From personalized nutrition to microbiome and chronobiology - we discuss the latest scientific findings and trends in nutrition. During our Meetup in Hamburg we spoke about "The Power of Fasting". What do we know about fasting from a scientific perspective? And what drives start-up founder Annemarie Heyl to contribute to the future of fasting?
Eating nothing according to scientifically-proven methods has a positive impact on your health. Sounds weird, but switching our bodies metabolism to hunger metabolism makes us healthy. The reason for these effects are (among others) molecules called ketones which the body exclusively produces during times of not eating. There are three different types of intermittent fasting:
Alternate day fasting: eating one day and reducing calories every other day
5:2 fasting: eating 5 days per week, reducing calories for 2 days per week (500 kcal)
Daily time-restricted feeding: eating only 8 hours per day and not eating for 16 hours
Science has shown that incorporating one of these three types of fasting into our lives slows down aging, improves mental performance and stress resistance. In addition, fasting also has positive effects on obesity, cardiovascular diseases, asthma. The article "Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease" in the New England Journal of Medicine summarizes the latest research on this topic.
We believe that science, startups and change-makers have to come together to drive change in nutrition. We invited the startup Kale&Me to join the discussion: Annemarie Heyl, the founder, and Julie Wiemann, head of marketing, shared about the company, their products and how they envision the future of fasting.
Annemarie, tell us about what Kale&Me does?
Kale&Me produces cold-pressed vegetables and fruit juices such as fasting cures, vitamin-shots, celery-cures and vitamin-functional smoothies. We use high pressure processing, a technology that destroys bacteria while preserving all the vitamins. We manufacture all products in our own manufactory in the Hamburger Altes Land. Using regional ingredients is important to us: For example we use fresh sea buckthorn due to its high vitamin C levels.
Julie, who is your typical client and why are they choosing your products?
Our typical client is 75% female and between 25-35 years old. Our customers are very health-conscious, interested in nutrition and sports and fitness. For our products such as the vitamin-shots or the vitamin-smoothies, people drink them between the day because it is very difficult to get a touch on fresh products with natural vitamins while you are on the road.
Annemarie, you are the founder of the company. How did everything start?
Everything started at the end of 2014 in Cape Town where I met my co-founder Konstantin while studying abroad. During that time we exercised a lot and we cared a lot about our nutrition. We drank many fresh vegetable juices and one day we decided to do a fasting on juices. For me, this was an eye opening moment. It was so easy to handle the fasting with ready made juices. Before, I actually thought fasting is some kind of a diet. I felt amazing and we decided to bring this experience with us to Germany. This was the initial idea and this is the core of our business up to now. When we came back to Germany, we hired a nutrition scientist with whom we developed the first set of juices, concerning the ingredients and the perfect vitamin fit. By now, we just have way more knowledge about natural vitamins, the best ingredients and functional plant based food.
There are many apps to track fasting progress. What is your opinion: Will technology play a role in fasting in the future?
I am convinced that technology will play a major role in fasting in the future. Not only out of the reasons that people have less time, they need solutions that can be integrated in everyday life and are free of physical presence. Everybody reacts differently to different nutrients. Therefore, with technology and the underlying data of the individual body, custom fasting and its direct effects can be developed.Nevertheless, it is still the beginning of the possibilities there will be in the future.
I tend to hesitate to order online as I would like to avoid the shipment and also avoid packaging. What are your plans with regard to this?
We are shipping 95% of our products directly to our end customer and we rather avoid the distribution via supermarkets. Why? There is a huge price war and a clear price policy at the supermarket shelves. We do not want to reduce the quality of our products to meet the price expectations of retailers. But still, some retailers accept our quality focus and therefore our products can be found at some REWE, EDEKA and in all basic bio markets.
Concerning the packaging: We invested a lot of thought and money into a sustainable set-up of our packaging, shipping material and sipping system. By now, our bottles are made of 100% recycled PET, they are recyclable, the isolation is made of straw and we even offer free return of all package material to our customer (we reached 30% of return so far). All shipping material is reused and the bottles are brought to a recycling company to reuse the material in the food industry. With this, we invented and created our own deposit system under the name KaleCycling.
Your wish for a world in 2030: What has changed regarding fasting?
My wish is that everyone is aware of the importance of nutrition on our health. And that - based on the scientific evidence - fasting becomes part of the official nutrition recommendations. My wish is also that technology has evolved in a way that nutrition-body-data is safely tracked and is used to tailor nutrition individual needs - all this with the goal to live a long, healthy and fun life.
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This interview was done by Dr. Simone K. Frey with Annemarie Heyl, founder of Kale&me.