What fuel and nutrients you start your day with is a big determining factor of how you will feel throughout the day; along with how much sleep you got and some moderate exercise as well. My husband always says to me, the best exercise is the exercise that happens, so even a walk around the block or a 10 minute yoga or strength session is better than the grand ambitions that never happen. But on top of sleep and exercise, most of us still underestimate the impact of what we choose to eat at the start of the day.
Wholefoods equals nutritional density
Our PhycoMuesli is what we call nutritionally dense. Nutritional density is a term being used more and more to try to communicate better how our food choices can have a big impact on the diversity of nutrition that we need, even if nutritional panels look similar.
Sometimes it is hard to get a good feel for what is in a product by looking at the nutritional information panel alone. For example, you could have a very simple and refined breakfast cereal with only 3 ingredients, such as corn, vegetable oil and whey protein, with exactly the same nutritional profile panel as a breakfast cereal, like PhycoMuesli. However the diversity and density of many different complex molecules, even the types of protein, carbohydrates and sugars, can be very different and much, much more complex and dense compared to highly refined ingredients.
This is why fake and replacement ingredients, like fake meats, alternative sweeteners and simplified fats, might start with good intentions, but they lose sight of the complex nature that keeps all nutritional bases covered. At PhycoHealth we will not use fake replacements for anything, and believe that we should have a close understanding of what our food is and where it comes from. You should be able to read the ingredients label and understand the source of every ingredient that you read.
Just look at how many ingredients contribute to the trace element profile in PhycoMuesli, there are 7 sources of iron, dozens of different saturated, unsaturated, Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils from 8 different ingredients, and 7 sources of different types of dietary fibres. This suddenly adds so much complexity to what is otherwise a simple colour wheel of nutritional categories that would look very different for a highly processed breakfast cereal. In fact a highly processed breakfast cereal never comes close to the complexity of wholefood breakfast cereals.
Nutritional Density can help with weight management
One reason we sometimes have to eat a lot of food and keep getting hungry, is because we eat foods that are empty calories. We then need to eat more to get adequate vitamins, proteins or other things. This is why trying for the most diversity in what we eat can help us reduce the amount of food we eat.
Seaweed is a super nutrient dense food, and we include it in muesli with a focus on seaweed protein, PhycoTein, because it carries all of the essential amino acids, nicely concentrated micronutrients including bioavailable iron and manganese, plus Seafibre; a very different type of gut healthy ingredient. But this only scratches the surface of what seaweed has to offer.
Blended with Organic Australian oats rich in beta-glucan fibre, organic hemp seeds rich in protein and healthy Omega-3 oils, organic seeds from sunflower and pumpkins, Australian organic almonds, organic coconut oil, organic rice malt following the ancient tradition of natural sweetening from brewed wholegrain rice, and topped up with the anti-oxidants from sweet Australian currants and organic cranberries, your breakfast is loaded with energy and functional nutrients. Not even mentioned here are all of the different types of anti-oxidants and vitamins that each of our ingredients carry.
We strive for Australian and organic sourced ingredients wherever we can, because this reduces the load of pesticide residues that diminish the availability of anti-oxidants, and reduces your exposure to chemicals that can impact hormones and metabolism.
Sugars ain’t sugars
I have been asked a number of times why we include rice malt in our PhycoMuesli. To start with, PhycoMuesli without any sweetening at all would make it a seaweed breakfast exclusively for the hardcore types. Because the lead ingredients in PhycoMuesli are high in dietary fibre and nutrient dense, we can include a dose of sweetness without the sugar hits of the empty calorie breakfast types.
A normal intake of sugars each day in wholefoods is about 50g. A serving of PhycoMuesli would be less than a fifth of this, and therefore comprises a normal range of sweetness for a daily intake. PhycoMuesli gets its sweetness in part from ricemalt, but also cranberries and currants.
We chose rice malt as a diversification of sugar type because it does not contain fructose, which has been overly concentrated in industrialized foods. Ricemalt is actually an ancient and traditional Japanese form of sweetening in food, and it is a FODMAP friendly sugar for those of you familiar with Monash Universities FODMAPS foods. The jury is still out on how much fructose is a bad thing, and once again there is no point in making an enemy of fructose as it is a natural nutritional food indicator in fruits, but the extent to which the industrial food technology system has rapidly concentrated and purified our fructose consumption is not considered good. Therefore, redistributing the diversity of sugars is a good thing, which is why we focus on rice malt which mostly contains maltose and a bit of glucose.
Just a simple change of thinking, without the complexity of trying to work out fad diets
Nutritional density is not too hard to achieve and healthy food does not have to be difficult. Just avoid the doughnuts, soft drinks, Fruit Loops and other empty-calorie, highly processed foods that you can't recognise. Read the complexity of ingredients that you recognise, and change your breakfast throughout the week. This is the choice that people need to be making, rather than simply reading a sugar or fat label on the package alone.
Let's see how many types of different foods can fill our days, and see how much less food we need to eat by doing so.