By Matt Makischuk
Throughout my childhood I despised eating my vegetables. If it didn’t taste like candy, I wanted nothing to do with it. Even through adolescence into adulthood it was tough getting those greens in with the musclebuilding meat and potatoes. I only ate them because I knew they were good for me, but have you ever asked yourself WHY they are good for you? Through my fitness and bodybuilding endeavors, I have discovered that veggies, greens in particular, are not only good for you, but are also a super human food beneficial in more ways than one.
First, they are chalk full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential micronutrients that purify our blood, internal organs, skin and hair, just to name a few.
Secondly, they increase the function of the digestive system. Think about that for a minute… The more optimal the function of the digestive system, the higher the rate of absorption of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). The more readily absorbed these are, the more the body will put to use, meaning more muscle will come in less time!
Third, they are filling and very low in calories! If the goal is to lose weight or tone up, the idea is to use more stored body fat for energy. The way to do that is by applying an increase in training frequency/intensity while at the same time lowering calories. Hunger is what tempts us to fall off the wagon, but having big portions of greens in your diet helps to curb those nasty cravings by keeping you fuller and more satisfied for longer, allowing you to stay on track!
Finally, they are FULL of fiber! Fiber is the number one substance lacking in most North American diets and eating your greens will get that number up! Fiber also acts like a giant broom for your colon, sweeping and pulling all of the junk out of your body.
Remember all of this the next time you frown upon eating your veggies. You could be missing out on some wicked gains without them!