By Sam Butler
Benergy, a new healthy snack company in Belfast, has launched a range of options, including breakfast pots that are all plant-based.
Available online, in selected gyms and shops, Benergy’s founders Ben Cochrane and Jessica Thompson looked at their own lifestyles for two years and realised they needed to change their diet as the first step to become healthier.
For Ben, his work as a chef, 60-plus hour working weeks and his eating habits was leading him on a downward health spiral when lockdown intervened.
“I wasn’t eating breakfast, arguably the most important meal of the day,” he explained.
“If I did have something to eat in the morning, it was usually a sandwich meal deal, which lacked the level of nutrition which I needed given the hours that I worked.
“I also drank a lot of energy drinks on busy shifts. While they would give me an initial boost, they’d also give me sugar crashes, particularly during service. This made me tired and lethargic.”
With the change in his diet helping with health, the decision to launch Benergy was a logical step.
The Benergy range contains a great selection of breakfast pots to start the day off well, and a fabulous mix of treats to keep people going in between meals.
“I now realise that breakfast provides you with the necessary fuel to start your day,” Ben said.
“That’s why I created these breakfast pots, to give people a ‘grab and go’ pot which would provide them with a nutritious and delicious start to their day, regardless of time constraints.
“They’re a macro-friendly breakfast: a mixture of oats, fruits and nuts that’s nutritionally balanced, so they’ll give you all the necessary fuel to get you through the day.”
For co-founder Jessica the link between good, healthy food and mental health is clear.
“Your mental health is not something to be taken lightly,” said Jessica.
“Neglecting your mind can have a disastrous impact on every aspect of your life and on those of others in your life as well.
“I realised that my mind and body were in a really bad place. I couldn’t understand why one day I’d feel great, and the next I’d feel terrible.”
Jessica is clear that Benergy is more than good food.
“We’re not simply a nutrition company,” Jessica added. “We’re all about educating people about food that will benefit people both physically and, most importantly, mentally, because that’s where good health really begins.
“Our products are all plant-based, gluten and dairy free, which is very unique as vegan is the world’s fastest growing food market in the world today.
“We don’t just want to cater for one dietary requirement, we want to combine them all.”
Benergy’s range includes protein balls, healthy doppelgangers of the favourite blondies, brownies and truffles, and new breakfast pots that have proved to be the biggest hit yet.
Jessica explained that the link between healthy eating and mental wellbeing is being backed up by science.
“Research undertaken by MIND in people suffering from depression showed that after they ate a banana they felt better,” she said.
“This is because bananas contain tryptophan: a type of protein that the body turns into serotonin, which makes you relax and generally feel happier through an elevated mood.”
Benergy currently offers customers a range of healthy high protein snacks, including coconut protein balls, raspberry chocolate balls, protein bites, and chocolate protein bites.
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