Experiments With Fruit and Vegetables
Those of you who have read very much of my writing know that I have run countless experiments related to health and fitness on myself throughout my life. That’s why writing here at David’s Way comes natural to me. I write a lot from personal experience. Since I have noticed specific outcomes from my experiments, when I see documented studies that support my experience, I am duty-bound to report this to our readers. In those cases, I have two separate sources of evidence of the validity of my topic, my experience and the documented research of others. I have noticed that I have much more energy and am in a better mood when I eat my veggies, fruits and berries.
Fruits and Vegetables for Energy!
In the three and a half years that I’ve been a strength trainer, I have found that sweet potatoes are the most effective “energy bar” for me. You can spend a lot of money on energy bars but sweet potatoes are cheap. I cook it in the microwave, let it cool just enough that it won’t burn me and slice it into bite size pieces. I carry those “energy shots” to my dungeon and as I approach my most difficult lifts, I begin to eat them. I chew them well to release the nutrients and without fail, I get a burst of energy. A one-cup serving of this nutrition superfood provides about 25 grams of complex carbohydrates and 3.1 grams of fiber. (1) They’re rich in manganese and Vitamin A. Manganese is considered a “helper” nutrient that helps to unlock the potential in other nutrients. Without these “helpers”, or cofactors, your food cannot provide everything that you need. Cofactors work like a key to unlock the hidden nutrition riches in our food. Since the carbs in sweet potatoes are complex, they can fuel a long workout by releasing their energy over time.
Fruits and Vegetables for Minerals!
Bananas are also a good source of complex carbs, potassium and Vitamin B6, providing about 33% of this energy boosting nutrient. They contain about 450mg of potassium which is essential for energy. While bananas are higher than apples in naturally occurring sugars, they still have only about 12 grams as opposed to the 10 grams in the average apple. Bananas are known to give you a quick energy boost for exercise or everyday activities. Apples will also give you this boost so choose your favorite for a mid-afternoon snack when you might otherwise reach for sugar-laden junk foods for that mid-afternoon slump.
Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Fat!
Avocados are packed full of healthy fats that help you absorb the nutrients from other foods. About 80% of the carbohydrates in avocados exist as fiber. This superfood burns slowly and keeps you fueled for the long haul. Between the healthy fats and the fiber, they are sure to energize and satisfy. Just be careful with this superfood because they are high in calories. One avocado has about 300 calories! While serving sizes keep changing, at this time 1/3 of an avocado is considerd one serving, or 100 calories. The question is, will you eat only 1/3 of an avocado? I don’t, so I don’t eat them. That does not change the fact that they are full of energy sustaining complex carbs and healthy fats that curb the appetite.
Fruits and Vegetables for Fatigue!
Green leafy vegetables are an excellent choice for an energy boost! They are packed with iron and Vitamin C that helps you absorb the iron. Fatigue is a symptom of iron deficiency. You need a doctor’s approval before taking an iron supplement, although they sell them without a prescription. The iron in foods is safe and convenient. I need iron in my diet and can tell if I’m not getting enough. Romaine lettuce also contains “helper” cofactors that help unlock the energy in other foods. My workouts are better when I’m eating romaine on a regular basis.
Fruits and Vegetables for Circulation!
Beets contain natural nitrates which athletes use to improve blood flow. With improved blood flow comes more energy. I have a beet powder in my pantry. I don’t like the overly-done flavoring in the brand that I have but I believe that it’s intended to disguise the taste of the beets! Since I like beets, I will look for an unflavored version the next time I buy beet powder. Beets are also high in carbs, fiber and naturally occurring sugar for a sustained energy boost.
When I first began lifting, I was so focused on protein that I neglected fruits and veggies at times. Now I understand that I can lift better with these energy bombs under my belt. I encourage you to experiment with different fruits and vegetables and see how they affect your energy levels throughout the day and in your workouts. While it is protein that builds, we have to have the energy to lift enough weight to do the job. It’s easy to try a piece of fruit but make sure that you explore vegetables for the rich powerhouse of energy and nutrition that they are. You just might find a new energy bar.