Fresh Vegetables, the Orginal Super-Foods

fresh fruit

With all of the hype being given to certain individual foods for their health benefits, the idea of composing your diet of mainly lean meats and vegetables falls by the wayside as "uncommon" sense. The health benefits are immense in making this simple switch in your dietary habits.

Though the USDA food-guide pyramid places whole grains as the foundation of a healthy diet, a comparison of the nutrient profile of this source of carbohydrates to vegetables should make obvious the severe lack of micronutrients in a grain-based diet. By displacing healthier alternatives, over-consumption of grains depletes your intake of vitamins and minerals, creating the need for supplementation that might not be necessary otherwise.

 

Grains as a staple food-source have only been a part of human society for around 2% of our existence. Before this time our diet was composed of lean wild game, fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. This switch to agriculture around 10,000 years ago is marked by an alarming rise in the "Diseases of Civilization" which includes everything from cancer and heart-disease to acne and tooth-decay. At the same time that the life-expectancy began to rise, the quality of life declined rapidly, and there appears a huge decrease infant birth-weights and the eventual size and strength of bones and connective tissues.

By replacing grains and other low-nutrient carbohydrate sources with greater amounts of fruits and vegetables, you will be increasing your natural consumption of essential vitamins and minerals significantly. You will also be decreasing the glycemic-load of your diet which means more steady blood-sugar and insulin levels. This equates as more steady energy and less risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

As obvious as it sounds, eating more fruits and vegetables (like your grandmother used to tell you) is absolutely essential for a long and healthy life. For an athlete, the increased micronutrients and decreased glycemic load will result in a decrease in recovery time and a lowered risk of injuries.

 For all of these reasons, it should be obvious that you should make every effort to include more vegetables into every aspect of your daily nutrition. For more information about why and how to do this, check out the following links:

The World's Healthies Foods 

The Paleo Diet 

The Performance Menu 

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Written by Aaron Wilz   
Monday, 27 February 2006 11:21
Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2013 19:29