Curious about our ingredients? Wondering why they’re in there and how we chose them? Believe us that our dietitians, food scientists and very picky founders have noodled with these questions time and time again…
Our goal was to figure out how to provide science-based, minimally processed and sustainably sourced ingredients safe enough to feed our children, yet worthy enough of your taste buds. Here’s what we came up with while keeping our commitment to being sustainable, effective, allergen-friendly thus all-inclusive, Vegan and non-GMO.
Last but not least, since our ingredients are not chemically modified, we cannot guarantee that the color, intensity of flavor, etc. will be exactly the same in every batch. But we can guarantee that the most naturally beneficial and great tasting ingredients are made available to you.
THE INGREDIENTS FOR NUTRITION
Organic Brown Rice Protein – Oryzatein®
Our signature ingredient and the main ingredient in our line of Premium Rice Proteins, as well as AM Energy and PM Restore. Concentrated to 80% protein, and monitored by Growing Naturals from field to shelf, this protein is enzymatically extracted from whole grain brown rice in a chemical-free, low heat, organic process. Our line of rice proteins are also some of the smoothest on the market compared to other products, having eliminated most of the “grit” by filtering through an extremely fine mesh. This allergen-friendly, non-GMO plant protein has an excellent amino acid profile and is an ideal plant protein source. It is also the only rice protein which has been included in a University-based clinical trial as well as a clinical trial on elite MMA athletes showing its effectiveness for recovery and gains in muscle when taken after strength exercises.
Pea Protein – VegOtein™
Most novel and increasingly popular, this is the major ingredient in our line of pure Pea Proteins as well as the secondary protein source in AM Energy and PM Restore. At 80% protein, our high quality pea protein ingredient is produced from non-GMO, yellow field peas harvested from North America. Extracted using a chemical-free, mechanical process, pea protein features a powerful, highly digestible, unique array of amino acids, being especially high in lysine and arginine. This protein is also one of the most environmentally friendly, considering the peas are grown without using nitrogen rich fertilizers which can runoff or pollute the environment. Mild in flavor and creamy in texture, this protein is great as a stand alone or the perfect complement to our line of rice proteins.
As most Americans don’t get nearly enough fiber in their diets, we’ve made it easier to help reach your daily fiber goal with 5g per serving in each the AM Energy and PM Restore. Derived from organic agave plants grown in Mexico, inulin is a prebiotic fiber which “fertilizes” and helps the health-promoting bacteria in your gut thrive. Research has linked healthy gut flora to digestive health, immune health, heart health, blood sugar control and more.
Organic Cocoa Powder
All-natural, GRAS approved and deliciously rich, this ingredient helps to flavor the chocolate Rice and Pea Protein as well as PM Restore. It is naturally high in antioxidants and flavonoids (plant pigment compounds noted for their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral benefits). Several thousand flavonoids exist in substantial amounts in common plant-based foods, such as tea, chocolate, soybeans, wine and of course cocoa. Studies suggest that some flavonoids might protect against certain chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Never using Sanchez beans, which are un-fermented, low-cost fillers in low quality cocoa products, you’ll find Growing Naturals is your answer to fat-free, low sugar alternative to that chocolate fix you’re looking to cure. Keep your eyes open for more chocolate-flavored products to come.
Each serving of AM provides the same amount of caffeine as what is found in an average cup of Joe (100mg). This natural energy booster is derived from the beans of the Coffea Robusta plant from Italy which is naturally higher in caffeine than the Arabica variety.
Green Tea Extract (50% EGCg)
Epigallocatechin gallate (aka EGCg) is a type of catechin and one of the most powerful bioactive compounds in green tea leaves. Catechins have anti-oxidant properties which can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body and protect cells from cellular damage. These antioxidant effects are the reason green tea is known to be protective against various conditions such as cancers, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases and more. This extract is derived from 100% green tea leaves (camellia sinensis L).
