You're at the grocery store. A typical thought on your grocery list if your goal is to get in shape might go something like...
– Protein (chicken, beef, fish, eggs) I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to eat protein. – Healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, nuts) Fat! Am I supposed to eat it or not? – Carbs (sweet potatoes, oats) Aren't carbs the new devil? – Supplements (protein powder, creatine, glutamine) Which if any supplements should I be getting? – Frozen pizza. I'm pretty sure I shouldn't get this, but sometimes I just need convenience. – Beer. C'mon, I gotta live a little.
You may have noticed one food group that’s conspicuously absent from the list: vegetables. (And, to a lesser extent, fruits.) You know that you’re supposed to be eating them, but, statistically, you’re more likely to double up on your pizza and beer beside the weekend calls for some letting loose. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only nine percent of Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables—that suggest that 9 out of 10 aren't getting enough!
Insight About Greens
You're planning on living a long and healthy life, right? Fruits and vegetables offer benefits that help your immune system rise up to fight illness, feel good, and see better results from your workouts. Even if you are making an effort to get your greens, chances are you’re still not getting enough, and you’re probably ignoring some of the most nutritious ones that can make a real difference to your health and performance. I count myself in this group at times.
Let's Discover the nutrition benefits, and ways to start getting more veggies in.
We Need More Fruits and Vegetables
There are three main reasons why both you and I should get in more green goodness. First, is the gargantuan amount of vitamins and minerals they contain, supporting health and performance. Another is fiber.
Fiber is the indigestible part of plants, and it comes in two forms—insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber bulks up your stool, helping to guard against diarrhea and constipation.
Meanwhile, soluble fiber soaks up water, promoting fullness, and potentially helping to control your appetite. Soluble fiber is also prebiotic, It serves as food for the awesome bacteria in your gut to eat. These good-guy bacteria are good for overall health.
Secondly, plant foods are chock full of phytonutrients, an umbrella term that covers antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other compounds you may have heard of that play important roles in maintaining overall health. They're responsible for giving plants their colors and are the reason nutritionists recommend eating as many different-colored fruits and vegetables as possible. The more colors you consume, the wider the variety of micro-nutrition you’ll have a chance of absorbing.
Eating your greens may also help to regulate the damage done by poor food choices, So, what we're saying is if you eat less than desirable food but include some fresh produce as a side dish, you may be able to offset some of the not so great food choices.
How Much Should We Eat?
Female adults who get 30 minutes of exercise or less per week should take in one and a half to two-cups fruit and two cups of vegetables daily. Males need two and three cups, respectively.
More active Sweat Nation Citizens should aim for more fruits and veggies. A good recommendation two or three cups fruit and up to five to six cups veggies (cooked and raw), regardless of activity level.
Now ask yourself, in a world of grab-and-go lattes and pre-packaged snack foods like frozen pizzas, when was the last time you got five or six cups of green foods, consistently?
10 Ways To Eat More Veggies
Now that we know we need to make a better effort to eat more greens, how to do it in the real world is a good idea to think about? Here are some ideas.
1. Blend them into smoothies. If you already regularly make protein smoothies with fruit and healthy fats (such as the popular banana and nut butter combo), add a cup of fresh or frozen spinach to the blender. You won’t taste the greens at all.
2. Sub greens for carbs. If you’re ready to try a lower-carb approach, you can easily replace grain-based foods with vegetables. Use lettuce wraps in place of bread for sandwiches. Make spaghetti squash in place of pasta (shredding it with a fork makes spaghetti-like noodles). Cauliflower is highly versatile and can be boiled down to make mashed cauliflower, or throw it in a food processor to form rice or pizza crusts. It contains only five grams of carbs per cup with a ton of fiber and nutrients that your body will thank you for.
3. Add them to stuff. If you’re making the sauce, add chopped carrots, cauliflower, spinach, or zucchini to the pot. They’ll cook down, blend in. Onions, bell peppers, and zucchini bake easily in a meatloaf.
4. Buy salsa. Peppers, onions, and tomatoes are in there already.
5. Make guacamole. It’s quick, it’s delicious, and is honestly one of the best snacks in the universe.
6. Make stuffed peppers. Already have some cooked meat? Halve and hollow out some bell peppers, stuff them with protein, and bake in the oven.
