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3 fruits that build muscle

There are 3 fruits that build muscle. The enzymes in these fruits help your body to better absorb protein.

In general, digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down fat, protein and carbohydrate molecules into smaller molecules, to obtain the nutrients we need.

Protein is an essential nutrient for the body, which helps us maintain healthy and strong muscles. Also to create new muscle tissue, improve tone and increase muscle volume.

Although we follow a diet rich in protein, our body does not always take advantage of them, so to optimize protein assimilation, we can help ourselves with certain foods.

The three fruits that we will see below, especially help to break down protein molecules.

Papaya.

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain. Papain transforms proteins into amino acids more quickly, helping us to take full advantage of them. Therefore, this enzyme will accelerate digestion and increase the use of these nutrients. Papain has been used for thousands of years as a meat tenderizer due to its ability to break down protein.

In addition, scientists from Vienna have proven that papain helps relieve constipation and gas caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Make sure you eat your raw, ripe papayas as exposure to heat can destroy these enzymes.

Pineapple

Pineapple contains bromelain, another enzyme that promotes protein assimilation. Eating pineapples may reduce the time it takes to recover from exercise.
This is largely due to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain.

Strenuous exercise can also damage muscle tissue and cause surrounding inflammation. Affected muscles cannot produce as much force and are sore for up to three days.
Bromelain has been demonstrated to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation, enhancing recovery.

Kiwi

The kiwi contains high doses of actidine, which contributes to a better assimilation of proteins. This fruit is usually recommended to facilitate digestion because this fruit helps us reduce gas and relieves constipation by regulating gastrointestinal function.

Scientists found that actinidin, a unique compound in kiwis, helps the body break down proteins in red meat, diary and fish. “The observed enhancement of gastric protein digestion after eating kiwi fruit may increase the rate at which protein is absorbed in the small intestine, ultimately affecting the overall protein utilization in the human body,” lead author Dr. Lovedeep Kaur from Massey University in New Zealand

The general recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake is at least 400 grams per day, or five servings of 80 grams.
 
Maybe it’s time that you incorporate any of these 3 fruits that build muscle into your diet because if you help your body in assimilating the nutrients it needs, you will get an optimal benefit from your diet obtaining everything your body needs.
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What Can We Learn from the Nutrition Requirements of Basketball Players

Basketball Nutrition

Playing basketball is an effective way to burn calories, and consequently, burn fat. As explained before in ‘How Effective Is Basketball at Burning Fat?’, playing the sport is “one of the most vigorously active sports in which you can participate; therefore, it is “a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.” Playing basketball is physically draining and that is why players have to keep certain nutrition requirements so they can compete at a high level.

Basketball players nutritional requirements

In this regard, common knowledge suggests that basketball players must have large stores of carbohydrates from healthy food, like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. The paper ‘Carbohydrate Requirements of Elite Athletes’ underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake, stating that a “key factor in coping with the heavy demands of exercise faced by elite athletes seems to be carbohydrate intake.” In other words, carbohydrate intake affects performance. Players who have consumed enough carbohydrates will have enough energy to play at a high level, while players with insufficient carbohydrate intake will generally tire easily, as they will have very little energy once their carbohydrate stores are depleted.

Fat is needed too, but in much smaller amounts. It is utilised during the game’s less intense moments, when players stop play after a whistle or when they jog during the quiet moments of a game. What happens is that the fat is used in the production of aerobic energy, which is mostly to facilitate recovery. This process reduces fatigue, thereby allowing players to go full-tilt once more when the intensity picks up. 

Protein is another important nutrient that basketball players need. The Association of UK Dietitians explains that protein “is required for building and repairing muscles and plays an important role in how the body responds to exercise.” In other words, protein is a perquisite for both muscle building and recovery. As any basketball player knows, building muscle is key due to the physicality of the game. Recovery, on the other hand, helps players train and play frequently across a short space of time. 

Two famous examples

Given these nutritional requirements, it’s no surprise that elite basketball players take their nutrition — and by extension, their diet — seriously. Take, for instance, the Gasol Brothers, arguably Spain’s best and most popular exports to the National Basketball Association. Pau and Marc are very particular with what they eat, cognizant of the fact that they have specific nutritional needs. Marc is very hands-on with what he eats, especially with his history of being overweight. The younger Gasol tried various diets, and his decision paid off; he has slimmed down considerably, and is now widely regarded as one of the best big men in the league. 

Another player known for being notoriously particular when it comes to his diet is LeBron James, a nemesis of the Gasols in international competition. LeBron James earns £61.5 million (€7.17m) a year and the four-time MVP is the second biggest earning sports star in the world. His talent is obviously undeniable, but his devotion to fitness and nutrition certainly helps his cause. Curiously, James went with a drastic no-carb diet prior to the 2014–2015 season. That diet, admittedly, is contrary to the carbs-as-fuel point raised earlier, however, James, like the Gasols, is an elite-level athlete. That means his nutritional requirements are a bit different from the requirements of other basketball players. Not to mention, athletes like James and the Gasols know how to utilise and optimise their energy systems so that they are fuelled both aerobically and anaerobically. 