Vitamins and Minerals
Essential to good health, vitamins and minerals work synergistically to perform hundreds of roles in the body on a daily basis. From helping to turn your food into energy to strengthening bones and supporting your immune health, vitamins and minerals make this all possible. The AM mix provides about 20-30% of the daily value of the following to supplement what you might not be getting from food:
- Calcium (as dicalcium phosphate) –used mainly to support your teeth and skeletal structure
- Magnesium (as magnesium oxide) –helps keep a steady heartbeat and may help to regulate blood pressure; involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body; plays a role in brain function and mood; helps to regulate blood sugar and more
- Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) – supports the formation of healthy skin, cartilage and other soft tissue; helps to heal wounds; promotes healthy immune functioning (also in PM Restore)
- Vitamin E (as di-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) – an antioxidant which protects the body’s cells from damaging free radicals (also in PM Restore)
- Biotin – part of the B complex vitamins, biotin helps to convert food into usable energy; also known to help strengthen hair and nails
- Vitamin B3 (as niacinamide) – helps to convert food into usable energy; supports healthy liver, skin hair and eyes; supports the nervous system
- Zinc (as zinc oxide) – supports the immune system; helps with wound healing; helps growing bodies develop
- Vitamin A (as acetate) – promotes good vision; helps to form healthy bones, teeth and skin
- Pantothenic Acid (as calcium pantothenate) – helps to convert food into usable energy; needed to help make red blood cells and some hormones
- Vitamin D2 (as ergocalciferol) – supports healthy bones and reduces fractures; supports immune and neuromuscular system. Note D2 is the plant-based source of vitamin D
- Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) – helps to convert food into usable energy; helps the body make neurotransmitters and supports brain function; regulates homocysteine levels, an amino acid linked to heart disease; works closely with B12 to make red blood cells
- Vitamin B1 (as thiamine mononitrate) – helps to convert food into usable energy; supports the immune and nervous systems
- Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin) – helps to convert food into usable energy; acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radicals; important for red blood cell production
- Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) – helps to convert food into usable energy; supports DNA/RNA production; maintains healthy nerve cells; works closely with folate to make red blood cells
- Folic Acid – part of the B complex vitamins; helps to convert food into usable energy; critical for normal brain function; aids in production of DNA/RNA; especially important for growing bodies
- Iodine (as potassium iodide) – supports normal thyroid function; helps produce thyroid hormones; assists in converting food to energy
Known widely for its calming effect, this ancient medicinal herb dates back thousands of years having been used to treat a variety of ailments from insomnia to gastrointestinal disorders. Chamomile flowers contain a host of beneficial bioactive compounds, the most prominent being apigenin. Apigenin produces anxiety-reducing effects and has also been well-studied as an anti-cancer compound. Chamomile is part of the PM sleep aid and made with flowers cultivated in both Mexico and Egypt.
This mildly citrus-smelling herb is actually part of the mint family. It’s been used since before the Middle Ages and used to be steeped in wine to help heal wounds, promote sleep and more. Much like chamomile, lemon balm also promotes relaxation by reducing stress and anxiety. It’s also a large source of phenolic compounds which play an important role in cancer prevention and health promotion. Lemon balm is part of the PM sleep aid and is sourced from USA, Poland and Albania.
This essential amino acid cannot be made in the body and must be obtained by eating dietary proteins. Despite being found naturally in the rice and pea proteins, we’ve added extra phenylalanine, as this amino acid is helps to regulate ‘happy hormones’ like dopamine, which helps to control the brain’s reward and pleasure center, and serotonin which helps to balance mood.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found almost exclusively in teas (like green tea) and known primarily for its relaxing-without-sedating effects. Unlike some amino acids, it can’t be made in the body. L-theanine is said to work by increasing alpha-1 brain waves, which are linked to a state of relaxation.
Derived from the African shrub Griddonia simplicifolia, 5-HTP is a compound the body uses to make serotonin and from serotonin make melatonin. Serotonin is known as one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters, or brain-signaling chemicals and is linked to happiness and anti-depression. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Though the body can make 5-HTP from tryptophan (an essential amino acid found in protein foods), certain conditions like inflammation or depression may increase the need for 5-HTP. Without enough serotonin the body cannot make enough melatonin which can lead to sleep problems of all kinds.
