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From Coast to Coast

Riding on a scooter from coast to coast across the USA? Sounds like a very exhausting adventure. Various climate conditions, thousands of kilometers. But friends Dejan Kovacevic and Patrick Oswald wanted to challenge themselves with this adventure, and even collect money for children with cancer along the way.

What has that got to do with us? Well, Patrick is taking our products with him on the journey, which both men are starting with a rucksack each, and of course their scooters. On February 27th, they set out from Frankfurt with a direct flight to Miami. They are planning to arrive in Los Angeles by March 25th. That's 27 days for approximately 5,000 kilometers. The two men will have to brave the desert, tornadoes and a variety of climate conditions. Which of course raises a number of questions, which Patrick has kindly answered for us:

1. How did you both prepare for this trip? After all, there really couldn't be a more diverse set of requirements than those which apply to this trip.

Patrick: We had a very short time to prepare with our scooters, because we only got them in January. Our main endurance training sessions consist of running.
It is definitely a bit like a Kamikaze trip, for sure.

2. Where did you get this idea to ride from coast to coast?

Patrick: It's spectacular. We did think of other scenarios, for example from the North of Europe to the South. But it's not so cool, and the climate makes it difficult. That's why it turned out to be coast to coast.

3. Why did you choose Bertrand?

Patrick: It's easy to mix Bertrand with water. It lets you have a meal with very little preparation.

If you would like to follow the two men on their trip, take a look at their Facebook page or their Instagram Profile. You can also donate to the Frankfurt Association for Children with Cancer. We wish them all the best for the rest of their trip!

Recipe: BERTRAND Vanilla Date Shake

Sometimes BERTRAND is more than just a shake that contains all of the important nutrients you need. With a little creativity, it can be used as an ingredient as well. Today we have a recipe that can fight your sugar cravings.

Vanilla Flavored Bertrand
Oat milk (cow's milk or other plant milk)
3-5 dates



Put the powder into the Green Bottle, cut the dates into small pieces, blend with the milk in a blender and then pour into the Green Bottle. Shake well and let sit for a minute. Enjoy.

Information about dates:
In spite of their high calorie count, dates provide a lot of important nutrients, including vitamins B and C as well as potassium. They're also full of antioxidants, which serve to protect your cells. That makes the little fruit the perfect substitute for sugar, and is a good way to curb those cravings for gummy bears or chocolate.

Featured: Organic flaxseed

Fabulous flowers and nondescript seeds that pack a punch: Flaxseeds are the food of choice when it comes to unsaturated fatty acids or vitamins. Its little seeds come from the beautiful blue flowers of the flax plant, which is native to Europe and has more to offer than many other plants. To be precise, flaxseeds have the highest content of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid. The harvested seeds are sold in three variants: whole, broken, and milled.

 

Flaxseeds have a slightly nutty flavor and contain about 40% fat (flaxseed oil). Whole seeds are less beneficial to the body than broken flaxseeds because they usually pass through your gastrointestinal tract unchanged. They need to be broken in order to unlock their full potential in terms of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins (vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E). The seed coat of flaxseeds contains mucilage, which swell up when combined with enough water and do a good job of regulating the gastrointestinal tract. Flaxseed oil also contributes to a healthy heart and actively protects your cells. This is due to the lignans, which are secondary plant compounds rich in antioxidants. In addition, flaxseeds are said to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Why organic:
The selenium contained in flaxseeds already exhibits its property of binding heavy metals within the plant. That’s why it’s important to eat flaxseed products from certified organic cultivation and less from conventional cultivation in order to avoid plants that absorb potentially harmful substances from the soil along with the selenium contained in it.

How do they end up in the product?
We import our flaxseeds from Kazakhstan, where they are cultivated in certified organic conditions. Usually, manufacturing companies use so-called cold-pressed flaxseed oil cakes, which are a by-product of flaxseed oil production. Our flaxseeds, however, come to us as whole seeds and are broken just before we mix and fill our product. In this way, we protect the valuable fatty acids from oxidation, thus preventing the little seeds from becoming rancid quickly. By grinding the little flaxseeds in BERTRAND, we ensure that its valuable nutrients can then be absorbed optimally by the body.

