Let’s talk protein. There is a huge assumption that we need mass amounts of protein supplemented into our diets daily to keep us healthy, build lean muscle mass, loose weight, have healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones. There are so many products on the market today with added protein to them such as milks, yogurts, bars, chips, cookies, nut/seed butters, cake, powders, cereal, granola, oats, pancake/waffle mixes; I could go on forever. It seems like no matter what you choose, you name it and there is a high protein option available at your local store. However, are these forms of protein really healthy for us and our bodies? Is protein and that much protein really necessary?
Our bodies actually manufacture and create ALL of our own protein molecules necessary for healthy function of our bodies on their own using amino acids which are converted by the liver. The body doesn’t actually require protein, it requires the nine essential amino acids which are the building blocks to the essential protein necessary for us and our bodies. Naturally occurring unprocessed sources of high protein foods often contain all nine of these amino acids that our bodies require. However, the processed products containing added protein do not contain the natural amino acids we require.Your body is not actually able to fully break down and utilize that protein, as the protein molecules are not what is actually synthesized by the body to create protein. Instead the over processed products are actually causing more harm than good. Thus, in reality we do not really need or require protein but more amino acids.
Meat and animal products are often credited as the only sources of all nine essential amino acids our bodies require to synthesize protein. However, there are other plant based options that can give us everything our body requires and more that are easer for us to break down and utilize. My super seed bars contain all the nine essential amino acids with a bunch of benefits from numerous plant based sources all in one delicious treat that will fuel you on that hike, the dance floor, at the gym, chasing that toddler, or while running around at work.
What’s in them?
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds contain 10g of protein per three tablespoons. They are high in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega’s help us fight depression, improve brain function, improve eye health, healthy skin/bones/hair, reduce ADD/ADHD symptoms, and can help in neurological disorders such as epilepsy. They are packed with Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Iron, and Zinc. They contain a significant amount of the amino acids Methionine and Cysteine. Methionine and Cysteine aid the liver/kidney in processing and help prevent damage while being essential building blocks for many cellular functions in the body. They are more easily digested than most other proteins found in grains, meat, and legumes.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds contain 7g of protein in 1/4 of a cup. Pumpkin seeds are very similar to hemp seeds in that they also contain Omega-6’s, Omega-3’s, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc. However, they also contain Vitamin K, Maganese, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Folate, Carotenoids, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. Pumpkin seeds additionally help the liver process excess estrogen in women.They additionally contain Lysine and Tryptophan, essential amino acids our body needs to create necessary proteins. Tryptophan. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body create proteins and chemicals that signal the brain. It alchemizes into a brain chemical known as Serotonin. Serotonin helps control your mood, anxiety, depression, and sleep. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is also linked to our social behavior, appetite, digestion, memory, and sexual desire and function. Lysine is used to build up our immune responses, reduces anxiety, aids in calcium absorption, wound healing, helps block stress receptors, and helps create collagen within the body naturally.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds contain 5g of protein in two tablespoons. Chia seeds also contain Omega-3’s, fiber, antioxidant’s, Iron, and Calcium. Chia seeds contain ALL of the nine essential amino acids for our body to convert into proteins and utilize for cellular function which include Methionine, Lysine, and Tryptophan, but also Phenylalanine, Threonine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, and Valine all of which are the building blocks of proteins created by our bodies.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds contain 2g of protein per tablespoon. Like there counterparts, they additionally contain Omega-3’s, fiber, Iron, Calcium, Folate, Phosphorus, and Potassium. They additionally have the ability to help the liver breakdown and process excess estrogen in women. They also are loaded with B6 and B1. They are high in Lignans, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Flax seeds contain all of the amino acids necessary for our bodies except for Lysine.
Tahini//Sesame Seeds: Ground sesame seeds contain 6g of protein in two tablespoons. They protect against free radicals, which are caused by pollutants, oxidative stress in the environment, and UV rays. Sesame also helps balance estrogen and progesterone levels in women. They increase natural levels of tocopherols in the body which aids in creating Vitamin E and they are an anti-inflammatory. They also contain amino acids Methionine, Cysteine, and Tryptophan.
Cacao: Cacao is a high vibrational super food that naturally possesses all nine essential amino acids required by our bodies with a little pick-me-up. I wrote all about cacao and it’s benefits here.
Cardamom: is a herb that cleanses the liver, aids with nausea and increases appetite, reduces acid reflux, reduces anxiety, enhances digestion, detoxifies the body and the skin, and is an anti-inflammatory.
SUPER SEED BARS
1 cup of organic hemp seeds
1/2 cup of raw organic pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of organic chia seeds
1/4 cup of whole organic flax seeds
1/3 cup of organic tahini
pure organic monk fruit extract *WITH NO Erythritol* -or- raw organic honey
sprinkle of Cardamom *optional
1 tablespoon of raw organic cacao powder *optional
coconut butter *optional
Combine all seeds in a large bowl with Tahini and sweetener of choice. I used a teaspoon of monk fruit extract. However, you can adjust this to your taste and liking as desired. Combine together until mixture is binded together.
Line a baking pan with (naturally derived to avoid chemicals) parchment paper. Push down mixture evenly into pan.
*Optional: Combine cardamom, cacao, and melted coconut butter and drizzle over the top.
Freeze in freezer until set and solidified.
Remove and cut into bites, bars, or squares.
Store covered in the freezer