When we were kids, we all remember our parents preaching about the importance of eating our "fruits and vegetables."
When pressed as to "why," they would simply say that produce is "good for you." For most of us kids, the answer sufficed. For me, however, the "because" answer just wasn't enough. Years later, as I became entrenched in my craft of training, I had the opportunity to learn more about the magic and power behind the nutritive powers of food.
The power of the food isn't only in the one particular ingredient in food, but is instead the combination of multiple minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients (also referred to as phytochemicals) within that food that work most powerfully together.
The synergy of those nutrients working together in a particular way is one of the key reasons that our best nutrition comes from the food itself. Some of the better known phytonutrients are:
• Resveratrol: Found in grape skins
• Isoflavones: Soy
• Lycopene: Tomatoes
• Lutein: Spinach
• Naringenin: Grapefruit
While many foods promote and improve our overall health, the power of food also extends into injury and tissue repair.
Inevitably, our time training in the gym as practitioners of better health can sometimes result in injury or inflammation. In these situations, the power of the nutrients and chemicals in food selection can also play a significant role. Some of these powers behind those "take for granted" anti-inflammatories include:
• Garlic: Garlic doesn't only make our food taste great, it has a very powerful antibacterial in it called allicin.
• Turmeric: Turmeric is in the ginger family. It can be purchased in the spices isle at any food market and has an active ingredient called "cucumin," which is showing increasingly positive results in lowering inflammation.
• Bromelain: This powerful anti-inflammatory comes from pineapples. Bromelain also contains enzymes that aid in digestion.
• Boswella: A type of tree that has various anti-inflammatory uses and has shown promise in helping those with asthma.
The bottom line is that nutritionally dense foods can have a powerful impact on health. The vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and, yes, medicines in foods can have profound and lasting effects on good health and preventing disease.
Bill Victor is the owner of Victor Fitness System Professional Fitness Trainers, Flashpoint Athletic Speed & Agility Specialists, and Performance Nutrition Consultants. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and online at http://theflashpoint.org and http://VictorFitnessSystems.com