Nutrition

5 Most Common Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies

Girl with VitaminDespite paying attention to your diet and eating a variety of food geared toward maximum performance, it’s still common for many people to have a mild vitamin or mineral deficiency. While most case aren’t serious, symptoms can still cause discomfort and require attention. Today we look at the 5 most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies and how to identify them. Check the list, then check yourself!

Symptoms

Vitamin B12 – symptoms include cracked or bleeding skin and gums, diarrhea or constipation, pale skin, and easy bruising.

Vitamin C – symptoms include a weak immune system (frequently sick), deterioration of teeth and gums, chronic joint pain, dry skin, and constant fatigue.

Iron- also known as anemia, iron deficiency symptoms include constant fatigue, loss of muscle mass, brittle nails, head aches, weakness, and dizziness.

Calcium – symptoms include cramps, insomnia, soft teeth and bones, constant joint pain, and an irregular heartbeat. 

Vitamin D - the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiencies tend to be more subtle but include pain in the bones, general weakness, and severe asthma.

Balanced Diet?

The simplest way to combat and prevent vitamin deficiencies is to eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in unprocessed foods. Make sure you check the GSP Rushfit Nutrition Guide for easy-to-follow lists of foods, though you won’t be surprised to find the classic super foods- brightly colored fruits, dark leafy greens- and dairy products make up the core sources of vitamins on the list. Vitamin D is also absorbed through the skin from one of the greatest sources in the world- the sun!

Supplements?

Multivitamin supplements can help round out your nutritional intake and bring your body up to speed, but long term use should rely on them only as supplements; best when used in conjunction with sound nutritional principles.

Chances are if you’ve noticed a few of the symptoms you may have a few others you haven’t noticed. This blog is only a guide to dealing with mild deficiencies, so if you are worried about symptoms or a condition be sure to visit a doctor and ask for a blood test to determine the level of vitamins and minerals in your blood. Otherwise, eat well, train hard, and live well. Sweaty when you are!

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

 

Share

How To Recover After a Hangover

Oh, my headWe’ve all been there. You train hard all week, juggle work and a busy schedule, only to let loose after “a few” drinks only to wake up the next morning feeling like there is an axe lodged in in your forehead. HELP!

Today we look at the top  areas to focus on and heal your body while you deal with a hangover.

Hydration:

If you’ve consumed any alcohol (never mind an unusually festive amount), there’s a very good chance that you’re dehydrated. Even if you haven’t, one of the first things to do any morning is drink a glass of water to balance your body’s demands after a long night of sleep. Then drink a couple more because you’re going to need them.

 

Electrolytes:

These ions and minerals that facilitate a lot of body functions (such as all muscle contraction) are flushed from the body via sweat or the urinary tract. Any time you are low on body fluids, there is a good chance you are low on electrolytes as well.

Since you can’t absorb them as quickly as you use them during exercise, make sure to consume your electrolytes as soon as you wake up, or even better, before you go to bed at night. Looking for a great natural source of electrolytes and carbs? Try coconut water. Eggs, bananas, and fruit juice are also great sources.

 

Food:

Many people swear that a breakfast of greasy food helps dampen the damage caused by hangovers. While there is no scientific conclusion, it’s possible the comforting feeling can help. What we can absolutely conclude is that a balanced meal before a drinking binge will slow down the metabolism and absorption of alcohol into your body.

Sure, the damage will still be done, but it will be slower and spread out. That said, if you drink far too much anyway, all that food could end up reappearing on your shirt, shoes, friend, car… You get the point. Don’t forget you’re most likely feeling hunger, so an empty stomach isn’t going to do you any favors when you’re already cranky.

 

Sleep:

Alcohol effects sleep in two different and opposite directions. While it will cause you to fall asleep faster, your body will suffer significantly reduced REM sleep, the deepest sleep stage in which most dreams occur and during which memories are likely stored and learning occurs. You’re also more likely to wake up several times at night, and probably face a higher risk of oversleeping your alarm.

 

Hangovers are generally a combination of several unfriendly factors; dehydration, low blood sugar, lack of sleep, and of course… Too much alcohol. Light to moderate consumption is always best and combined with simple attention to your basic needs of water, electrolytes, and food (calories), you can seriously prevent a hangover, or at least take the edge off when you wake up with one. Then get over it and pound out your next round of GSP RUSHFIT!

