NutritionFacts “Muscle” Search Part 1

NutritionFacts "Muscle" Search Part 2
Dr. Michael Greger

NutritionFacts Muscle Search Part 1

Making my Top 10 book list for 2020 is Dr. Michael Greger’s How Not to Die. If the list weren’t limited to one book per author, I’d have included his How Not to Diet as well!

What makes Dr. Greger’s books such standouts? The same quality that draws close to 1.5 million monthly visitors to his website Intensely researched information.

The website’s search feature is one of my favorite tools for finding I need information on ingredients or health-related subjects.

Today, for instance, I used it to research a subject that’s recently been on my mind: “MUSCLE.” Although I haven’t yet shared my exercise routine here, I currently do 500 pushups and 500 squats every day of the week.

NutrtionFacts’ search engine responded with a list of 151 muscle-related videos. That number inspired me to create a series of video review posts. Over three days, I’ll cover some of what I learn from 50 different videos each day.

Today’s lessons?

  • Taking a full teaspoon of dried ground ginger every day (or two cups of freshly blended watermelon before heavy exercise) can relieve muscle soreness.

  • Popeye had it right — eating spinach reduces muscle inflammation!

  • For more anti-inflammatory benefits? Eat cherries, but not just any cherries. Sweet red cherries reduce inflammation more than tart cherries. (Yellow Rainier cherries don’t help much at all!)

  • Snack on oranges to lower lactic acid buildup during strenuous exercise, snack on oranges every day. You’ll experience “a significant decrease in blood lactate concentration,” signifying “an improvement in physical performance, with less muscle fatigue.”

  • Did someone say CHOCOLATE?

 Yes! To quote the video Enhanced Athletic Recovery without Undermining Adaptation:

“We saw that berries could reduce inflammatory muscle damage, and greens could reduce the free radical DNA damage. Dark chocolate and tomato juice may have similar effects.

(In a little more than five minutes, this video cites 16 separate scientific studies. See what I mean about “intensely researched?)

  • Drink some lemon verbena tea, and your body will start “…cranking up its antioxidant defenses.

  • Watercress is a must mixed in your salad, in your smoothie, or on a sandwich:

“If you exercise without watercress in your system, DNA damage shoots up. But, if you’ve been eating a single serving a day for two months, your body’s so juiced up on green leafy goodness, no significant damage after punishing yourself on the treadmill.”

  • Drink some beet juice — or even better — just eat beets for “faster time with less effort. They don’t call them block-rockin’ beets for nothing!” (The secret’s in their nitrites.)

  • Finally, to spice things up, curcumin and fenugreek are essential. In one study, fenugreek “… allowed [those who took it] to leg press an extra hundred pounds, compared to a placebo.” 

Judging from the above, anyone who thinks plant-based eating has nothing to do with building muscular strength and endurance needs to think again!

As to the last lesson, I couldn’t stop myself. I just purchased a four pound bag of fenugreek powder — and now it’s time for some push-ups!

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