Melatonin is a hormone made in the body which plays a key role in regulating when you fall asleep and when you wake up. Certain stressors or health conditions may affect the amount of melatonin produced in the body leading to abnormal sleep patterns. At 1mg per serving in the PM formula, melatonin along with the other natural sleep/relax aids can help you to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, increase the number of sleeping hours and thus boost your daytime alertness.
THE INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING NUTRITION ENJOYABLE (AND ADDED IN TINY AMOUNTS)
This seemingly mysterious ingredient is included in all products except unflavored Rice and Pea Protein. The natural flavors we selected are all plant-based ingredients which help to create a clean but delicious taste without the use of expensive “extracts”. They are non-GMO and typically composed of an allergen-free carrier (90%) like tapioca root flour or maltodextrin and essential oils or essences (10%) from ingredients like cocoa beans and vanilla beans. The combination either adds to the flavor enjoyment or helps off-set inherent after-tastes certain ingredients. This is once again part of Growing Naturals pledge that foods that are good for you can also taste good.
Organic Brown Rice Powder
Similar to rice flour, this unique allergen-friendly, dairy-free, dry ingredient, is produced from the highest quality non-GMO, unpolished brown rice, which is known to contain beneficial nutrients like protein, bran, fiber, and carbohydrates. Owing to its source, the carbohydrates in this rice-based ingredient are mostly complex, providing a source of slow-digesting energy. This ingredient is only used in small quantities in vanilla and chocolate pea proteins adding to taste and the smooth mouth feel of the products.
Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids
A fancy name for brown rice sugar. This 100% natural, crystallized brown rice syrup is derived from whole rice grains in an allergen-friendly, organic process. It is primarily composed of glucose with a glycemic index of 98, which can aid in the absorption of electrolytes or nutrients like protein. Added in very minimal quantities to our vanilla and original Premium Rice Proteins, it will not cause a spike in blood sugar due to the presence of protein.
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
Used in minimal quantities and featured in our flavored Pea Protein products, coconut palm sugar is the perfect complement to organic stevia as well as the natural soft pea taste. This sustainable, allergen-friendly sugar is derived from the sap of the coconut palm tree. According to the Phillipine Department of Agriculture, the glycemic index of coconut sugar is 35 (low) compared to table sugar which scores around 60. Unlike table sugar, coconut sugar is not refined and thus retains some beneficial minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.
Organic Guar Gum
The Growing Naturals team put a lot of thought and research into gum selection. Gums are key to our Premium Rice Proteins having a smooth texture and enhanced mouthfeel. They are used in as minimal amounts as possible and therefore will not cause fiber-related digestive issues. Guar gum is derived from the endosperm of the Cyanopsis tetragonoloba plant that is grown in India and Pakistan. It is also allergen-free, unlike Xanthan Gum which may carry allergen risk for some, as it is grown off of corn syrup.
Organic Gum Acacia (Arabic)
Acacia, alternately known as gum arabic is a fiber gathered from acacia trees typically found in the Sahelian region of Africa. Used for purely functional rather than dietary purposes, tiny amounts of gum acacia are found in all Premium Rice Proteins (except the chocolate flavor) in order to provide an enhanced mouthfeel when mixing the powders with a liquid. This ingredient is only found in vanilla and unflavored Rice Protein.
Organic Sunflower Oil
Used only in Original unflavored Premium Rice formulas, organic sunflower oil powder is added in minimal quantities in order to offset some natural foaming that results from mixing the protein with water. Amounts are so minimal that there is no dietary effect or changes in nutritional information with the addition of the oil.
Used only in flavored Pea Proteins, this organic natural sweetener is GRAS approved and features zero grams of sugar and a clean taste. Safer than artificial sweeteners for human consumption, the species, Stevia rebaudiana, is the most commonly grown for its sweet leaves. Stevia also has a negligible effect on blood glucose, which means it can be a safe sugar substitute for individuals with diabetes.
This additive-free flavor enhancer is created naturally as ocean water evaporates. Historically called bay salt or solar salt, sea salt contains minerals that table salt does not contain naturally, including iron, iodine, sulfur and magnesium. While some people try to maintain a salt-free diet, natural salt, even in small quantities is a source of minerals that are essential to our health. It is added in tiny amounts to all flavored Rice Proteins, Chocolate Pea Protein and AM Energy.