Vegetables aren't necessarily what many people talk about when thinking about building muscle or burning fat, but they should! Yes, it goes without saying that getting enough protein, carbohydrates and fats is essential to building muscle and getting your ass in shape. However, vegetables play an extremely crucial role in dictating the way your physique looks and more specifically, the results you achieve. Here is why...
Like I've always said and will continue to say, you are what you digest. If you cannot absorb and assimilate the nutrients that you're eating, then there is no way at all that the food you're eating is going to give you the best results possible. The fibre and enzymes within vegetables are essential to a healthy gut, which contributes towards nutrition absorption. This is arguably even more important with a high protein diet, where it's potentially more acidic.
If you're not consuming enough vegetables then your fibre intake will almost certainly be too low, effecting your nutrient absorption and therefore your overall results.
The diet you keep can effect your blood sugar levels and with that your insulin response. It's always better to be as insulin sensitive as possible for both muscle growth and fat loss. Consuming more vegetables will help blunt the insulin response from your meals, which usually helps improve insulin sensitivity due to the added fibre.
It's also very important to realise that due to this effect, you're far less likely to suffer acute hunger because your blood sugar levels should remain more balanced. It's usually when they go up and down aggressively that you experience the negative effects.
Vegetables are one of the best sources of micronutrients and phytonutrients, which are essential for improved overall well-being and immune health. If you want to push yourself in the gym, recover and grow then you need to take good care of your immune system. If you don't, your body will always prioritise health over recovery which could therefore effect your overall ability to progress.
It's always a good idea to do everything you can to sustain optimal health anyway, after all this lifestyle is about being healthy. With that said I want you to consume 4-5 portions of fibrous vegetables per day, mostly green! I suggest you to try Udo’s Choice Beyond Greens, a blend of certified organic greens, which includes fermented grasses, green vegetables and the superfood algae & seaweeds of spirulina , dulse and chlorella. One scoop of Beyond Greens is equivalent to portions of organic vegetables.
Written by Neil Hill