Why You Need Your Vegetables
Why You Need Your Vegetables
Growing up we always hear from our parents to “eat your vegetables”….I always knew they were good for me. I didn’t really know why. And I bet my parents didn’t really know why. Yes, they have lots of vitamins and nutrients, but what good does that REALLY do for us?
After all my years of studying nutrition and being on the road, trying to maintain a healthy life style and stay strong and fit, I can honestly say that eating my vegetables is what put me over the top. Here is my list of the special powers of vegetables.
1. Raise testosterone/balance T & E- all members of the cruciferous family (broccoli, kale, brussell sprouts, cabbage, collard greens) contain certain phytonutrients and compounds that detoxify estrogens from our body. They also halt aromatization, which is the conversion of androgens (male sex hormones) into estrogens. Aromatization is not a good thing (men or women) and you must have a proper balance of T and E in your body. These super veggies are nature’s way of providing us with the helping hand we need.
2. Chlorophyll- Billy Madison didn’t know how silly he was being when he made fun of the teacher about this. Either way, chlorophyll is one natures cleansing tools. If you find that you get sick often or have that “icky” feeling like you need a shower but just took one, your body might need to flush out toxins. Chlorophyll is the way to go. You can find it in the dark leafy green veggies like kale, broccoli, collards, etc.
3. Diuretics- ever feeling really bloated? Eat dandelion root, cut it up and throw it in a salad, saute it in some coconut oil. Or even drink it as tea. Dandelion is loaded with Vitamin A which is very good for the immune system also. Rather than messing with some diuretic you get at CVS, pick up some dandelion.
4. Better Quality of Sleep– not only is falling asleep important, but the quality of your sleep is vital. Do you feel rested, strong, and ready to rock when you wake up? Start eating lots of veggies and I guarantee things will improve. Sleeping is actually a complex, biological process and there are lots of amazing things that happen (or should happen) while we sleep. There are different cycles and stages, and our major organs all perform different tasks at different hours of the night. Increasing your vegetable intake will provide your body with many missing nutrients and vitamins that will aid in all of this. I mentioned that when I started taking that green supplement my quality of sleep improved. It’s not just some miracle, it’s science baby!
5. Reduce inflammation- inflammation is what’s known as the silent killer. And vegetables are some of the most ANTI inflammatory substances in the world (next to fish oil which reigns supreme). By reducing inflammation, specifically for those who want to get ripped and lean, you improve recovery time, reduce cortisol, reduce stress, and allow for better delivery of glucose into our muscles.
6. Increase energy– vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, the list goes on. All of these amazing attributes to vegetables will increase our vitality and energy throughout the day. Pair that with a high protein, high fat, low carb diet, your on the road to rock n roll baby. Ask anyone who knows me, I often have too much energy.
7. Increased spirituality/in touch with nature– the closer we live to the earth, physically and emotionally, the better off we are. Mother nature has provided us with an endless connection and pathway to embracing her, and eating vegetables is one of the most powerful ways to connect with the universe and with nature. Whether or not you care about spirituality or the earth, just know that eating vegetables is a beautiful way to be “one with the universe”.
*Juicing, shakes, etc- I would advise getting a Nutribullet or a Vitamix. This is the easiest way to get extra vegetables into your diet without the tedious process of cooking, roasting, or boiling them. Not only does it create convenience, but it helps break down certain nutrients that sometimes our teeth and stomach acids can’t do very well. I like the nutribullet because it doesn’t get rid of the fiber, and it’s not that expensive. The Vitamix is higher powered and really breaks down EVERYTHING and makes it readily available for absorption. My friend Ryan says his Vitamix is the greatest thing he’s ever done for his health. And he’s ripped all year round. My advice when juicing or making vegetable shakes is this-
Get at least 3 different colors in there
Green, red, orange, blue/purple, yellow. All the different colors provide special and unique properties of their own. So you could do
Kale, carrots, blueberries.
Spinach, orange, and beets.