Why Choose All-Natural Food Over Processed

natural_nutrition

There’s no reason why you can’t start eating better at any time of year, but right around the start of January is when most of us — hungover or not — have the fresh motivation to try something new. Call it a resolution, or just call it getting your butt in gear, but eating more healthily — that is to say, eating more natural foods as opposed to processed ones — can only be a good thing.

Processed Foods Are Overpriced
But we’re facing a problem, and it’s not as simple as too many leftover chocolates. We’re still buying and consuming too many processed foods. We’ve talked about it before on the FitBites blog, about how sales of processed foods are continuing to rise, despite the thousands, probably tens or hundreds-of-thousands of articles and blog posts on the internet telling us to cut back and choose natural (this one included.)

Why do we do it? Why are we still buying overpriced, processed foods and ready meals, when whole food ingredients that are packed with nutrients and flavour are not only cheaper, but better for the environment and better tasting? Maybe it’s convenience. Maybe it’s an addiction to all of the salt and sugar that’s rammed into processed foods to (a) make it last longer, and (b) to distract you from how god-awful the stuff that’s in it really tastes. The reality, is that it’s probably both of those reasons and then some.

Natural Whole Foods Are Better For You
We don’t think that this is a problem unique to countries like the UK and the US, but we’re certainly getting a raw deal when it comes to the food we buy. Walk into most shops and supermarkets, and while some effort has been made to make the cheaper, more natural choices favourable, profits win every time, and if you’re not going in there consciously to buy food that’s value for money, healthy and delicious, you’re going to get suckered into buying nonsense that’s overpriced, lacking in nutrition and frankly, pretty disappointing for the price.

Choose Protein and Good Fats Over Sugar and Fillers
A part of the reason a lot of people are reluctant to buy natural foods to prepare at home, has to be that ready meals and processed foods are made to look so filling and delicious. If they’re small and expensive, you assume they’re outstanding quality. If they’re huge, you assume that they’re filling and/or nutritious. That’s not always the case.

We say processed foods because what we’re talking about is food that’s been torn apart and stuck back together with tons of sugar and artificial oils and preservatives. Those cakes, cookies, pasta sauces, ready meals, cans of stuff and boxes of things that never go off, they’re full of things your body has to filter out just to get what it needs.

Instead, what you ought to be looking for is food that’s as unaltered as possible. It can be cooked or prepared in some way — FitBites balls are raw, but they’re prepared with care to naturally preserve and highlight their best flavours and nutrients — but your food ought to be recognisable for what it is.

Nature is fine as it is. Eat what the world provides, and keep the preservatives where they belong — which is nowhere.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017, from everyone at FitBites.

FitBites Love Hemp Protein

hemp-protein-300x164

Let’s talk about Hemp Proteinhemp protein

We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to get as much delicious nutrition into our FitBites as possible. So, when we came across hemp protein which not only ticks all of our ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ boxes, but also provides a substantial vegan-friendly protein source, we were pretty excited.

 

Let’s clear something up straight away, though; when we talk about hemp, we are talking about the same family of plants that marijuana comes from, but hemp seeds do not contain anywhere near enough psychoactives to produce an effect (less than 0.3% by weight.)

How is Hemp Protein Made? 

The hemp seed is harvested, before being separated from its husk and pressed to remove the oil. The oil goes on to be used for other purposes, while the resulting seed ‘cake’, is ground into a fine powder – this is the hemp protein that we mix into FitBites Protein HIIT balls.

Amino Acid Jackpot 

Unfortunately, a lot of other non-animal and non-dairy proteins are poor alternatives, having either a pretty low protein content, or other nasty side-effects (usually digestive.) Hemp protein is not only high in protein, it also contains all 21 amino acids, including the nine we can’t make inside our bodies – meaning we have to get them through our diets. Those nine essential amino acids are:

  • histidine
  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • lysine
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • valine

These amino acids aren’t just important for building muscle after hitting the gym, either, they’re crucial to allowing all of your body’s organs and systems to function properly, from your kidneys and liver, to your brain and nervous system.

Fatty acids 

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are found in hemp protein are naturally occurring, they’re not added in. They’re essential, too, for optimum brain function and for helping to reduce inflammation (omega-3.)

You’ll only find tiny amounts of these fantastic fatty acids in FitBites, because they’re pretty small, but if you’re interested in their health benefits, we would recommend doing a bit more reading about them. You could start here.

Vegan-friendly 

We’ve mentioned it already, but we were incredibly excited to start using hemp protein, because we know that for vegans, finding good sources of protein can sometimes be challenging. We would love it if, after trying our Protein HIIT balls, you bought yourself some hemp protein to use as a regular supplement.

Two tablespoons of hemp protein contains around 15g of protein.

If you have questions about hemp protein, or any of our other ingredients, we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Super Reds and Fabulous Fruits

raspberries

 

Sweet, tangy and absolutely packed with delicious organic fruits, the next in our line of brand new flavours, Super Reds, bring a taste of Summer year-round.

With Super Reds, we wanted to create something that would help you out both immediately before and after your workouts, but that would also benefit your long-term health. We chose raspberries, strawberries and beetroot for Super Reds, not just because they look and taste great together, but as because as a combination, they offer some pretty powerful immunity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

We do a lot of research before deciding which foods to include in FitBites, and while we acknowledge that there are different views on how anti-inflammatories affect recovery and performance, we believe that for regular swimming, running, or other sports which can leave you feeling sore, anti-inflammatory foods are beneficial.

Beetroot

Beetroot has been studied for its effects on performance endurance, with evidence suggesting that it can decrease the amount of oxygen needed to maintain performance. This means less energy expended over time.

