own formulas, they’ll do all the mixing for you free of charge. Taking protein from different sources is a good idea because each type of protein is used by your body slightly differently. For instance whey protein is used by the body very quickly but then your body runs out after 2 hours. Egg protein on the other hand is absorbed more slowly. By taking a blend of the two, your body is effectively getting a timed-release of protein.
  5. They have a rewards scheme. If you use discount code MP8745 then you’ll get 5% off your first order and I’ll get that amount to spend on my next order.
  6. See what other people think of the products. You can vote on the taste and mixability of each powder plus you can leave a comment. There’s also a forum for asking questions.
  7. They have a really good selection of other supplements such as carbohydrates, vitamins and digestive enzymes. Plus there’s also products such as weight lifting gloves and shake mixers.

The only thing I would like to see different about the site is that when viewing each category you don’t know if the item is in stock until you click on the product for more details. I found that a couple of items I wanted to buy were actually out of stock which was a bit annoying.

Apart from that, if you live in the UK and are looking for a good source of protein powder, vitamins etc I really recommend www.myprotein.co.uk just remember to use discount code MP8745 :)

Which Foods Give YOU Energy?

Healthy foods are something that we are told to eat all the time for lots of different reasons.  Most people have that point in the day when they crash. They become tired, cranky and hungry. When this happens, one may reach for a number of things to help them make it though the rest of their day. Coffee, candy, snack foods, or energy boosters are some of the things someone may try. For most people, these things don’t work, though. High sugar or caffeinated consumables will give you a quick boost of energy but it is short lived.   These are not healthy foods.  Soon, you will be back to square one. Tired, cranky and wanting to lay down with your favorite pillow.

Why does this happen? Well, it’s simple. It is all about what we eat. Our bodies use food as energy. Both carbohydrates and proteins give our bodies energy. Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fiber. There are two groups of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in many cereals, snack foods, soft drinks, crackers, breads and even pasta. These food items are processed by the body quickly which means you will have a boost of energy soon after eating, however the spike in energy will only last for a short time.  Healthy foods they are not.

Proteins and complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down. Complex carbs are things such as bran, whole grain wheat, lentils, peas, and beans. These food items take longer to break down so the body doesn’t experience spikes in energy instead it has a gradual release of energy.

Proteins are found in meats, eggs and nuts. Like complex carbohydrates, proteins take longer for the body to break down. Because of this, you will have energy for a longer period of time and not become hungry as quickly.

Physical energy is not the only thing that will benefit from eating complex carbs and proteins. Brain function will also increase by eating healthy foods.

Healthy Foods

So, now that we understand “why” we need to figure out how to avoid the midday burnout. First, read labels! Avoid foods that list sugar or high fructose corn syrup both are simple sugars (carbs). Eat more “whole foods” such as fruits, vegetables and grains. Look for products that are made with whole grains. You will be surprised at how many things that look healthy, are not.  Remember there are reasons to eat high carb foods as well as low carb recipes.

Also, eat six smaller meals a day verses three large meals. Remember that your body is constantly burning the food you eat so we need to be feeding it. The trick with six meals a day is the word “small“. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner but down size them and throw in three snacks. This will keep your energy level balanced. Avoid prepackaged snacks like crackers, chips or candy. A snack of nuts will give you energy and a piece of fruit will help with your sweet tooth.

There is no one “food” that will give you the energy you need. Changing your overall outlook on food and how your body uses it will. Remember, everyone is powered by the healthy foods we eat.  Cleansing your liver is a good idea but don’t forget other parts of your body.

Soy Protein and Your Skin, Hair and Nails

Many people are resigned to fact that wrinkled skin comes hand-in-hand with old age. One of the major problems with aging skin is that your body’s production of collagen declines. It’s not just aging which causes this but also diet, menopause symptoms, sunlight, smoking and stress.

So What can You do to Keep Your Skin Looking Healthy?

First of all, protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Make sure you use a high sun factor and use fake tan instead of sunbathing. Secondly, if you’re a smoker you must stop now. You don’t need me to tell you why smoking is bad for your health, I’m sure you already know. Thirdly, you need to improve your diet. You should be eating plenty of good quality protein and antioxidant-rich foods. This will give your body the nutrients it needs for building and repairing you cells.

Is Soy a Good Source of Protein and Antioxidants?

According to studies it would seem that soy is an indeed an ideal source of protein and antioxidants. You can take soy internally to benefit your general health as well as applying it directly to your skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Revival Soy who sell a number of soy products did a survey of 40 postmenopausal women of ages 50-65, to find out what the real benefits of soy are when taken over a six-month period. Some of the women took 20g of soy whilst the others didn’t take any.

Skin – 93% of those taking the soy found that skin discoloration and flaking reduced after only 3 months, whilst wrinkles improved after 6 months.

Nails – Improvements in nail quality took longer to be noticeable. After 3 months no improvements were experienced however after 6 months ridging, nail roughness, splitting and flaking were greatly reduced.

Hair – Hair quality was greatly improved after 3 months with continued benefits experienced after 6 months.

It would seem that soy taken as part of your healthy diet will help with not only your skin but also hair and nails. Although benefits are evident within 3 months, you should continue taking soy for 6 months to really see what it can do for your body.