Shedding body fat, enhancing athletic performance and changing body shape are all by-products of optimum health. Optimum health can only be achieved via an optimum approach to nutrition. 

To create and maintain optimal health requires a spectrum of nutrients from a variety of nutritional sources. Most people tend to eat a restricted variety of foods - their choices involve no more than 7 different food selections for the entire week.  If you are one of these individuals, then you maybe short-circuiting your own progress.



Low-carb Tacos - from the MP Cookbible

The problem....

In their quest to get lean fast, most people get impatient and start cutting calories before they’ve address the fundamentals; how many meals they need every day, exactly what needs to be those meals at various times of the day, and how to ensure the right choices are available at the right time. The strategy of cutting calories actually kills the metabolic environment required to achieve physique goals, and any fat loss is temporary.

The solution...

On the other hand, a high intake of low-energy carb sources at every meal basically, “tricks” the metabolism into staying elevated and promotes the permanent loss of unwanted body fat. This is called working with your metabolism, not against it.

•    Nutritional science is only just starting to uncover an array of powerful, yet little-known compounds that protect our health from disease and many age-related ailments. These compounds, called phytochemicals, occur naturally in plant foods and they play an intricate role in achieving optimum health. Processing can destroy or remove these invaluable compounds.

•    Low-energy carb sources promote steady blood sugar and insulin levels. This means no energy slump during the day, more efficient metabolism of fat and effective nutrient transport into hungry muscles. All of these aspects add up to one thing; a stronger, leaner, healthier body.

Which plant foods are best?

When in doubt about selection, go for colour. Eat rainbows! The brighter and richer the colour, the more nutritious the plant food is. For example, vegetables with the highest nutritional value are vivid in colour; dark green spinach, rich red tomatoes and bright yellow/ orange squash, pumpkin and sweet potato. Additionally, the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower contain phytochemicals that protect our DNA against damage that can develop into poor health and disease. Before each meal, look at your plate and determine how colourful it is.



Savoury Creps without the calories - MP Cookbible

Dining by Color

Red Group
Fruits and vegetables from the red group contain the phytonutrient lycopene. Eating a variety from the red group helps strengthen heart and lung tissue and prevent disease in these organs.

Phytonutrient: Lycopene
Sources: All type of tomatoes, peppers, pink grapefruit, watermelon

Red/Purple Group
The red/purple group contains anthocyanins, which protect against arteriosclerosis (plague build up on artery walls) and heart disease. They also enhance cognitive  processes and memory capacity as well as provide a protective effect on brain cells against oxidative stress.



Berry-beet mouse - MP Cookbible

Phytonutrient: Anthocyanins
Sources: Berries, Pomegranates, blueberries, Prunes, cherries, red cabbage, plums, red grapes, red apples.

Orange Group
The orange group, provides alpha and beta carotene that are converted into vitamin A or retinol (the active form of vitamin A) in the body. These substances protect against cancer and maintain eye health.

Phytonutrient: Alpha and beta carotene
Sources: Apricots, carrots, acorn, mangoes, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and yams

Orange/Yellow Group
The orange/yellow group provides us with beta cryptothanxin, which optimizes cardio vascular health.

Phytonutrient: Beta cryptothanxin
Sources: Clementines,  pineapple, mandarin ,oranges, nectarines, Papaya, tangerines, peaches, tangelos.

Yellow/Green Group
The yellow/green group contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which concentrate in the eye. These phytonutrients may help prevent age-related macular degeneration. As their concentration falls, so does quality of vision.

Phytonutrient: Lutein and zeaxanthin
Sources: Collard greens, Kiwi fruit, green & yellow peppers, spinach, green beans, turnips, kale, yellow corn.



It's all about FDN - Fast Delicious Nutrition

Green Group
The green group is rich in indoles, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanate, which speed the action of enzymes that break down carcinogens.

Phytonutrient: Indoles, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanate
Sources: Broccoli, brussels sprouts, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, kale.

White/Green Group
Plants in this group contain allicin, which is an anti-tumor and cancer-preventative compound.

Phytonutrient: Allicin
Sources: Asparagus, mushrooms, celery, onions, chives, pears, garlic, scallions, leeks

The benefits are subtle but significant

I hope this article has helped make you more aware of the importance of nutritious, whole foods and the powerful effects they have on your health. From my years of research, there is one thing I am certain of—the more you strive for a holistic approach to your nutritional intake and incorporate a variety of nutritious whole foods into your eating plan, the more powerful the effects of exercise training and supplementation become.

Knowing how to make food work for you is very powerful. In fact, its life-changing and it’s a hallmark of the Metabolic Nutrition.

I suppose that’s why MP seems to get the results where so many programs let people down. We remove the guesswork and confusion on how to eat to maximize results from every workout.









References

Lampe JW. Interindividual differences in response to plant-based diets: implications for cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009

Minich DM, Bland JS. Dietary management of the metabolic syndrome beyond macronutrients. Nutr Rev. 2008 Aug;66(8):429-44.

Dembinska-Kiec A, Mykkänen O, Kiec-Wilk B, Mykkänen H. Antioxidant phytochemicals against type-2 diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2008 May;99 E Suppl 1:ES109-17.

de Kok TM, van Breda SG, Manson MM. Mechanisms of combined action of different chemopreventive dietary compounds: a review. Eur J Nutr. 2008 May;47 Suppl 2:51-9.