Conclusion

Needless to say, nutrition is key to great on-court performance. Conventional thinking, would suggest plenty of carbohydrates, a good deal of protein, and some fat. Then again, you should always assess your individual nutritional needs and find out what best works for you.

Article written by Vanya Banks for chape.fitness

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Healthy Grocery List

healthy shopping list

Today I bring you a healthy grocery list that you can carry at all times on your phone and so not forget any ingredient you need.

You can also share the note with the other members of the family so that anyone can stop by the store and buy what is missing to prepare the menu of the day.

We’ve already talked about how you can easily manage your recipes with Evernote in a previous post, and I think this list will be useful and a good starting point to organize and build your grocery list.

Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly and helps you stick to your healthy eating plan. Time to stop tossing bad food and money in the trash! This grocery list includes everything your family needs to eat healthy and delicious for one week.

The healthy grocery list includes: Produce, proteins, grains, milk & dairy, legumes, beverages, and pantry staples

The list is extensive but, no worries,  you can edit any section to be something else. Modify as works best for you: 

  • Some people like to arrange the categories in their list around the order in which foods are found in the store.
  • Include categories for non-food items that you purchase at the grocery store such as health and beauty aids and household supplies.
  • “Play” with your master list for at least a month to find what works best for you.

Remember that time spent developing a list is usually less than time spent returning to the store for a forgotten item. Having a list may also contribute to your overall meal quality.

I have added a checkbox next to each product, so all you have to do is check or uncheck the box to verify if you have it in the pantry or you need to buy it.

You will never have to write or reprint again the grocery list, and then leave it forgotten at home. This list will always be on your phone, updated and synchronized with the other members of the family.

Just click on the image below to get the note and make your life much simpler.

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How a high-protein diet and regular exercise will help you lose body fat and improve your health

After six weeks, it´s time to review Glenda´s progress. I know you´re expectant! You can see in the picture that the changes are clearly visible. If you are a recent follower of this blog and you do not know Glenda, you can read the first part of her story here.

I like the before and after pictures like anyone else but I recognize that a picture is highly subjective and depends on too many factors like light, place, who took the picture, etc. And honestly, a picture doesn´t give too much information to any trainer. It´s great for ads but it doesn´t make our job any easier. So, here are her measurements over these six weeks:

Glenda 6weeks

Looking at the numbers, you do not need to be a trainer to check that her body fat percentage has decreased (from 44.7% to 33.2%), just like her total fat mass (from 68.0 to 47.5). You can also see how her muscle mass has increased from 84.0 to 95.5. This is the reason why not all of the fat loss is reflected in the total weight, she has also gained muscle.

You can also check that she lost inches in the typical conflict areas: abdomen, waist, and hips. Exactly where she (and anybody) wants to lose inches!

These results are available to anyone if you have a proper diet and exercise program. Yes, lifting weights helps lose fat. How? The muscles consume calories. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will consume. That´s why you need a high-protein diet, to preserve and build muscle. If you restrict your protein intake, your body won´t be able to repair and grow your muscles after your workouts. Is she drinking protein shakes all day long? NO! She´s just eating the right amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) every day. She eats what she wants any given day, picking from the recipes I gave her, but taking care of the amount she needs. She makes 5 small meals per day, and she tells me every week that she loves the recipes.

Also, she kicks the gym four times per week… and she hurries up to message me every time she receives a compliment. I couldn´t be happier!! I´m not going to tell you her workout routines, but I can swear that I don´t torture her with burpees, planks or deadlifts. It´s all much easier than that: circuit training, isolation exercises, and some light cardio.

I asked her for some pictures to show you her progress, but we also got some great news from her doctor that she is willing to share with you so, she emailed me these lines about it:

“Hi, David!

I just had an appointment with my pulmonary specialist. I had a constant cough when I last saw her, which was before I started working out with you. When she tested me this week; I could take deep breathes with NO COUGHING!! and she asked what I was doing differently. I told her that I had been working out online with you; and that you had given me suggestions and guidelines for my diet… and what to drink!

She said “I can’t believe it! You’re healed! You are completely cured! So I don’t expect that I will be seeing you again.” WOOOHOOO!

And today, I was wearing a shirt that I had bought right before I started working out with you.

Glenda March1

At lunch, some of my friends said how loose it is and I pulled it tightly…

Glenda March2

even I was surprised. I haven’t completely gotten used to being healthy and not so fat.. and I am going to do even better this last month!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!”

And here she is proud, showing her stomach before the egg hunt on Palm Sunday:

Glenda March3

 

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Not all calories were created equal

How many of you have been told that if you burn more calories than you eat, weight loss will be inevitable? How many of you have discovered that this advice does not seem to apply to you no matter how hard you try?

Then you think, “I must be doing something wrong, I’ll exercise more and I’ll eat fewer calories than I already am, that should work!” Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t.

You might think that a calorie is a calorie. But the way the body breaks down carbohydrates, protein and fat, and the effect they have on our bodies differ vastly. Instead of just counting calories, you should take care where these calories come from. The source of the calorie changes how you digest it and how you retrieve energy from it.  Even more important is the fact that different foods and macronutrients have a major effect on the hormones and brain centers that control hunger and eating behavior. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on the biological processes that govern when, what, and how much we eat.