Recipe: BERTRAND Vanilla Banana Muesli

Sometimes BERTRAND is more than just a shake that contains all of the important nutrients you need. With a little creativity, it can be used as an ingredient as well. Today we have a recipe for a quick breakfast:

Vanilla Banana Muesli

Vanilla Flavored Bertrand
2 drops of vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
approx. 250 ml oat milk (cow's milk or other plant milk)
Toppings like nuts, cacao nibs, etc, as desired


Cut the banana into small pieces. Put the Bertrand powder into a bowl and pour the milk and vanilla extract over it, stir thoroughly with a small whisk until the powder has dissolved. Let it rest for a moment, then add the banana and other toppings and enjoy!

Information about bananas:
Bananas could be considered a miracle food, because not only are they cheap, they're also good for you. They're full of B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. The combination of the slow-burning fiber, like in muesli, and the simple carbs in a banana will also make sure you stay feeling full.


Iron: Important for transferring oxygen and for cell respiration

Today’s article is about iron (Lat. Ferrum, FE) – an essential trace element that the body is not able to make for itself. It must enter the body through food and drink, because the organism needs this trace element, if it is to function properly

Iron plays a major role in transferring oxygen in the blood and in cell respiration. It plays an essential part in the formation of hemoglobin, which means the production of red blood cells. It also strengthens hair, nails and muscles.

Iron uptake
In short, iron attaches to various organic molecules that are found within the organism. It is found in enzymes, in hemoglobin and myoglobin and as stored or reserve iron in the form of ferritin and hemosiderin. Iron reserves are located mostly in liver cells and in the cells of the immune system.
Unlike calcium or sodium, the balance of iron in the body is regulated solely through absorption. This is because the iron that is present in the food and drinks typically consumed in Europe consists of about one-third heme (a component of hemoglobin and myoglobin). The rest of the iron from food and drink is in the form of iron (III) compounds, which are generally bound to cysteine residues of proteins. Both iron compounds form loose compounds with almost all biomolecules (except fat), and these ensure that the iron remains in solution. Heme has 6 coordination sites, 4 of which are already occupied, and so it is not capable of forming further fixed or insoluble compounds. This enables it to act as an independent absorber of other nutrients, and as such, it provides the body with almost two-thirds of the iron that that it absorbs.


Making iron absorption easier

There are factors in plant-based food that inhibit the absorption of iron, such as phosphates, polyphenols and phytates. That is why coffee and tea, for example, make it more difficult to absorb iron. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, on the other hand facilitates absorption by converting trivalent iron (Fe3+) into bivalent iron (Fe2+). The items in the BERTRAND range always contain sea buckthorn, which acts as a stable source of vitamin C.

Where can you find this in BERTRAND?
In Bertrand the main sources of iron are almonds and linseed. But wholegrain oats and ingredients made from algae can also be sources of iron. Our organic almonds come from Spain and Italy, and they are grown using ecologically approved methods. Our linseed also comes from a certified organic producer and is brought to us from Kazakhstan. Our wholegrain oats are grown only in European fields, and the algae are harvested from the Spanish and French coasts.

The sea buckthorn is Bertrand’s purest source of Vitamin C. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is essential to ensure that you absorb enough iron from your diet, because the body can utilize iron from animal sources much more easily than iron from plant-based foods. Even just a glass of orange juice with a meal that contains grains can be very effective.
Annika | Customer Service

Do you have any questions?

I am happy to answer your questions on this topic. Feel free to write me an email. You will usually receive a response within 24 hours.

Annika | Customer Serviceannika@bertrand.bio

Featured: organic yeast

Introduced: organic yeast

Yeast – an exciting microorganism that resembles a separate small universe. As a single-celled being it predominantly ferments with sugar and starch to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This results in the soft dough of bread, rolls and other pastries. There are over 700 kinds of yeast, and we decided to choose the nutritional yeast since we are not keen on the alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Though commonly known as raising agent and fermentation assistant in beer and wine, many people don't know that yeast is actually loaded with nutrients. Even the ancient Egyptians used it for their meals without knowing that it is loaded with niacin and B vitamins such as B1, B2 and B6. Important nutrients that ensure a well-balanced metabolism and support muscles and nerves The contained potassium in conjunction with sodium ensures a healthy heart and a well-adjusted fluid balance in the body.

In order to guarantee excellent quality we use organic nutritional yeast powder which we provide with a sugar source made of clean spring water and grain instead of using conventional molasses.

Why organic?

