This week, Ciaran Ruddock from FFS underlines the importance of inserting fruit and vegetables into your diet, and the benefits it can provide to how you feel.
Do you want to have more energy and feel awesome?
Of course, everyone does! Let’s talk about how eating colourful fruits and vegetables with most meals can help you feel awesome.
No matter who you are, what sport you play or what your goals are, this is a fundamental habit for looking, feeling and performing better.
Colourful fruits and vegetables are:
- Alkaline producing, which can help produce bone mass and muscle tissue.
- Rich in essential nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients. These essential nutrients help to improve immune function.
- Higher in water content compared to most foods. This makes them very useful for staying hydrated.
- Rich in water and fibre content and are low in calories relative to their volume. This combination makes them very useful for improving or maintaining body composition.
- A great source of pre-biotics that are essential for a healthy digestive system. These pre-biotics feed the good bacteria in our gut, which in turn helps us to digest and absorb our food better. Remember we aren’t what we eat, we are what we digest and absorb.
- Males aim to eat 2 fist-sized servings of vegetables per meal
- Females aim to eat 2 fist-sized servings of vegetables per meal
We’ve all heard ‘variety is the spice of life’, and that certainly holds true when we are talking about the best intake of fruits and vegetables.
All fruits and vegetables contain different ratios of essential nutrients. For example:
- Spinach is great source of iron
- Oranges are a great source of vitamin C
- Berries are loaded with antioxidants
- Onions are a great source of polyphenols
Every colourful fruit and vegetable brings something different to the table. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is like taking nature’s multi-vitamin on a daily basis.
If you are looking to lose body fat to improve the way you feel or your sports performance, eating colourful fruits and vegetables will help you achieve this.
One of the most effective strategies that I have used personally, and with the people I coach for fat loss, is adding an extra fist sized serving of vegetables to each meal. For example; if you currently eat two fist sized servings of vegetables with each meal, increasing this to three fist sized servings will help you to get leaner.
This works because vegetables are high in water, fibre and low in calories relative to their volume. This means they take up more stomach space without adding many calories to your intake. So, if you feel fuller you will eat less of the other food on your plate or you will not need to put as much of the other food on your plate.
If you want to get leaner for your sport or for yourself, give this simple and effective strategy a try.
In summary, if you want to improve the way you look, feel and perform eat colourful fruits and vegetables with most meals because they are:
- Packed with essential nutrients
- Improve digestive function
- A powerful tool in improving or maintaining body composition
So, as your mother told you, do not forget to eat your vegetables (and fruit).