7. Have Meatless Mondays. Going one day per week without meat will see you automatically jack up your veggie consumption to compensate.
8. Make kale chips. No, they’re not quite like potato chips, but they don’t suck and give you that whole you can't pop just one feeling. Tear the leaves into small pieces, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and spices that you enjoy. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
9. Add butter. Butter (or coconut oil) adds healthy fats and a lot of flavor to any cooked vegetable. Since the combination of fat and fiber is satiating, you’re unlikely to overeat calories. BOOM!!!
10. Use a greens powder. When you're running low on time to spend in the kitchen, you can supplement with a greens product, which is typically a wide assortment of fruits and veggies that have simply been dried out and crushed into a powder.
Fruits and Vegetables To Eat To Kick Up Your Health Game
The following fruits and veggies are some of our favorites as they pack a lot of nutrition. You can hunt them down on your own in health food stores, but you may find it more convenient to use a supplement that includes them all in one place,
I use green vibrance.
Beets are good for you. Especially if you work out. Beets contain nitrates, compounds that help form nitric oxide (NO) in the body. NO is a vasodilator, meaning that it widens the blood vessels, making it easier for more nutrients to travel to the muscles during exercise.
Hailing from South America and looking like a hybrid of cherry and a grape. Despite its small size, camu camu offers the most concentrated dose of vitamin C on the planet—around 2,000mg per 100-gram serving. (Orange juice offers just 50mg for the same amount.) Furthermore, due perhaps to its store of other phytonutrients, camu camu’s impact on health might be even more potent.
Due to the tart flavor, most only get them in the occasional muffin, but there are compelling reasons to up your dosage. Cranberries are great for kidney detoxification.
Its main selling point is inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that serves as food for bifidobacteria, Good guy gut flora that supports the immune system. Inulin has also been shown to aid in weight loss.
A type of seaweed, kelp is common in the Japanese diet and a contributing factor in that country’s low rate of heart disease and early death. Kelp is particularly loaded with iodine, which the World Health Organization says promotes thyroid health. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism, affecting your ability to gain and lose weight.
Grown in Peru, lucuma looks like a cross between a mango and an avocado. It has a creamy flavor with a touch of sweetness, similar to a sweet potato. Lucuma is packed with vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene, iron, and zinc has as much calcium as a glass of milk and is often used a low-sugar sweetener (two tablespoons lucuma often subs for one tablespoon sugar in recipes).
Another berry from South America, maqui helps to regulate fluctuation in blood sugar and insulin responses.
Grown in the Mediterranean, milk thistle is an herb that contains the flavonoid silymarin. Silymarin extracted from milk thistle supports detoxifying pathways in the body and promotes healthy liver function.
Moringa is a one-stop-shop for a metric ton of vitamins and minerals. Moringa boasts 10x more vitamin A than carrots, 12x more vitamin C than oranges, 17x the calcium in milk, 15x the potassium in bananas, and 25x the iron in spinach. Unlike most plants, moringa even has complete protein, and lots of it—nine times what’s in yogurt. It's power-packed!
If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian barbecue restaurant, you may have noticed the papaya slices at the salad bar. They’re not just there for decoration. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which breaks down the protein in meats. In fact, papaya has been used as a meat tenderizer for centuries. Papaya supplement supported smooth digestion in subjects, helping to relieve bloating after meals.
This was one of the original (natural) food dyes, used by Peruvians in the Andes to color their foods and beverages. Its pretty shade comes from its anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that supports cellular integrity. While nutritionists typically recommend blueberries for their high anthocyanin content, but throw down some purple corn as well and increase your effect on promoting cell health.
A berry native to China and Russia, schizandra is classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps your body adapt to stress. Schizandra indeed does offer multiple benefits, ranging from promoting heat and cold tolerance to supporting detoxification pathways in the body, but it may also boost work capacity, which makes it especially helpful to athletes and exercisers. Active people might also use it to support recovery from exercise.
This one is easy. Eat more veggies! Take one of these veggies a week and incorporate it into your nutrition. Let's find out how what positive effects it has on your mind and body.
Track Of The Day - Fresh Vegetable - Tony Rebel