To be honest, when I first started my fitness journey, I just wanted to get 6-pack abs. If that meant reading the Beachbody Nutrition Guide cover to cover in order to lose my “love handles”, I was all in.
I had no idea at the time that my body was about to not only slim down, but undergo a drastic transformation from the inside out. A majority of this change would be due to my increased consumption of foods that were rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants play an important role in overall health. They are natural compounds found in some foods that help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. According to Claudia Fajardolira, the professor of food science and nutrition at California State University – Northridge, free radicals are substances that occur naturally in our bodies but attack the fats, proteins, and DNA in our cells. This can cause different types of diseases and accelerate the aging prices.
What are the Best Sources of Antioxidants?
The best antioxidant sources are fruits and vegetables, as well as products derived from plants. Some good choices include blueberries, rasberries, apples, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, eggplant, and legumes like red kidney beans or black beans. They are also found in green tea, black tea, red wine, and dark chocolate. Usually, the presence of color indicates there is a specific antioxidant in that food.
Expand your Clean Eating Pallet
The keyword here is variety. Try to get as many fruits and vegetables with different colors when you plan your meals and go to the grocery store. An array of color in your diet will give you the widest range of helpful antioxidants. Antioxidants added to foods are as effective as those that occur naturally. Vitamins such as C, A, and E can be added to foods – and they often are, such as orange juice.
The MyPlate tool based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. If you aim to do that at most meals you can be sure to get the antioxidants you need.
What if I don’t like Fruits and/or veggies?
A lot of people are not really big on fruits and veggies. I can totally understand, as I am not a big dairy person. So what do you do? Here are a few options:
1) Expand your Pallet
Visit your local whole foods store and get to know your Produce Manager. Tell him/her that you are not a big fruits/veggies person but are looking to try some new things. If you cant find the manager, download an application called Specialty Produce – It’s available on both the Apple and Android platforms. In addition to providing you with helpful recipes, this application provides you with helpful information about a ton of common as well as not so common fruits and veggies. If the first two options are not available, challenge yourself and pick up something that catches you eye. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to prepare it — that’s the beauty of the internet! Do a quick recipe search, and who knows, you might find something that you really like which is extremely healthy for you. If you prepare it and don’t like it, don’t sweat it, just keep searching and experimenting until you find something you like.
2) Take Supplements
I’ve been taking Shakeology for the past two years and it has definitely helped me stay free of illness, full of energy, and ensures that my body is getting the things that it needs to work in concert with my rigorous P90X/Insanity Fitness regimen. A majority of Shakeology’s sources of vegetables and fruits contain high concentrations of healthy natural ingredients which include phytonutrients, anthocyanins, polyphenols, phytonutrients, catechins, and flavonoids. Each of these substances have antioxidant properties which as aid in the prevention of a wide array of degenerative conditions. As a matter of fact, even though I love fruits and vegetables, I still take Shakeology for its many other helpful benefits, but we’ll reserve that topic for a later blog post.
Yours in Success,
Work with me. Leaders Only
P.S. If you’re FINALLY ready to get COMMIT to being the absolute BEST possible version of YOU, contact me and lets work together to help you achieve your dreams!
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In This Together,
Coach Eric Hollingsworth P90X, PiYo Certified Fitness Coach MotivatedFitness@me.com
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