All of our products are organic since we are convinced that good quality already starts with the ingredients. The advantages are easily demonstrated through the example of our organic yeast:

The sugar source of conventional yeast is primarily made of molasses, whereas the sugar source of our organic yeast is made of grain from organic farming.
Ammonia (NH3) or ammonia salts are used in conventional yeast. The nitrogen source of organic yeast is also organic grain.
Acids like sulfuric acid and alkalis like caustic soda are used in conventional yeast in order to regulate the pH value. This regulation is not necessary with organic yeast.
Synthetic vitamins and inorganic salts are needed for conventional yeast. These substances are already sufficiently available in natural mediums.
Conventional yeast is made with synthetic defoaming agents. Organic yeast is made with organic sunflower oil instead.
In the case of conventional yeast, the washing has to be repeated several times in order to eliminate unpleasant flavors and odorants. There is no washing with organic yeast. The sterilization happens through water steam.
With conventional yeast, the waste water is heavily contaminated and hard to clean. But with organic yeast, the fermentation medium provides the basis for further products such as pre-ferment or pre-leaven starters.


How does it get into the product?

Nutritional yeast is a yeast inactivated by heat. The basis is the organic yeast cream which already features the very good nutritional profile but cannot be used yet in our product due to its consistence and activity. In order to obtain the yeast powder used in BERTRAND we need to inactivate the yeast cells first. This happens through brief heating to 55° – 60°. Should there be any surviving yeast cells, they will be subsequently inactivated due to the drying. Drum drying is used in this case. It is particularly gentle and makes the yeast cream into yeast flakes at 130° by putting a thin film of the product on the drum. The contained liquid evaporates thereby. Then the yeast flakes are grounded to a fine yeast powder with the help of a cone crusher. This powder is subsequently mixed with our other ingredients to make BERTRAND.

Moreover, yeast serves as source of protein and is therefore perfectly suited for diets low in protein such as vegetarianism and veganism. Athletes also benefit from proteins since they are responsible for muscle growth, as well.
Annika | Customer Care

Have any questions remain unanswered?

I am happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic. Feel free to write me an e-mail. You will usually receive an answer within 24 hours.

Annika | Customer Careannika@bertrand.bio

BERTRAND supports #veganuary

Don’t vegans only eat grass?

The vegan diet is still one of the most controversial topics. Yet there’s actually no reason for that at all. By being aware of the food and the nutrients from food that you put in your body, you can ideally eat better and also be more mindful of the environment.

As a way of just giving this a shot, there’s the #veganuary challenge, which was created to globally promote the idea of trying to go vegan for the month of January. It has been around since 2014 and was started as a charity organization in the UK to help people throughout the world realize that going vegan is neither unhealthy nor boring. People share their experiences on social media, discuss the challenge with each other, and help each other out because being vegan definitely doesn’t need to be complicated.

For the sake of the environment, it is definitely worth taking a closer look at this diet because a kilogram of beef alone requires about 15,500 liters of water. The 14.5% CO2 emissions caused by intensive livestock farming and the clearance of green spaces for feed are other negative aspects of an omnivorous diet.

The myth that a vegan diet causes people to have less energy also continues to endure. There are a lot of examples that prove the opposite, such as competitive athletes like Lewis Hamilton, Rich Roll or Fiona Oakes. Professional athletes from Germany like professional beach volleyball player Max Betzien also eat a vegan diet.

Another big myth surrounding the vegan diet, in addition to the one about not getting enough nutrients, is that it takes a lot of effort. This assumption can already be refuted by the fact that even a simple pasta dish with tomato sauce is vegan. The vegan version of BERTRAND kills both myths with one stone, so to speak, because preparing it is very easy, and at the same time you get the exact nutrients that fall by the wayside in a purely plant-based diet, and it accomplishes all of this in a completely natural way and without artificial supplements, instead getting some help from the world of algae.

The vegan version of BERTRAND does not contain the milk powder that can be found in the classic and active versions, which is why it’s recommended to mix the powder with oat or almond milk instead of water in order to improve the flavor. For an even better and distinct flavor, we can also recommend using the fruit juice of your choice or taking a bit of extra time to cut some fruit and blend it together with the plant-based milk of your choice and the Bertrand powder in a blender to create an even more unique shake. Because with BERTRAND, being vegan is neither boring nor complicated. And there’s no need to eat grass either.

 

Annika | Customer Care

Have any questions remain unanswered?

I am happy to answer any questions you might have on this topic. Feel free to write me an e-mail. You will usually receive an answer within 24 hours.

