Article last updated: November 2018 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
There are 7 big benefits to eating real vegetables and it shouldn’t take more than 4-5 minutes per day to eat your vegetables if you do it the right way.
The 7 big benefits of eating green leafy vegetables are:
1) Faster training recovery. Green leafy vegetables are high in nitric oxide which improves your bloodflow. This speeds up your recovery between training sessions since the blood can flow faster and more efficiently to the muscles.
2) Longer and harder training sessions. Similarly, with better blood flow you will also be able to train longer and harder.
3) Higher testosterone levels. Green leafy vegetables are proven to increase your natural production of testosterone which is the main muscle building hormone in your body. As a result, you will get more muscle gains per year from your training by eating them.
4) Stronger erections and better focus. Improved blood flow improves the strength of your erections and mental clarity since the blood can flow better to your genitals and brain.
5) Better training pumps. The pump we get during training sessions are created by consuming the right amount of sodium, potassium, carbs and water. Nearly everyone get’s way more sodium, carbs and water than we need, however our potassium intake needs to be increased by a good 100-200% to get optimal pumps. Green leafy vegetables are high in potassium therefore they will help you get a better pump during training sessions.
6) Less water retention. By eating too much sodium and not enough potassium you can retain water around your face, stomach, chest and other body-parts. We’re talking up to 5-8 pounds of water weight stored there. This can easily hide your fat loss progress. By eating a lot of potassium through vegetables you flush out the water retention and create a more tight looking body and face.
7) Increased food volume in the stomach to prevent overeating. A big 200 gram bag of spinach has less than 50 Calories (around 2% of a typical diet plan I prescrible to my clients) and it can last you the whole day. In other words, green leafy vegetables are so low in Calories that they’re not even worth to count, yet they provide you with lots of nutrition and fill up your stomach. This prevents overeating because one of the main reason behind excessive food cravings is lack of nutrition. I personally used to be hungry 3 hours after a meal, however after adding 100 grams of green leafy vegetables after a meal I can go 5 hours without food.
The most optimal way to get in your vegetables would be to have a regular meal and once you finish the meal you quickly force down a 100 gram bag of fresh green leafy vegetables with your hands.
Be sure to to go for fresh raw vegetables instead of cooked. I found that eating them straight from the bag is much quicker and easier than eating them cooked.
This will take you at most 2 minutes to do.
The other way would be to supplement with a greens supplement such as Athletic Greens Superfood Cocktail and a multivitamin, however in my experience that does not provide the same benefit as eating real vegetables.
I personally didn’t feel all the benefits listed above when I took greens and multivitamin supplements, however when I eat my vegetables I feel all of them.
In other words, if you’re looking to get optimal results, real food beats supplements any day.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer