Filed under: Nutrition
I always have ideas and thoughts bouncing around my head, coming up with some of my best stuff on my 35 minute drive to CP. Unfortunately my mind is always going full tilt so that by the end of the drive I forget some of my self-described brilliance! I’m putting together some of my favorite random tips and thoughts from my drives.
1. Only Eat Foods that DO Something for You.
This is a great point made my Leigh Peele on a recent FitCast episode. (I listen to the FitCast to and from CP) For optimal health, do not eat foods that don’t do anything for you. A great example would be white bread. Some people make it out to be the worst thing ever created, which isn’t true, but nutritionally speaking it doesn’t really do anything for you. You would be much better served eating a sprouted grain product like Ezekiel bread. Ezekiel has no preservatives, is higher in fiber than normal bread, is a complete protein and has a minuscule impact on your blood sugar. This food is so much closer to its original state than white bread, and does a whole lot more for you, clearly making it the better option.
2. Simple Sugars are NOT Necessary Before, During, or After Training.
Unless you are an endurance athlete, our carbohydrate intake does not have to come from nutritionally empty sugars around training. People use the argument that it replenishes glycogen faster, which is only half true. Yes it is faster, but glycogen is replenished within 24hrs if normal carbohydrate consumption happens anyway. Unless you have twice per day training then it is irrelevant. I would much rather see people consume carbs that do something for them nutritionally besides glycogen resynthesis. If we use whole, minimally processeds foods and grains, like fruit and oatmeal, we not only replenish our glycogen, we provide our body with tons of vitamins, minerals, and increasingly important phytonutrients during a time of great stress. This isn’t to say that there is no application of simple sugars, but that for most of us, we are much better off using actual whole food sources. Our body composition and overall health will thank us.
3. If You Don’t Like Green Tea, Try Red Tea.
Red Tea, or rooibos, is an herb from Southern Africa that has been found to have an even higher antioxidant content than green, white, or black tea. While research is truly just beginning on this wonderful herb, it is already known to have a lot of health benefits. For those sensitive to caffeine, it is caffeine free. It is also calorie free. Rooibos has no oxalic acid, so people with kidney stones need not worry. It is also low in tannins, so it does not inhibit iron absorption. Though I would still urge you to find a way that you enjoy Green Tea consumption, if you really can’t manage it Red Tea is certainly the way to go. I drink a cup every night before bed.
4. Being a Teetotaler is NOT Necessarily Optimal.
A lot of people in this industry, or even just fitness enthusiasts seem to think that completely abstaining from alcohol is one of the ultimate health promoting choices they can make. I wouldn’t agree. Research has clearly shown that people who consume a drink or two a night are actually healthier than people who do not. While I am certainly not advocating that more is better, or that you need to have some alcohol every night. Consuming some small amounts several times per week will actually benefit you. Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol known to have tons of health benefits, including reducing lung cancer risk, especially in smokers, ala the French Paradox.
A recent study treated mice with three kinds of diets: high calorie, standard or calorie restricted. Each group of mice got their diet with or without resveratrol supplementation (creating six subgroups). Regardless of the diet, the mice given resveratrol supplementation for one year had significantly less symptoms of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cataracts, and decline in motor coordination. The resveratrol-treated mice also had liver and muscle tissues resembling much younger animals. So I tend to urge people to consume some red wine or dark beer on a semi-regular basis for optimal health. If you don’t want the calories or alcohol, they do make resveratrol supplements such as Rez-V by Biotest.
5. Eat Fruits & Veggies From ALL Colors.
A new trend in the nutrition world is to push only green veggies. That all veggies and fruits of other colors are not necessary. While it is true that leafy green veggies are tremendously good for you, and they do very well in clinical studies, they are not the only ones with benefit. Limiting yourself to just one color limits the amount and variety of nutrients and antioxidants that you are consuming. It makes no sense to me to only consume green. Sure maybe make that a point of emphasis, and consume more of them, but do not exclude the others. Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Yellow Peppers, Eggplant, Blueberries, Strawberries and more are all being missed out on in the green only diet. For optimal health, consume fruits and veggies from all colors of the rainbow and enjoy the health benefits you will reap.
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