Annika | Customer Careannika@bertrand.bio

High readings in ORAC analysis: The antioxidant effect of BERTRAND

Sea buckthorn is one of the main ingredients in BERTRAND's liquid meals. The high content of ascorbic acid in the fruit is not only important in terms of optimal vitamin supply, but also to the degree that Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in combating free radicals. A current investigation of all three product lines (classic, vegan, active) with regard to their antioxidant capacity showed that the measured value can be considered high for all meal powders.

ORAC values between 26,000 and 41,000 µmol TE/100g

The so-called ORAC analysis (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) was conducted by INTERTEK, an international industry leader in testing and certification procedures, and underscores that the combination of natural ingredients used in BERTRAND makes an important contribution to combating free radicals in the context of a healthy diet.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)

Free radicals and antioxidants

Free radicals are chemical molecules containing oxygen, but are incomplete in their structure. They lack an electron, which they then remove from intact cells and molecules in the body in order to be complete again. This electron theft is called "oxidation". Since the robbed molecule itself becomes a free radical, a chain reaction occurs. If the degree of oxidation is higher than the body can withstand, we speak of "oxidative stress", which can lead to long-term damage since the deprived molecules are primarily our elementary building blocks of cells, such as fats, proteins or DNA. Examples of how free radicals primarily occur today include, among other things, smoking, air pollution and pollution by exhaust gases, UV radiation, alcohol, fast food, radioactivity and the taking of medicines. Various factors play a role in the extent to which free radicals develop, for example, the combination of individual food components in our gastrointestinal tract or the reaction of sulfur dioxide in exhaust gases and pollutants.
Oxidative stress speeds up the aging process and encourages the onset of disease. Thus, during the course of electron theft by free radicals in our body, there may arise, among other things, skin damage, rheumatism, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, eye and joint problems, stroke or calcification of the arteries (2). As there can also be damage to elementary cell components, additional diseases are facilitated, such as dementia due to brain damage, as well as various cancers due to DNA damage and the concomitant degeneration of cells.

Protection through nutrition with high ORAC value

Drugs cannot specifically combat free radicals. However, since there are foods that are rich in antioxidants, a healthy diet can counteract the damage. Thus, antioxidants are also called "radical scavengers" and are likewise chemical compounds. Unlike the free radicals, they voluntarily relinquish one of their electrons and thus protect the cells before they can be attacked. Since antioxidants themselves are not converted in the process into free radicals, they interrupt the chain reaction and also return immediately to their antioxidant form, so they can act again. Important antioxidants are, above all, the vitamins, especially Vitamins E and C. The Vitamin E radical, for example, is regenerated into its antioxidant form by Vitamin C, But, in addition, enzymes, phytochemicals such as polyphenols, minerals and trace elements function as radical scavengers, either produced by the body itself or absorbed in our diet.

A practical example

A very vivid example of oxidation and the effect of antioxidants is the cut apple. The cut surface inevitably turns brown in the air after a short time: Free radicals have caused the oxidation here. However, if the apple is drizzled with a little lemon juice, its color is preserved. The ascorbic acid in the lemon works as an antioxidant and protects the apple from the attack of the free radicals. In BERTRAND, for example, the sea buckthorn with its high Vitamin C content functions as an antioxidant, but so do the included almonds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and the walnut meal, which have a high amount of minerals and vitamins.

BERTRAND Classic: 29,000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – classic PDF (118KB)
BERTRAND Vegan: 26.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – vegan PDF (113KB)
BERTRAND Active: 41.000 µmol TE/100g: Intertek ORAC – active (113KB)
ORAC = Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity: determines the antioxidant capacity of foods
Unit µmol TE/100g – micromol Trolox Equivalent
The measured value is the relation to the antioxidative effect of the product/food, the higher the value, the better and stronger the antioxidative capacity and the more free radicals can be neutralized.
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Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

What do lemons and sea buckthorn have in common?

The answer is: vitamin C. Although we associate lemon with this “good mood” vitamin, sea buckthorn—which is a particularly valuable source of vitamin C in BERTRAND’s drinkable meals—contains a considerable amount of it. 100g of lemon contain about 53mg of vitamin C, while sea buckthorn gives us 18 times that amount, about 900mg per 100g.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a daily vitamin C intake of 80 mg in its reference levels. Thus, about two lemons already cover the daily requirement, as do three Bertrand Classic drinkable meals (made with 167g of powder each), providing almost 90mg of vitamin C in total.

But what makes vitamin C—called ascorbic acid in chemistry—so important and such a crucial component of our nutrition? Why and when should we ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C?

