Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well! We are almost finished with our 7 day "Eat the Rainbow" challenge. :) Hooray! (Of course, this is something you should continue to do for..ev...er! Trust me, it's not as hard as it sounds.
So, why was Popeye's character known for eating spinach instead of iceberg lettuce or kiwis? As it turns out, the darker the greens, the more nutritionally beneficial they are for you! (Note: eating spinach alone won't help you bulk up (or get massive forearms with tiny biceps/triceps ;-), but it will help provide your body with powerful nutrients so that you can have the energy and good health to get to the gym
(Add more spinach to diet...hitting the gym hard these days to get ready for competition!). It should be noted that light green fruits and veggies are great for you too...they just come in second to dark green. :)
Here are some exciting facts about eating greens:
- As strange as it sounds, dark greens are full of calcium! Surprised? This is actually very exciting information since so many people now days are developing an intolerance to dairy products, which are more widely known for their calcium advantages. So - good news is: if dairy is out, then spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, collards, turnip greens, etc. are in!!! Hooray for choices! :)
- Green fruits and veggies, especially dark greens, are full of fiber, which as most of us know is important to the digestive tract. Fiber helps move things right along and without it, you'll end up in A LOT of pain. So, if you don't like to eat grains (most notable for providing fiber), then chomp down on some pears, kiwis, cucumbers, leeks, spinach, kale, broccoli, etc. :)
- As with all the other fruits and veggies, green fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants! Green apples, kale, cucumbers, zucchini, pickles, broccoli, and spinach, are specifically notable for being loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are very beneficial when it comes to preventing diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. within our bodies.
- Contain Vitamin A, which is required by the body to be able to break down nutrients. As calcium is a nutrient, you are really taking care of two problems at once by eating dark greens. Nothing like having your cake and eating it too!
Why is it that so many phrases have something to do with junk food?
- Contain Vitamin C, which (as stated yesterday) is extremely important for building up a strong immune system.
- They help you lose weight! Since fruits and veggies are typically low in calories (while still filling) you can eat a good amount of them (ex. 1 cup) and feel full without the unnecessary calories from bread, pasta, etc. that you may normally resort to for that full feeling.
I really cannot stress how important green fruits and vegetables are for your system! Think about all the benefits you are providing to your body by eating your fruits and veggies each day! Give yourself a pat on the back and keep up the good work!
Ever wanted to know how many fruits and veggies you, specifically, should be eating? Check out this calculator to find out!
Challenge for tomorrow:
Orange fruits and/or vegetables! (Eat at least one cup!)
Need help figuring out how many fruits or veggies make one cup? Click here to find out!
Comment requests: Which color of fruits/veggies is hardest for you to eat and why? Is it a flavor issue? A texture issue? Do you know how to cook them in all the different ways...steamed, sauteed, baked, roasted, microwaved, boiled, blanched, etc.?
*More information on green fruits and vegetables can be found and verified at: http://www.naturalnews.com/033208_leafy_greens_nutrition.html