 

-Team RUSHFIT

 

www.gsprushfit.com

 

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

 

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

 

Share

Empty Calories & How to Avoid Them

 

Image Source: qualitystockphotos.com

Image Source: qualitystockphotos.com

You’ve probably heard the term “empty calories” more recently as people (especially athletes and the health-conscious crowd) become more selective about what they put into their bodies, both for general health and elite physical performance. At this point the main questions that arise would be; What are they? Are they as bad as advertised? And how can I avoid them?

What Are Empty Calories?

Empty calories are those that come from solid fats and refined sugars. They are considered empty because other than providing heavy calories to your body they contain very little to no nutrients.

By loading up on energy-dense food, you might get the calories required for workouts and recovery but none of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly on many, many levels.

That means you’d need a heavy supplement schedule to make up the difference, or eat second plate at every meal so you get the nutrients you’re missing. Does either sound appealing to you? At best you’ll get moderate weight gain in the long term, more likely you’ll face considerable weight-gain and nutrient deficiencies.

How Can I Avoid Them?

Avoiding empty calories is usually fairly simple as most sources of them have a better alternative.

  • natural fruit juice or even plain water over sugared soda or sports drinks
  • lean or trimmed meats to avoid excessive fat
  • plain cereals over sugared varieties
  • plain or lightly salted popcorn over a heavy butter and salt
  • grilled chicken instead of deep fried
  • skim or fat-free dairy compared to whole milk

You get the picture.

In other words, avoid junk food as much as possible. Empty calories aren’t a new discovery, just a simpler way of understanding how the bad foods you consume deny your body the basics it needs to perform at it’s highest levels. Which only requires you to pay more attention and eat stricter when the time comes to fix your diet and boost your output. Work smarter, not harder, and reap the benefits of a good diet over and over and over.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

 

Share

NUTRITION FACT: Top Benefits of FLAX

iStock_000016191464SmallMany new health foods and health products make big claims, often in the form of a berry from parts of the world you’ve never been to, and mysteriously fade from public view within a short few years, only to be replaced by a new superfood you hadn’t ever had before.

Today we’re not presenting you anything new. In fact, we’re not even discussing something wildly exotic that’s going to revolutionize your life overnight (maybe in 8 weeks though). Instead, we’re breaking down at a FLAX, a well-known food in nutrition and training circles that doesn’t get much publicity but is loaded with benefits and widely available. Flex your mental muscles for a few minutes and find out how flax will improve your nutrition to maximize your results.

WHAT IS IT?

Flax comes from the flax seed, known for it’s rich oil content and harvested for human consumption for a long, long time. How long? Well, in the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. Was he crazy, or was this King hundreds of years ahead of nutritional thinking?

1) OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS

For a detailed explanation on why Omega Fatty Acids are so crucial to your health, read our post HERE. To be blunt, they are a healthy form of fat that combines with others to lower bad cholesterol and prevent arthritis. To understand why flax is such a great source of Omega 3, know that one tablespoon (10 grams) of flax seed contains almost 2.3 grams of Omega 3.

2) FIBER

Most of us know the benefits of fiber. It keeps your digestive system running at a more efficient (cleaner) rate and helps prevent other conditions like heart disease. Flax is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, the first aiding digestion and the second aiding in passing food out of the body. In just one tablespoon, you get 3 grams of fiber.

3) ANTIOXIDANT SUPPLY

Flax has a high concentration of the antioxidants called lignans, which have proven cancer-preventing properties, and have been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer in women. Antioxidants already protect and repair your cells from free radical damage, and also support your immune system. A more detailed explanation of antioxidant benefits can be found in our post HERE. 

4) EDIBLE & AVAILABLE

In many cases of grains or seeds, they can be challenging to incorporate into your diet without completing assaulting your taste buds or forcing you to give up the foods you actually like to eat. Thanks to it’s mild flavor, flax comes as a whole seed, ground, or as an oil. Not only that, there are many recipes on available for free that explain how to use flax in recipes for everything from bread, muffins, cereals, to salad dressing, protein shakes, pudding, and fruit bars.

With that kind of versatility, if you can’t find flax products in some of your favorite products at the local grocery story, purchase the raw form and work it into your diet. You might not notice the flavor, but you’ll notice the results.

