There are a few things in fitness and in life that seem to pop up all too often. One of the first things that come to mind is lower-back health. In everyday life, it can stop us in our tracks. From long days to sitting at a desk to hours upon hours of manual labor, the lumbar spine can start to feel not as resilient and at times, painful. In the gym and during various […]
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It is no secret that we all need to eat more vegetables and fruit. Eating plants, such as spinach, broccoli, blueberries and carrots are something that all dieticians, sports nutritionists and health advocates can agree on. They provide phytochemicals, vitamins, mineral and fiber that are critical to overall health.
But how can they help fat loss? Let’s take a look.
The vitamins & minerals in vegetables are exceptionally bioavailable (our bodies are DESIGNED to digest and utilize them…”it’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.”). Digestion plays a critical role in the fat loss and health game. Fruits and vegetables help improve digestion, and set the tone for fat loss enzymes to be released.
The phytochemicals in vegetables are powerful anti-oxidants. That means they inhibit the oxidation of other molecules. When oxidation occurs inside your body, free radicals are produced inside your cells. These can be very destructive to your body. If you have too much oxidative stress, your hormones suffer. Hormones play a critical role in the fat loss process. In short, eating lots of veggies and berries helps your body get rid of these nasty oxygen molecules that can inhibit fat loss and cause health issues.
Vegetables suppress cancer development, protect our cell’s DNA and stimulate enzymes that help our body fight disease. If you are unhealthy, your body has a much tougher time with fat loss. By eating high quality whole foods, you set yourself up for a prime environment to lose fat and feel great. If your body is healthy, it is most likely that the fat burning process will occur much easier.
Veggies and pH Levels
Veggies do an impressive job of balancing the body’s pH. Your body’s pH level means that you are acidic or alkaline. By having a lot of stress in your life, mental or physical (think cortisol hormone), you hinder your body’s ability to lose fat. You want your body to be as alkaline as possible. If you are acidic, you leach valuable minerals from the body. If you lack minerals, you will cause nasty things, such as bone loss, reduce muscle contractions and reduce your immune system. Get alkaline, so your body can feel at balance.
Veggies and berries have a strong and positive influence on our hormones – which means they help you get lean and strong. Cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli contain Indole-3 Carbinols, which help rid the body of estrogen and help balance your hormones. Raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid. This is an important phytochemical that has anti-estrogenic, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects that can also help reduce cortisol.
The last BIG benefit that veggies and berries have is that they provide a ton of nutrients with minimal calories. You can get away with eating an unlimited amount of non-starchy veggies when you are trying to lose fat. They help curb hunger and balance out your meals. You cannot eat an unlimited amount of berries, since they do contain more calories from sugar than veggies. But you can eat a good 6-10oz. without hindering fat loss. Veggies and berries are also high in fiber, which helps improve digestion and curb your appetitive.
Here are a couple examples of ways that you can get in some veggies and berries fast.
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 carrots
- 1 cucumber
- 1 beet
- 1 apple
Berry and Green Blast
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup rasberries
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup whole fat organic yogurt
- ice and water
There are many other ways you could make a veggie and berry drink so have fun with it and find what works for you. The goal is to find a daily boost that you can fit in each day.