The Importance Of Natural Foods for Bodybuilding

This is something that I try to do different articles on and to help educate as many people as possible. Unfortunately, some people just don’t get it. They think eating a burger or downing a protein shake 6 times a day is proper nutrition.

There is a massive difference in eating a nice big rump steak and a protein shake. There are so many more health benefits. Now this isn’t to say protein shakes don’t have their place– of course they do! However, the bulk of your diet MUST be real foods dense in nutrients.

A diet filled with chicken, beef, fatty fish and of course green vegetables will always get you far in life whether you are losing fat and or building muscle mass.

Some will say I am a big supplement user, which is true, I guess, but the thing is, I never USED supplements at all until my nutrition was SPOT on,

Supplements are exactly that–A SUPPLEMENT to the diet. You are supplementing what you can’t get enough of in your diet, hence the name “supplements.” Now you are probably thinking to yourself “I know this, why is he even mentioning it?” Because 95% of you who haven’t hit your goals use the supplements as your diet, rather than supplementing as well, in which of course sets you up for destruction.

In fact, do some research. Do a quick google search and you will soon find out that supplements don’t work unless you have an accurate nutritional diet. Supplements can greatly help you in your quest to get big very fast or cut but they will do nothing without a healthy diet. Let’s discuss this further.

Most bodybuilders know that building an awesome body involves accurate nutritional supplementation. However, as cutting edge as supplements have become, they are nothing in comparison to the Nutritious benefits of whole foods.

Hell you can use the best steroids in the world but if your diet sucks you won’t get big, and that is a FACT.

Many bodybuilders are not aware of the importance of consuming a variety of nutritious whole foods in their diet. Bodybuilders tend to eat a limited variety of foods; their choices revolve around chicken breasts, white rice and a little salad. If you are one of these athletes, then you maybe limiting your own progress!. After all if you were as big as you wanted to be you wouldn’t be reading this article now would you? Ever tried a high fat diet to build mass? Ever tried carb cycling? You see my point.

The truth is that scientists are only just starting to uncover a group of powerful, yet little known compounds that occur naturally in whole foods. Some bodybuilders think if they get all the nutrients from multivitamins and supplements that they are healthy. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong, really. Some powerful nutrients essential for your health can only be found in whole foods.

Keep this in mind; the higher the nutritional quality of your whole foods that you eat, the greater the results you will obtain from your supplements, and the results you achieve from exercise training depend on the quality of your health. Great health is not achieved from eating one group of foods; it is derived from a good choice of foods that contain these nutrients that supplements cannot contain. If you include these nutrients in your diet the greater your health the greater your health the greater your results from your supplements and from training. I will outline the nutrients that I have researched that you should include in your diet to obtain great results from training.

Specific Phytochemicals

Flavonoids

Flavonoids (or catechins) are important members of a phytochemical family called polyphenols. Certain ones, such as quercetin and catechin (found in onions, wine, and tea), are more active than others and each has powerful effects that enhance health at the cellular level. Laboratory studies have shown that specific flavonoids suppress tumor growth, enhance the function of sex hormones, prevent blood clots, and have metabolic regeneration properties that may enhance cellular recovery from intense training. An array of these flavonoids are found in celery, cranberries, onions, kale, broccoli, apples, cherries, berries, tea, red wine or purple grape juice, parsley, soybeans, tomatoes, eggplant and thyme. When flavonoids are consumed from whole foods they act as potent antioxidants.

Carotenoids (Vitamin A)

Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients found in foods such as carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and other deep green, yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables.

Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin are carotenes that are converted into vitamin A or retinol (the active form of vitamin A) in the body. They are found in many yellow fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is the most widely studied carotenoid. Its potent free radical savaging properties are well documented only when eaten through whole foods.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are stored in the retina of the eye. Neither converts to vitamin A. Both are powerful antioxidants and are very important for healthy eyes. As their concentration falls, so does quality of vision. These compounds are found in many yellow vegetables. Lutein is also in green vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and kale. The quality of your eyesight depends on the concentrations of these compounds. Again, their antioxidant, protective qualities are only documented when consumed as whole food sources.

Lycopene is responsible for the red color in fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, red grapes, watermelon and pink grapefruit. It is also found in papayas and apricots. It does not convert to vitamin A. Lycopene does appear to have powerful tissue regenerative properties and cancer fighting properties as well as other health benefits.

Monoterpenes

Monoterpenes have two important phytochemicals: perillyl alcohol and limonene. These block DNA mutations that stimulate cancerous cell growth and reproduction. Research on their ability to prevent cancer is very, very promising. Limonene is found in the peels of citrus fruits.

Isoflavones

Isoflavones, commonly known as phytoestrogens, include compounds called genistein, daidzein, enterolactone, and equol. They aid in the metabolic function of every living cell, suppress tumors, improve cholesterol metabolism, prevent bone loss and suppress enzymes that cause certain cancers.

However, soy isoflavones (like all isoflavones) exist in small amounts in whole foods. Consumption of these compounds in naturally occurring amounts (from whole foods) enhances health! The right doses of isoflavones are mainly found in whole soybean products with smaller amounts found in chickpeas, flax and other seeds, barley, and milk products from cows feeding on clover.

Lignan is a phytoestrogen that is a relatively unknown. It is found in the fiber layers of whole-grains, berries, some seeds and vegetables and a few fruits. It is thought to have subtle yet powerful effects on insulin metabolism; particularly as it enhances muscle cell sensitivity to insulin. Upping your intake of vegetables will provide your body with more lignan and enhance the effect of the entire anabolic hormonal cascade. Little differences add up to big changes!

Organosulfur Compounds

Organosulfurs are part of the allium family of phytochemicals and are well documented as immune enhancers. Organosulfers keep the liver healthy and a healthy liver is paramount to the muscle building process?it secretes IGF and regulates amino acid metabolism towards muscle growth. Organosulfers are found in garlic, leeks, onions, chives, scallions and shallots.

Saponins

Saponins are forms of carbohydrates that neutralize enzymes in the intestines that cause digestive problems and intestinal cancer. They also may boost the immune system and accelerate wound healing. Saponins are found in all beans and whole grains.

Capsaicin

Capsaicin seems to reduce levels of “substance P”, a compound that contributes to inflammation. Capsaicin also stimulates the central nervous system and may play a role in maintaining a healthy (elevated) metabolism that is necessary for fat loss. Capsaicin is found in capsicum (red peppers) and chilies.

Sterols

Sterols include sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and squalene. Sitosterol is the most studied. This compound seems to work in conjunction with exercise to create a healthy blood cholesterol profile that protects against heart disease. These compounds are found in all cold pressed (naturally processed) vegetable oils. Cold pressed oils cannot exist on the supermarket shelf because they need refrigeration. So be sure to select at least some of your oils from the cold section of your supermarket.

Conclusion

For all those people that claim that they are “hard gainers,” mostly these are people who think there is a magic supplement for them just so they can automatically get ripped. If you are one of these people, i will tell you one thing: muscle does not come in a bottle. If you have learned anything from this article you should have figured out that food is the most anabolic thing you can put in your body– it is better than any supplement.

So include the foods i have mentioned in this article in your diet and start making the best gains of your life. If you have any questions at all Join in comments and feel free to discuss in more depth/detail with us.

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