CONCLUSION 

So… Now that we’ve looked at the benefit of flax for the training diet, you can understand that if it’s good enough for a King, good enough for GSP Rushfit. This little nutritional powerhouse is packed with vital benefits in one convenient food source, and easily found in many healthy foods and food recipes. Is it the fad of the week? Hardly. Sometimes the best foods are the ones that have been there for us all along, and much sooner than that.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

 

Share

Top 5 Ways Water Helps You Lose MORE Weight

dreamstime_s_81118381-300x300-1As most people know, well over half your body weight is water, in the neighborhood of 57-66%. We’ve talked endlessly how proper hydration can increase performance, mental function, and overall health, so really there is nothing left to say, right?

WRONG! Today we look at some of the lesser known secrets about dihydrogen oxide (H2O), with the Top 5 Ways Water Helps You Lose Weight, so read up, drink up, and cut down on that excess body fat! 

1. FILLS YOU UP

As hunger and thirst are both regulated by the part of your brain known as the hypothalmus, quite often the sensation of hunger and thirst are confused. An easy way to keep from overeating is to drink half a tall glass of water half an hour before each meal, so that your brain feels the effect. Another glass halfway through a meal will make this strategy even more effective, especially for anyone on a diet emphasizing smaller meals more often.

2. ASSISTS FIBER

Fiber is necessary for a healthy weight loss plan, and among other functions helps clean out your digestive system so that waste keeps moving. In other words, if you are dehydrated, excreting solid waste becomes harder and leads to constipation. Not only does this cause a backup, it also makes it very uncomfortable to train at any level.

Drinking water flushes out toxins and keeps your digestive system flowing. In this instance, you’ll know when you’re not getting enough.

3. INCREASES METABOLISM

When your body is dehydrated, your organs cannot function properly, so your body will slow down to preserve energy. Quite often when you feel drowsy or lethargic, dehydration may be a factor.

Another way to increase your metabolism is to have a glass of cold water in the morning. Your body’s metabolism will kick start to warm it up to body temperature so it’s kinder to your system, thus jump starting the calorie burning process. While this isn’t a technique to burn thousands of calories a day, it is a useful method to boost your system first thing in the morning while ensuring your vital organs have the necessary fluid levels to go to work.

4. REPLACES CALORIES

It’s no secret that soaring obesity rates in some countries are contributing to strains on health care systems, not to mention the damaging effect on personal health levels. In the United States, it is estimated that adults consume approximately 400-500 calories per day from beverages other than water (coffee, soda, energy drinks, etc.) If you remember that a pound of body fat is 3500 calories, that means some people could stop themselves from gaining a pound of body fat per week if they switched their other drinks for water. Because pure water is 100% calorie free. Sometimes, it really is just that simple.

5. FLUSHES SODIUM

People who consume a diet high in salt retain more water in their cells and blood to dilute the sodium to comfortable levels for your system to process and excrete properly. If you’re constantly eating foods high in fat, you’re risking several long-term health conditions and in the short term forcing your body to retain more water, not to mention probably feeling bloated. Reduce your salt intake and double your water intake for seven days to flush as much sodium our of your body. Weigh yourself on the first and seventh day and see if it makes a difference. We’re willing to bet it will. Again, not a method to take off pound after pound of body fat week after week, but if it leaves you looking lighter, feeling leaner, and reduces your risk of high blood pressure in the long run, it’s doing your body good.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

LIke us on Facebook www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

 

Share

Vitamin C: 5 Benefits You DON’T Know

Vitamin CNow that we are in the full swing of autumn/winter and the weather steadily cools off, it’s that time of year when the common cold and flu start making the rounds and affecting millions of people on daily basis.

With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a strong immune system because the best way to prevent illness is from the inside out with a strong, healthy body.

Vitamin C, (also known as ascorbic acid), is well-known for immune boosting properties. Today we take a closer look at the benefits of Vitamin C, and how important it is to a strict training regiment and overall health.

 

1. BREATHE EASY

Remember those many times when you’ve hunched over during a workout, determined to continue but unable to gather enough breath to carry on? Vitamin C can help. Recent studies have shown that it reduces the effects of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (aka exercise-induced asthma) by up to 48%! That means EASIER BREATHING when you need it most! Now for a healthy person with no history of breathing issues outside of exercise, this will not give you extra lung power or dramatically increase your oxygen capacity. However for those of you with a history of asthma or other breathing concerns, you maybe able to drastically reduce the effects during exercise.

2. SMOOTHER SKIN

Vitamin C is essential to the production of collagen, a protein used to form new skin cells and blood vessels. This allows your skin (only the largest organ in your body) to maintain a healthy physical barrier from germs and viruses. It also leads to the formation of scar tissue in the healing process, and further more repairs the tendons and ligaments that connect your joints and muscles. In other words, vitamin C keeps your skin smooth and prevents wrinkles and lines that occur naturally in the aging process so you keep that healthy glow and look good while you feel good.