Selection of food for weight loss

Protein

Protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer by slowing digestion, but its primary role in the body is to maintain and build new cells, growing and adding new tissues. Protein is beneficial for weight loss, as it contributes to satiety and offsets the amount of lean muscle that is burned for energy, in addition to fat, during a calorie deficit.

Proteins provide about 4 calories per gram but there are higher quality proteins, which may reduce appetite and optimize muscle repair and recovery (fish or eggs), and lower quality proteins (hamburger meat) that are loaded with branched-chain amino acids, which have been linked to metabolic disease and insulin resistance.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are by far the most complex because our bodies use the different types of carbohydrates (such as fiber, starch, and sugar) in very different ways. Carbohydrates are used by the body as a quick source of energy, particularly for the brain, liver, and muscles.

All carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram (with the exception of fiber, which our body can’t digest). Though not a source of calories, fiber is considered a high-quality carbohydrate since it slows digestion and moderates the absorption of other nutrients, like sugar. For this reason, high-quality carbohydrates typically contain fiber and are minimally processed. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Lower-quality carbohydrates almost always lack fiber and add little more than “empty calories” to our diets.

Carbohydrates have been categorized as simple or complex in the past but many doctors are pulling away from those narrow categories and moving toward glycemic index. An apple is a simple carbohydrate because it is digested quickly by the body, but the fruit is better for you than other simple carbohydrates like chips or crackers. That’s why the glycemic index as a more accurate measure of a food’s value (good or bad). When something has a low glycemic index, it raises your blood sugar levels slowly, increasing your insulin levels gradually.

Apple 600

Focus on low-glycemic foods like whole-grain pasta, wheat bread, fruits, beans, and nuts. High-glycemic foods include candy, croissants, and scones. By choosing the low-glycemic foods and thus the minimally processed foods, people can lose more weight, feel fuller longer, and remain healthier.

Let’s take it a step further and compare calories from two different types of sugar: glucose and fructose.

Starchy foods like rice, potatoes, and pasta are predominantly made up of glucose, a simple sugar that can be burned for energy by every cell in our bodies. It’s stored in our liver and muscles for a quick source of energy during exercise or while we sleep. Unprocessed starchy foods, like brown rice, potatoes with the skin on and whole-wheat pasta, contain the food’s natural fiber as well as some vitamins and minerals.

Fructose can only be broken down in the liver. It’s also the sweetest tasting of the three simple sugars. In nature, fructose is found in fruits bound tightly to indigestible fiber that, as we already know, reduces and slows its absorption. Unfortunately, the majority of fructose in our diets isn’t from fruits (it’s from calorie-containing sweeteners added to sweetened beverages and the majority of processed foods). Fruits also have fiber, water, and significant chewing resistance, which mitigate the negative effects of the fructose. So, try to change these processed foods for real fruits.

Calories in fruits [Convertido]

Fats

In addition to being a potent and flavorful source of energy, fats slow digestion, deliver important fat-soluble vitamins to the body, and provide important building blocks for every one of our cells.

All dietary fats provide about 9 calories per gram but some fats are better for our health than others. For example, polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, found in foods like wild salmon and flaxseed, have protective, anti-inflammatory properties, whereas artificial trans fats have been linked to increased inflammation and heart disease.

A study funded by the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) from the 1960s found that cholesterol and fat were the main contributors to weight gain and responsible for an increased risk for coronary heart disease. With fat removed, food lost taste and appeal, so manufacturers added sugar to combat this. The intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates went up, while our intake of fat went down. Dr. David Ludwig, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says “Overall, these processed carbohydrates are worse than the fats they replaced.

Also, very-low-fat diets may actually slow a person’s metabolism down to a level where it is not burning calories as effectively as it could, says researcher David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, who directs the Optimal Weight for Life program at the Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital in Boston.

The thermic effect of food

The thermic effect of food is a measure of how much different foods increase energy expenditure, due to the energy required to digest, absorb and metabolize the nutrients. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways. The more efficient a metabolic pathway is, the more of the food energy is used for work and less is dissipated as heat.

The metabolic pathways for protein are less efficient than the metabolic pathways for carbs and fat. A large part of the protein calories is lost as heat when it is metabolized by the body. This is the thermic effect of different macronutrients:

  • Fat: 2-3%
  • Carbs: 6-8%
  • Protein: 25-30%

If we go with a thermic effect of 25% for protein and 2% for fat, this would mean that a 100 calories of protein would end up as 75 calories, while a 100 calories of fat would end up as 98 calories. Studies show that high protein diets boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, compared to lower protein diets.

Put simply, high protein diets have a metabolic advantage. If people increase their protein intake, they start losing weight without counting calories or controlling portions. Protein puts fat loss on autopilot.

Ultimately, the quality of what we eat impacts not only our weight but also our overall health and well-being.  Counting calories alone doesn’t work because ultimately it matters where those calories come from; this matters more than the number of calories ingested.