Alongside a host of other nutrients such as iron, vitamin C and folic acid, beetroot is a great addition to your diet.

Strawberries

If you love strawberries, you probably don’t need much convincing, but we chose to include them in Super Reds because of their immunity-protecting properties. They’re also rich in nitrates, which help to promote healthy blood oxygen levels and blood flow.

Raspberries

Raspberries are high in vitamin C, which is important for wound healing, immunity and cell health. They’re also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce some of the soreness you feel post-workout.

The entire FitBites range is designed to help you fuel and refuel naturally, with specific benefits built into each combination, but if an immunity-boost and a reduction in soreness are what you’re after, we recommend giving our Super Reds a try.

FitBites are free from refined sugar, and are gluten-free.

Baobab Bounce! That’s Bay-Oh-Bab

Baobab

FitBites Superfood energy balls - Baobab Bounce

Some baobab trees still producing fruit have been carbon dated to around 1,000 years old, with estimates of others being even older.  

Reason enough, we think, to want to try the incredible fruit it bears – what an awesome link to the past!

Baobab trees are native to parts of mainland Africa, Madagascar and Australia, and the fruit, known simply as baobab or baobab fruit, comes as large seed-shaped pods. These pods contain powdery white chunks, which although they look pretty drab, have a pleasant tangy flavour.

The flavour isn’t really why we’re so into baobab, though. With around six times the vitamin C of oranges, baobab is outstanding at helping to maintain healthy skin and bones, as well as strong nervous and immune systems. With twice the calcium by weight of milk, baobab powder can be very valuable to those allergic to dairy.

Potassium, iron, magnesium and fibre all go towards making baobab powder one of the most naturally nutritious supplements in the world. In parts of Africa, baobab has been celebrated for nourishing generations of families through hardships, and demand for it in Europe could go some way to helping communities earn a living, or trade resources.

In ground form, the powder can be mixed into porridge, yoghurt and smoothies. We’ve mixed ours with dates, almonds, pineapple and coconut, to give you a highly nutritious and natural way to power your workouts.

Baobab is nutritionally rich 

Vitamin C – skin, bones, immunity and nervous system

Potassium – muscle performance and recovery, healthy blood pressure, kidney function

Iron – red blood cell production, healthy blood oxygen levels

Magnesium – strong bones, nervous system health

All of FitBites products are gluten-free, paleo-friendly. We don’t add any sugar or preservatives

Spirulina Stretch Uncovered

spirulina

Did you know that spirulina is the richest source of plant protein in the world? Its protein content is around 60% of its weight, and gram-for-gram, it has more protein than red meat, chicken and eggs. How could we not use it, right?

What is spirulina?

It looks pretty simple – spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria) that grows in water. It’s a single-cell protein, but amazingly, is packed with other nutrients like iron, and amino acids like leucine. Leucine is a very popular amino acid in its own right, used by athletes in many sports for healthy, natural muscle recovery.

Our Spirulina Stretch ball is also made from 40% apricots, and with good reason. As well as being high in vitamins A and C, dried apricots are a great source of fibre and catechins, which help to reduce inflammation. That’s good news if you’re running, lifting weights, or putting stress on your joints.

Another ingredient we love in Spirulina Stretch is almonds. As well as being a great protein source, almonds are high in vitamin E (vitamin E is actually a group of 8 different nutrients), a powerful anti-oxidant and healthy heart supporter.

Almonds also contain good amounts of copper. Copper enables all sorts of reactions to take place in the body, and helps to keep blood vessels flexible and healthy.

The other ingredients in Spirulina Stretch are medjool dates and coconut. That’s it. Nothing else. No added sugar or preservatives at all.

FitBites Fuel and Recover the Natural Way

Fitbites Logo

PREPOST without shadow

If you’re new to FitBites, welcome! We started making our products in 2014 because of a love for fitness and for healthy, natural foods. We decided early on that we wanted to help out active children’s programmes, too, since we think that getting kids involved in sports is really important for the health of generations to come.

That’s why we donate 10% of our profits to charities and programmes that support this idea – whether for health, social or educational reasons.

So what do we make?

FitBites are really simple. They’re made from fruits, nuts, seeds and some really special ingredients often referred to as ‘superfoods’. We don’t include these superfoods because they’re trendy, though. We include them because we want to pack as much useful nutrition into our condensed little balls of energy as possible.

The spirulina in our Spirulina Stretch ball, for example, is one of the most protein-rich food sources on the planet, at around 60% of its dry weight – that’s more than beef, milk and eggs!

The sweetness in FitBites comes from fruits, like figs and dates, and our Acai Asana ball is rolled in organic cacao powder, which when combined with that sweet fruit, feels pretty special (if we do say so ourselves!)

We started out with FitBites in the yoga community, but actually, they’re perfect for anything from running, to cycling and even newer sports like CrossFit.

We really are passionate about helping people to fuel their workouts the natural way, with foods that are both effective and taste great. We hope that you’ll enjoy eating FitBites as much as we enjoy coming up with the flavour combinations and making them. Our range currently includes:

Spirulina Stretch – Spriulina, almond, apricot and coconut

Maca Mantra – Maca, almonds and coconut

Acai Asana – Acai, cranberry, fig and cacao

With others planned for release very soon.

We’ve also just released our Pre/Post-workout pouch, the first product of its kind, to combine a ball designed for pre-workout, and a ball designed for post-workout, in a single sporty pouch.

The pre-workout ball contains chia seeds, banana, spirulina and guarana. The post-workout ball contains cherry, beetroot, almond, hemp protein and virgin coconut oil.

We have 50 of these awesome pouches to give away, too! All you need to do, is visit our Facebook or Twitter page, like or favourite the post, and then share it.

Until then, stay healthy!