3. HYPERTENSION

Anyone who suffers from hypertension (also knowns as high blood pressure), which affects 1 in 3 American adults, should know that a median daily dose of vitamin C can lower blood pressure by several points. If you have chronic stress, diabetes, weight control, family history or any other condition linked to hypertension it would be a good idea to speak with your family doctor about how your diet and vitamin C can help.

4. EYESIGHT

A higher intake of vitamin C has shown to fight cataracts by increasing the blood flow to the eye, thus keeping your lens clean and healthy. This effect is related to vitamin C’s antioxidant properties and should be taken into consideration by senior citizens as more than 25 million people worldwide over the age of 55 suffer from age-related cataracts and vision difficulties.

5.BURN MORE FAT

According to studies, people with healthy levels of vitamin C in their body burn 25-30% MORE FAT during the same exercise session as people with vitamin C deficiencies. Part of this is due to the reason that vitamin C helps synthesize the amino acid L-Carnitine, which helps metabolize fat into fuel, the rest is related to the compound effect it can have on blood vessels, breathing, illness, and overall health in general.

CONCLUSION

As you can tell from our post vitamin C is essential to many functions within the body that directly and indirectly contribute to overall health and performance. Its immune boosting capability is well known but now we also understand why it’s crucial to athletes, fat burn, weight loss, and elite body conditioning. If you’re looking for a convenient list of sources of vitamin C, check out our links below for several groupings of super foods you’re probably not getting enough of.

VITAMIN C LINKS

Vitamin C & Antioxidants

Vitamin C in Super Foods

Vitamin C in Hydrating Foods

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

Like us on facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

Share

DIETARY FAT Part II: Saturated vs Unsaturated Fat

raw meatIn our post DIETARY FAT PART I we looked at the benefits of fat, and why it’s important to include in your diet to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Today, without getting too deep into scientific explanations about hydrogen bonds, we’ll look at the difference between the two main kinds of fat, the sources, and what affect they have on your body.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are those which are solids at room temperature and usually come from animal sources. Because of their dense nature these fats are the ones known as artery-clogging and cholesterol-raising, and for the most part you want to minimize your intake of these fats.

  • Solids at room temperature
  • Come from animal sources (meat and dairy products)
  • Increase levels of bad cholesterol
  • Increase risk of Type II diabetes
  • Sources include: Red meat, pork, whole dairy products

Included in the definition of saturated fats is trans fat. Trans fat is a naturally occurring fat in animal sources that is also produced and added during the processing of foods to make them easier to cook with and give them a longer shelf life. BOTH the natural and synthetic form of trans fat come with harmful effects like saturated fat and should be treated as the same when it comes to making diet choices.

Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature and have many beneficial properties. Compared to the saturated fats, unsaturated fats are counteractive and can lower cholesterol levels and stabilize insulin levels in the blood, among other effects. While you still want to moderate your overall intake

  • Liquids at room temperature (oils)
  • Come from plant sources and fatty fish
  • Lower levels of bad cholesterol
  • Increase risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Sources include:Vegetable oils (including sunflower and canola), avocado, flaxseed, walnuts, fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel)

Included in the definition of healthy unsaturated fats are omega fatty acids (OFAs), a group of vital oils with so many benefits that we wrote a separate post you need to check out here. What’s important to note is that your body cannot produce OFAs on its own and therefore you must get an adequate intake through your diet. These OFAs are mostly found in fatty fish sources (see above or the article here) for more information on benefits of omega fatty acids.

Conclusion

As you can tell from the information above there are plenty of unsaturated fat (mostly from natural sources) that come loaded with extra benefits to help you cut down on your intake of saturated fats as much as possible. That being said it’s important to remember that all fats have a high calories (9 calories per gram) so you do want to keep an eye on your overall consumption. A healthy body functioning as a high performance unit during an 8 Week Training Camp needs all the nutrients it can get, so make sure you’re meeting your minimum requirements to keep your body running well and your performance high.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

Share

Top 5 Brain Boosting Foods

brainboost

We’ve covered many different food groups on this blog and described the many different ways they improve your physical capabilities and boost your overall performance. One group of foods we haven’t discussed? Natural foods that are proven to boost your brain power.