Vitamins are not replaceable

Vitamins are vital to our health because our bodies cannot produce them on their own. Therefore, they have to be absorbed from food. Since each vitamin has a different function in our metabolism, they are not interchangeable or replaceable. While many vitamins are found in animal products, vitamin C is only found in plant foods and has several important functions in our body and health, and is involved in many metabolic processes. On one hand, vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen, a protein that makes up our connective and supporting tissue and which helps to optimally build up and maintain our skin, bones, and teeth. Furthermore, vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing and scar formation, e.g., after injuries and burns. Vitamin C is also involved in cell growth.

Especially important for vegetarians and vegans

Two other main functions of vitamin C are the protection of our body against free radicals and its effect as an antioxidant as well as its role in immune protection. Free radicals are compounds that can lead to cell damage and cell degeneration. These lead to diseases such as cancer, cataracts, or arteriosclerosis. Vitamin C, absorbed through nutrition, acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants react with the free radicals, making them slower or harmless. In addition, vitamin C supports the work of white blood cells in our immune system, helping to fight off pathogens and produce antibodies. Other functions include the breakdown of medicine in our body and iron absorption in the intestine. This is particularly important for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet who do not get enough iron through meat and meat products. Consuming products rich in vitamin C helps our bodies better absorb and utilize the iron from plant-based foods.

Anti-scurvy acid

But can a diet with too much vitamin C also have negative effects? And is vitamin C deficiency still possible in today’s world? A vitamin-rich diet that contains more vitamin C than the recommended daily dose of 80mg usually has no side effects. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, thus, an overdose above 200 mg is usually excreted in the urine. A significantly higher intake than needed will only lead to diarrhea or abdominal pain. However, such a high overdose of vitamin C almost never occurs due to a vitamin-rich diet alone, but usually due to the additional intake of high-dose vitamin preparations and dietary supplements. And vitamin C deficiency is also rare given our modern food supply and nutrition. While scurvy, a common seafaring disease caused by vitamin C deficiency (hence its former name anti-scurvy acid), was still widespread in the 16th and 17th centuries given the lack of vitamin-rich foods on board, only a few populations are at risk of deficiency today.

So vitamin C is not merely the “good mood” vitamin, but also one of the most valuable vitamins in terms of a healthy and balanced diet, and it can be obtained from many different plant-based foods to contribute to our health and vitality.  Right at the forefront: Sea buckthorn!

In this blog post, we talk about the sea buckthorn we use in our drinkable meal in more detail: Featured – Sea Buckthorn in BERTRAND

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Carolin | B.Sc. Ecotrophology

Carolin studied ecotrophology at the University of Niederrhein and writes periodic articles about healthy eating. Are you interested in a specific topic?

Write us an emailhey@bertrand.bio

We support the Mudbusters

The Mudbusters are are an association of running-enthusiasts who participate in obstacle, cross-country and road races in Europe. These athletes now also have a partner who takes care of their nutrition.

If a 42,195km marathon race is just not enough for you, because you also want to crawl through mud, shimmy around obstacles, haul tree trunks or dive along the way, then you have the spirit of a mudbuster.

At BERTRAND, we support these athletes in preparing for OCR competitions such as Lake Run or Strong Man Run. OCR is the abbreviation for Obstacle Course Racing. Especially in Europe, an OCR scene is emerging in which the toughest, newest and most extreme obstacle courses are up for discussion. A few years ago there were a few events where people had to climb over barriers, swim through muddy lakes and rivers or crawl under barbed wire. The scene is, however, very well organized. In every region, every month of the year there is now at least one OCR race.

Preparation for the competition in terms of nutrition

While preparing for exhausting runs such as marathons or OCR competitions the body needs a balanced mix of long-chain carbohydrates, proteins as well as vitamins and minerals with good bio-availability. BERTRAND active has been a popular and proven diet for many years among followers of the outdoor scene, providing athletes with the nutrients they need to prepare their bodies for the strain of competition.

Signore PE

Extremely beneficial!

The shakes help me to close a gap and to eat healthy and balanced food in spite of "missing" meals. For me, this is an extreme advantage that I don’t want to miss.

Signore PEMudbusters
Interested? Put our active variant to the test. We give every new customer one of our high quality shakers, which will survive even the hardest trails.

Get in touch with us!

Please use the contact form for questions about BERTRAND or write an e-mail to hey@bertrand.bio
You will find all points of contact on the Meet the Team page.
Many questions were already answered in the FAQ-section.