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You are what you eat! (Looking green and leafy yet?)

Make sure that the majority of your carbs in a day are from

fruits and vegetables!

Make sure there is at least one serving of fruits or vegetables in every meal!

Grains, breads, and starchy fruits and vegetables should be saved for after workout meals. The majority of the carbs eaten throughout the day should be from nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.

Now that we are eating on a schedule that works best for each individual and we have integrated the complete protein into every meal, let us add this week’s challenge into the mix. This week says that the majority of your carbs throughout the day should be from nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, and save the starchy one for after a workout.

With protein we were worried about keeping a positive nitrogen balance to be able to rebuild many things within the body. This week we are focused on bringing the acid levels within the body down by eating nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Because of the processing of foods and the high protein lifestyle without the consumption of vegetables, the general population tends to have a diet higher in acid. What we are trying to do this week is to regulate the acid levels by eating nutrient dense fruits and vegetables.

Acid-forming compounds are going to come from fish, meat, dairy, artificial sweeteners, legumes, most whole grains and soft drinks.

Alkaline-forming foods are vegetables, fruits and green tea.**citrus fruits are acidic, but when consumed in the body they are actually alkaline-forming**

*Foods that are mainly fat or nuts and seeds tend to neutral in this scale.

The acid-forming foods tend to have higher sulfur-containing amino acids that are converted into sulfuric acid, whereas the alkaline-forming foods do not and need to be eaten to neutralize the acid-forming compounds.

What happens if my pH levels are not balanced?

There is nothing good about having an unbalanced pH level in the body and the negative health outcomes are as follows:

  • Decreased growth factors
  • Growth hormone resistance
  • Mild hypothyroidism
  • Higher levels of blood cortisol
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Enzymatic changes in cells
  • Altered regulation of metabolites and minerals
  • Decreased uptake and release of oxygen

Why eat fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are alkaline producing, which helps maintain acid level and helps preserve bone mass and muscle tissue. They are nutrient dense, which means they are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. Some also contain lots of water which helps the body stay hydrated.

Vegetables and fruits should make up the base of everyone’s nutritional pyramid because they are the major component to a high-quality, healthy diet.

What are Nutrient dense fruits and vegetables?

Nutrient density refers to the amount of micro nutrients a food contains. A wonderful display of nutrient density in many foods is seen in Dr. Joel Fuhrmans’ ANDI scoring system. This system takes the amount of micronutrients per calorie in the food and is able to rank them to display highly nutritious foods that should be eaten every day.  The top three foods with the highest amount of micronutrients per calorie are kale, Collard greens and Mustard greens all containing 1000+ micro nutrients per calorie.

Sample Nutrient/Calorie Density Scores

Kale 1000 Sunflower Seeds 64
Collard Greens 1000 Kidney Beans 64
Mustard Greens 1000 Green Peas 63
Watercress 1000 Cherries 55
Swiss Chard 895 Pineapple 54
Bok Choy 865 Apple 53
Spinach 707 Mango 53
Arugula 604 Peanut Butter 51
Romaine 510 Corn 45
Brussels Sprouts 490 Pistachio Nuts 37
Carrots 458 Oatmeal 36
Cabbage 434 Shrimp 36
Broccoli 340 Salmon 34
Cauliflower 315 Eggs 31
Bell Peppers 265 Milk, 1% 31
Asparagus 205 Walnuts 30
Mushrooms 238 Bananas 30
Tomato 186 Whole Wheat Bread 30
Strawberries 182 Almonds 28
Sweet Potato 181 Avocado 28
Zucchini 164 Brown Rice 28
Artichoke 145 White Potato 28
Blueberries 132 Low Fat Plain Yogurt 28
Iceburg Lettuce 127 Cashews 27
Grapes 119 Chicken Breast 24
Pomegranates 119 Ground Beef, 85% lean 21
Cantaloupe 118 Feta Cheese 20
Onions 109 White Bread 17
Flax Seeds 103 White Pasta 16
Orange 98 French Fries 12
Edamame 98 Cheddar Cheese 11
Cucumber 87 Apple Juice 11
Tofu 82 Olive Oil 10
Sesame Seeds 74 Vanilla Ice Cream 9
Lentils 72 Corn Chips 7
Peaches 65 Cola 1

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