Starting today, it’s time to flex your mental muscles and absorb the Top 5 Brain Foods that boost memory and improve focus.

 

 

1) WILD SALMON

Wild salmon is a great source of omega fatty acids, those good fats that are vital to proper brain function and the transmission of signals throughout your entire nervous system. Probably because your brain is made of more than 60% fat! Most oily fish have some of the benefits, but salmon tends to be richer than others and is also a great source of protein, not to mention being readily available. If you want to know more about the effect of Omega Fatty Acids and their benefits for the entire body read our post here.

2) BLUEBERRIES

These simple, tasty berries are known for being rich in antioxidants and aid in the harmful effects of stress on the brain. This includes preventing the onset and reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the long-term, and in the short-term improve learning ability and motor skills such as coordination. For anyone going through a HIIT program, motor skills such as hand-eye coordination and balance are just some of the areas you’re looking to improve on, so a regular serving of blueberries several times a week is a must.

3) BROCCOLI

Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin K, proven to improve cognitive function and memory, and considered a superfood in general. It’s also high in fiber, for a healthy digestive system, and one of the most hydrating foods. In other words, there isn’t a single reason on earth why you shouldn’t eat more broccoli, and if you are already eating it, try some more.

4) SPINACH

Another well known dark green vegetable, spinach has long been advertised for its iron content and the benefits on building muscles. What’s not as well publicized is the high in magnesium and potassium content, which improve increase memory function and learning capacity, and also folate, another nutrient that prevents and reduces the effects of Alzheimer’s.

5) DARK CHOCOLATE

This is one superfood you want to consume in moderation as it often comes processed with sugar and fat. When we use the term dark chocolate we are referring to varieties with 75% cocoa or more to get the benefits, which are undeniable. Rich in antioxidants, with minimal levels of caffeine, dark chocolate is proven to improve focus, concentration, and boost the natural production of endorphins, those mood boosting natural hormones that flood your body and give you a post-workout high. So next time you’re struggling with mental sharpness, indulge in a few squares (we said just a FEW squares), and feel better about it. Growing smarter has never been so tasty.

CONCLUSION

As you can tell from the list above most (if not all) of the brain foods are easily available at most grocery stores in organic varieties, so if you’re not eating any or enough of them, the solution is simple.

If you find your focus wandering during the day or in the midst of a workout, make it a point up your intake over the course of several weeks and see the difference for yourself. We’ve always maintained that you only get out of a HIIT training program what you put into it, and you’ve followed those directions by shredding your body with the highest intensity for maximum results… There comes a point where it’s time to start working smarter instead of working harder. That time is now!

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gspushfit

Share

Amazing Benefits of Calcium

Woman drinking milkAn athlete’s body requires a series of systems to function in synch or it won’t perform at its best. In fact it might even breakdown if some of its system’s are out of balance. In order for all the body parts to function properly, they need to be fed the right nutrients consistently to grow healthy and thus create a healthy body and high performance machine.

One of the most essential nutrients required in the diet of anyone training seriously is the mineral Calcium. Today we’ll look at what it does, where it comes from, and what you’re risking if you don’t eat a balanced diet to optimize your training regiment.

FUNCTIONS & DEFICIENCIES

  • BONES - Probably the best known function of calcium is that it is the building block of bones (along with Vitamin D and a few other essentials). Studies have shown that athletes low in calcium are more likely to suffer stress fractures, and don’t forget this also includes healthy teeth for any aspiring fighters who may have to replace a few on the road to glory.
  • MUSCLES - Calcium reacts inside muscle fibers to contract them when you’re trying to finish those crucial last reps. In fact, calcium inside your muscle fibers is so crucial, if your bones will release some of their calcium to compensate. This is an extreme example that can easily be prevented with a rich balanced diet, but its an example (if not warning) as to how critical it is to your entire body. Oh, it also helps maintain a regular heartbeat since your heart is a muscle too.
  • NERVOUS SYSTEM - Don’t think too hard about this one because you won’t feel it but calcium helps transmit signals inside the brain. Enough said. If we need to explain what happens when signals inside your brain don’t transmit properly, nothing we say will help at this point. Just get more calcium, alright?
  • BLOOD - When you cut or scratch your skin and it bleeds, calcium works as a binding agent to create clots in your blood. Otherwise you’d bleed a lot more, and there isn’t anything good that’ll come from that.
  • OSTEOPOROSIS - Osteoporosis is a condition where the low levels of calcium in your bones cause them to soften, which can lead to poor posture, back pain, and a higher risk factor or fractures. Older people should talk to their doctor about calcium supplements, and avoid alcohol and smoking as both activities inhibit bone formation. Another reason to listen to good advice and common sense.

