Victoria Beckham loves using Bragg Liquid Aminos to flavour her food, but what is it? 7 nutritionists give their take on the ‘healthier soy sauce’
You won’t see a cupboard full of crisps and biscuits in the Beckham household. It’s healthy snacks after school for Victoria’s youngsters, which she shared on Instagram story this week. The photo showed mixed seeds such as pumpkin and a bottle of Bragg Liquid Aminos with the caption: ‘Seeds doused in organic Aminos! Grilled until crispy! After school snack! Good for mummy too!’
Always in the spotlight, the 43 year old former Spice Girl turned fashion designer is on top of her healthy living regime. Seemingly the mother of four, with David Beckham, is more than happy to share her secrets with her 17.2 million followers, whilst teaching her children Romeo, 15, Cruz, 12 and Harper, 6 the benefits.
Always on the hunt for the latest superfood trend, in 2014 she declared her love for bee pollen, saying ‘totally obsessed…. So good for u!!’ But aware of the critics, the gym fan later told The Mirror: ‘Twenty-two amino acids, 12 vitamins, 28 minerals. Please don’t write that I’m completely mad, we don’t want wrinkles!’ What Victoria wasn’t a fan of was veganism, saying a year of the diet left her with little energy for her busy lifestyle – instead, she takes ‘vitamins and the collagen pills’, to help her buzz around.
The trend-setter can leave fans a little baffled with her health interests. Whilst mothers seek easy ways to get their tykes to eat greens, Victoria is one step ahead with what may be mistaken for a bottle of acidic medicine and bird food.
What are Bragg Liquid Aminos?
Despite not looking glamorous, it’s the hidden treasure in health foodies’ pantries due to containing 16 amino acids (there are 20 in nature all together). It’s all rather scientific, but amino acids are what nutritionists call the building blocks of proteins. Our bodies can’t function without proteins and we have thousands of them, all of which are necessary for staying in good health. Amino acids also make up compounds, neurotransmitters, hormones and other substances in the body. It can be difficult for vegans to find the nine essential amino acids (which your body cannot manufacture on its own) without consuming animal products.
Made from soybeans and purified water, it is a gluten-free version of soy sauce, excellent for adding a salty or Asian taste. It doesn’t contain any chemicals, artificial colouring, alcohol or preservatives and is non-GMO. Phew!
What the nutritionists say
So maybe Bragg Liquid Aminos will be the next big ‘trend’ now that it has the celebrity approval, but what do the nutritionists say?
Rick Hay, a specialist in antiageing and weight loss: ‘Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and include things like glutamine for the nervous system and muscle recovery, lysine for the immune system, taurine for the brain and more. They literally help with every body system, as well as being good for the gut, hair, skin, digestion and nails. Bragg Liquid Aminos is a wonderful blend – I love it and have used it for years especially in stir-fries in place of soy sauce’.
Sandra Greenbank, nutritional therapist: Braggs Liquid Aminos tastes a bit like soy sauce and gives foods a rich umami taste (umami is ‘the 5th flavour’ – a meaty, savory taste). It’s great for use in cooking, especially if you are looking for a soy sauce replacement due to being unable to eat gluten or wheat. It contains essential amino which may be hard for vegans to get naturally from their diet, however it’s quite low in proteins so I wouldn’t rely on the sauce to cover your protein requirements. It’s also high in sodium which is something we don’t want to be getting too much of.
Lorna Driver-Davies, nutritional therapist: Amino acids are required for a healthy functioning detoxification system, brain function, healthy skin, hair and nails, female hormone support and more. They are potentially anti ageing as they are vital for repair in the body (inside and out) and minimising unwanted inflammation which can be ageing. Amino acids are great for mood and sleep – so important for anyone busy or experiencing stress.
Dale Pinnock, The Medicinal Chef: It really isn’t anything special to be honest. It’s just an alternative to soy sauce. It does have some favour with raw foodies as its cold processed I believe. It does have a bit more in terms of minerals and of course amino acids, but it’s nothing magical.
Alli Godbold, nutritional therapist: I use it a lot as it is made without wheat, salt, MSG [monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer] or preservatives – great for people avoiding gluten who still want that ‘soy sauce’ taste in their cooking.
May Simpkin, nutritional therapist: Many common cheaper soy sauce brands are loaded with table salt, flavour enhancers, preservatives and also gluten as part of a thickening agent. They may not even have been prepared from the original soy bean as the name suggests. Good quality’ more expensive soy sauce brands, like Braggs will be made only from soy beans and water and without any additional nasties. It’s a healthier and nutritious alternative seasoning sauce, containing the essential amino acids that must be obtained in a diet.
Kim Pearson, weight loss specialist: Though it states that it’s a source of plant protein, it only contains 0.5g per serving, so it won’t contribute significantly to your protein intake. There isn’t really much to say in terms of health benefits because you’re consuming such a small quantities. Bragg Liquid Aminos are fairly high in sodium so this is worth baring in mind for anyone who needs to moderate the amount of salt they consume.
How to use Bragg Liquid Amino
Whether you’re drawn in by its health profile or not, the taste is undoubtedly delicious. Editor Anna Magee swears by the liquid to spruce up her healthy cooking.
It’s popular as a dressing on salads, stirred into rice or beans, to marinate tofu, squirted onto meat, fish and veggies or some even suggest to drizzle on pop corn. With a naturally salty taste, it can be added to things such as gravies, sauces, casseroles and stir fries.
1 teaspoon has 320 mg of sodium, so if you are watching your intake, Bragg recommend using the 6oz. Bragg Liquid Aminos spray bottle and dilute it (2/3 Bragg Liquid Aminos to 1/3 distilled water) before using or spraying on food.