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
|Collard Greens||1000||Kidney Beans||64|
|Mustard Greens||1000||Green Peas||63|
|Brussels Sprouts||490||Pistachio Nuts||37|
|Bell Peppers||265||Milk, 1%||31|
|Tomato||186||Whole Wheat Bread||30|
|Blueberries||132||Low Fat Plain Yogurt||28|
|Pomegranates||119||Ground Beef, 85% lean||21|
|Flax Seeds||103||White Pasta||16|
|Sesame Seeds||74||Vanilla Ice Cream||9|