SOURCES
Since calcium is naturally occurring and we always encourage you to eat a balanced diet packed with natural sources of essential vitamins and minerals, its worth mentioning there are plenty of great calcium sources available at your local source.

  • Milk - MIlk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium. A cup of milk contains 315 mg of calciums, 50 g of cheese contains 350 mg. If you’re worried about calories, choose a skim option.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables - Kale, broccoli, and other types of cruciferous vegetables are great plant sources of calcium for a high-functioning diet and vegetarians. They are also packed with other complimentary and vital minerals and vitamins so you should be shoveling them into your mouth daily anyway.

CONCLUSION

Calcium is a well-known mineral and its benefits on bones is highly publicized. It doesn’t take long to realize how crucial it is in many different functions of the body, and the reasons to maintain a healthy and regular intake of calcium from natural sources keep adding up the longer you look at the information available. In order to crush your training goals and maintain a healthy body, do yourself a favor and fill your fridge with the foods you need for the benefits you must have. Your short and long term health will benefit greatly, and you’ll feel better while performing great. Ready? Sweaty when you are!

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gpsrushfit.com

www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

Share

Super Food Breakdown: Cruciferous Vegetables

broccoli-02When it comes to vegetables most people (hopefully all) know that more are better, but for anyone performing high intensity exercises and a tough 8 Week Training Camp like GSP RUSHFIT, the need for proper nutrition cannot be overstated. Your diet is responsible for at least 50% of your results and while vegetables won’t build muscle tissue, they’ll provide the nutrients that allow other systems in your body to function properly and support your overall health and well-being.

As for which vegetables to eat, and why, today we’ll look at a group called Cruciferous vegetables, knowns for cancer-fighting properties, high vitamin contents, and providing fiber. You’re probably already eating some of these, and some of the others may perk your interest, so find out what you’re getting from these veggies and why more is never a bad idea.

WHO ARE THEY

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Turnips
  • Horseradish
  • Radishes
  • Collard Greens
  • Wasabi
  • Watercress

 

1. Lower Cancer Risks

This first benefit is pretty straightforward: 70% of studies done on cruciferous vegetables found they reduce the risk of cancer, with some showing the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in tumors linked to breast, colon, liver, cervix, and prostate cancer.

Part if this is the beneficial properties in cruciferous vegetables detoxify your body, another is they reduce the inflammation caused by free radicals. In fact cruciferous vegetables have been shown to be 100 times more effective in reducing the effect of free radicals than a simple multi-vitamin!

2. Rich in Vitamins and Fiber

Yeah, we all know that vegetables are a great source of vitamins, but like their leafy green relatives, cruciferous vegetables are particularly potent.

In just ONE CUP, with a lowly 44 calories, broccoli has 165% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C, 33% of the DV for Vitamin A, and 5 grams of fiber for the average person. Now think of a high performance athlete and their increased needs for nutrition and what that can do for them.

Bean Sprouts, though small and largely an after thought in the vegetable family, have 129% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C, 23% of DV of Folic Acid, and 21% of Vitamin B6. Remember Omega 3 essential fatty acids? Bean sprouts pack a whopping 260 mg in ONE CUP.

Kale, a superfood we’ve talked about before, is a member of the cruciferous family and for a good reason; it has 137% of your Daily Value of Vitamin A, 71% of Vitamin C, and just 36 calories in ONE CUP!

Even better? Half the fiber in cruciferous vegetables is soluble fiber, the most functional kind your body can use.

3. Best Eaten Raw

Cooked vegetables are a major taste turn-off for a lot of peoples, and aside from leaching valuable water soluble vitamins like C and B by boiling them, changing the flavor profile can have unpleasant effects.

While this is largely a personal preference, if you do want your cruciferous vegetables heated or softened, try steaming them to preserve the nutritional content. For everyone else, the easiest way to maximize the benefits of these power foods is to wash them and eat them raw in a salad or cut up with a low fat dressing, or as a topping on sandwiches. Really it matters not how you consume cruciferous vegetables, just make sure you do eat them, and eat them in large quantities.

-Team RUSHFIT

www.gsprushfit.com

www.facebook.com/gsprushfit

Follow us on Twitter @gsprushfit

Share
Next Page »