A brand of high-protein vegetable products for athletes and vegetarians. From mung and adzuki beans to millet and even fenugreek which raises testosterone levels
by Emanuela De Pinto
A young man from Umbria with a passion for fitness and a love of the earth has designed Fitowell, a brand which is both a philosophy of life and a successful business idea. This is the story of Alessandro Riganelli, born in 1983, with a diploma from the technical college and a farm inherited from his grandfather. At ninetenn, he began working in the fields and his passion for sports soon followed. Athletes have strict dietary rules, and to get the best results they to eat need a lot of protein. Above all, though, they need to eat healthily.
The Fitowell brand, from fito (Greek for plant) and wellness, produces seven eclectic legumes and cereals with a high protein content: fenugreek, millet, red lentils, adzuki and mung beans (never before grown in Umbria), buckwheat and spelt. But what is special about these cereals and legumes? Fenugreek, cultivated in India, contains steroidal saponins, trigonelline, flavonoids, proteins, lipids, B vitamins, iron, manganese, calcium and phosphorus. It naturally helps raise testosterone levels in men and has a draining effect on women’s water-retention levels.
The two types of beans also have many interesting qualities: mung beans are green in color while adzuki beans are red. Mung beans have a 35% protein content and are an excellent substitute for meat. So they aren’t just for athletes, but for vegetarians as well. Adzuki beans contain isoflavones, substances which boost our immune system and help our brain and bones. Not to mention the properties of millet, the most ancient cereal in human history, which contains sulfur amino acids like cysteine, which helps combat hair loss.
Alessandro uses integrated farming techniques to create healthy food from a healthy environment. “It’s a compromise between conventional and biological farming. The technical means and chemical fertilizers are reduced to necessity levels thanks to biannual crop rotation. "The legumes – he explains – fertilize the land naturally thanks to their nitrogen fixing agents”. Alessandro’s respect for the environment has even earned him a prize in Umbria: the Oscar Green Coldiretti.
Where can you find Fitowell products? There are four stores that carry them: Le Fornaci di Marsciano municipal pharmacy (also on their online shop); “La bottega del bio” and “Planet Body Fitness Club” in Ponte S. Giovanni; Vivaio Elaia in Via Tuderte 12 (PG); and Mercato Agricolo in Via Irlanda, Bastia Umbra (PG).