Let’s talk about nutrition!
Many people turn to a plant-based diet for the health benefits it can provide, or some look for meat and dairy alternatives for environmental and ethical reasons. Getting the right amount of nutrition can be both complicated and daunting, and myth-based information on social media alone can sometimes be very misleading and can lack any real scientific evidence. With so many plant-based milk alternatives on the market right now, it can prove difficult finding a product that contains all the nutrients our body truly needs to fuel our active, healthy lifestyles.
Whilst the many different almond and oat milks may deliver on taste and texture, many of them lack the fundamental macro and micronutrients such as protein and calcium to really help our bodies excel, in addition to the lack of fibre and excess of sugar. Although a plant-based drink may be low in calories, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily nutritional or even containing anything of real health benefit. The majority of the plant-based milk alternatives on the market do not align with our values of a nutritious and delicious drink.
At Devon Garden, we understand that our health is deeper than the surface. While it is understandable that some may have aesthetic goals, it is ultimately important to eat for our bodies, to nourish and care for them, giving them the nutrients they crave. Nowadays, we are on a journey to optimise ourselves and to reach our peak, yet it is important to enjoy the process in the healthiest way possible. For both our physical and mental wellbeing, many of us have adopted a health conscious, positive mindset, and our product will support this.
Our pea milk sets the bar for the nutrition it provides, starting with the great amount of protein it serves compared to other alternatives. We have provided as much protein as possible with 9.5g per 250ml, more than dairy milk itself with around 8g. Our plant-powered milk is a clear winner in this category, as the protein content in plant-based milks made from almonds, oats, and coconut is almost non-existent. We are not just trying to find a milk alternative, but a better one with focus on high-protein. It is absolutely essential our bodies get a good amount of protein for muscle growth, maintenance and repair. Simply using our pea milk will add that extra boost of protein our body needs to fuel our active lifestyles.
Sugar and Stevia
In addition to the high protein content, we have also spent time on our product to ensure that the taste is optimal. With less than 0.1g of sugar per 1000ml the product is ‘sugar-free’, so you will not have to worry about going over your sugars for the day. We have chosen to use stevia, to optimise the taste of our product in the most natural way possible. Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener that is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar (Ashwell, 2015), and therefore it easily satisfies the inevitable sugar cravings that are all too familiar. It is made from the leaves of a stevia plant called Stevia rebaudiana. With the ever-increasing prevalence of health issues associated with excessive sugar intake, including diabetes and increased risk of heart disease, it is important to put our health first. Yet, this doesn’t mean we need to compromise on taste to do so!
We are absolutely dismayed about health statistics discussed by UK leading expert on food policy Tim Lang in his latest book “Feeding Britain – Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them”. One particular quote from his book (p. 281) states: “Diet has long been known to be a major driver of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease and certain cancers”. He also provides detailed statistics from numerous sources which we found very shocking. For instance, according to him, by 2015, nearly two thirds of adults in England were classed as overweight, and obesity alone was costing $27bn to the wider society (not to mention to our beloved NHS).
Another important figure is that the UK is the fourth fattest population in the EU (assuming we are still in it), only behind Malta, Latvia, and Lithuania; and the UK’s rate of morbid obesity is expected to double in the period 2015-2035. Not surprisingly, children in England consume in six months more sugar (approx. 4,800 cubes of sugar) than they should in a whole year! These stats are scary, so that is why we make it our mission to develop products which are sugar-free, or at least that have as little sugar as it is possible.
Oat milks are now becoming very popular, only behind almond milks, but most oat milks contain a relatively high sugar content, in fact over 40 times higher than our pea milk.
Chicory Root Extract
Our product is the only plant-based milk in the UK that uses chicory root extract in our formulation. Yes, when I first heard the term “chicory root”, I was confused as well. However, the health benefits that chicory root extract exhibits are far beyond that of any other plant-based milk alternative. Chicory root is part of the dandelion family, and it is packed with prebiotic fibre inulin. Prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria in our gut (Kelly, 2008), which consequently help to reduce inflammation, enhance mineral absorption and fight off damaging bacteria. In doing so, chicory root enhances gut health, by promoting healthy digestion and relieving constipation (Micka, 2017). In addition, it can improve the control over our blood sugar levels, which would be incredibly important in people with diabetes in particular. Chicory root helps to break down carbs into simple sugars, making it easier to extract from the blood.
In the UK, most adults fail to meet their daily requirements of fibre of 30gr, resulting in constipation and a higher risk of gut diseases such as bowel cancer. The lack of fibre consumption in also highlighted by Lang (2020) where it is highlighted that the average UK adult only consumes 19gr per day (well below the recommended figure from health agencies). This is mainly due to over consumption of highly processed foods.
We understand the importance of fibre in our diets, and by introducing more fibres, we can also reduce levels of cholesterol and protect ourselves against the risk of diabetes. Understanding this, we have made relentless efforts to include large amounts of fibre in every serving of our product. Per 100ml, our pea milk will give you 1.5g of fibre, which is significantly higher than any other milk alternative on the market today that mostly contain less than 0.1g of fibre per 100ml.
In addition to our product being high in protein and fibre, as well as being sugar-free, we have taken steps to ensure that our product is low in saturated fat, whilst still maintaining that rich, thick and creamy texture we all desire. The average population gets most of their daily saturated fat from other dietary sources, with requirements for the average adult at about 30g a day. With 0.2gr of saturated fat per 100ml, and only 1.6gr of total fat, we understand the importance of not exceeding this recommendation due to the health complications associated with this.
Often, plant-based milks lack vitamin B12 which is found in dairy products. Vitamin B12 is absolutely essential for neurological function, circulation, and production of healthy red blood cells. In a strict plant-based or vegan diet, B12 can only be consumed through supplementation, which is why we have decided to include this essential vitamin in our pea milk. Vitamin B12 deficiency increases your risk of becoming anaemic, resulting in extreme tiredness and muscle weakness. B12 deficiency can also lead to psychological problems such as depression. We should always put our health first and care for our bodies, and they will care for us in return.
Finally, we have included 170mg of potassium per 100ml in our pea milk. Potassium is an absolutely essential mineral that is vital for life! It is found in a variety of fruits, legumes and nuts and it is needed to keep our heart and kidneys functioning properly, as well as aiding nerve transmission and muscular function. That’s why we have added a good dose to ensure you can also get it from our milk alternative!
We have a mission to create sustainable and ethical products that have the optimal nutritional benefits to help our bodies excel. Our pea milk is simply a natural, nutritional plant-based drink that exceeds your expectations of a plant-based milk alternative. You can rely on us to help fuel your day to keep you both happy and healthy. Remember to take care of yourselves! We are here to help.
Ashwell, M., 2015. Stevia, nature’s zero-calorie sustainable sweetener: A new player in the fight against obesity. Nutrition today, 50(3), p.129.
Kelly, G., 2008. Inulin-type prebiotics–a review: part 1. Alternative Medicine Review, 13(4).
Micka, A., Siepelmeyer, A., Holz, A., Theis, S. and Schön, C., 2017. Effect of consumption of chicory inulin on bowel function in healthy subjects with constipation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 68(1), pp.82-89.
Tim Lang (2020). Feeding Britain – Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them.