If you’ve spent much time on bodybuilding websites researching what you should eat and drink, you’ll have noticed that the suggestions are a little … uninspired. The usual advice is to grill some chicken, boil some brown rice and steam some broccoli. As far as the muscle-building gurus are concerned, your taste buds can go to hell. But does it have to be this way? Is it even desirable to turn yourself into a Trappist Monk in the pursuit of muscle, shirking something as fundamental to human pleasure as taste?
Research on herbs and spices have found them to be the most phytochemically-dense of all foods in nature’s cornucopia. They even beat out green vegetables in the antioxidant, anticancer, anti-angiogenesis, anti-aging stakes. But what about bodybuilding? How can they help you build muscle?
Herbs And Spices Make It Easier To Stick To Your Eating Plan
Remember the old saying, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”? Well, a spoonful of spices can have the same trick. Pairing spices with your meals helps you to enjoy them more, making it more likely that you’ll stick to your eating plan long term. Few people have the iron will to stick to bland food, day in, day out. And so adding a little flavor can go a long way to keeping your eating consistent. Cinnamon on your oatmeal, marjoram, and oregano in your pasta, and paprika, turmeric, and allspice in your Chinese soup can make the difference, turning boring Tupperware of calories and “macros” into delectable treats.
Herbs And Spices Improve Hormone Balance
Worrying research published by the World Health Organisation shows that male fertility rates are down by more than 50 percent since the 1970s. The main culprit is our diet, or more specifically, the powerful pro-estrogens contained in foods like meat and dairy. But the good news is that there are herbs such as Tongkat Ali – a type of root extract – which can block the action of exogenous estrogens on our bodies. Raising the amount of free testosterone in your system increases your muscle-building potential and gives you the energy you need to work out hard and force your muscles into new growth.
Herbs And Spices Aid Recovery
As you’re probably already aware, doing exercise causes your muscles to break down. Too much breakdown is actually bad for you and can reduce your ability to perform over the long term because of the oxidative stress it places on your body. As discussed above, herbs and spices are among the world’s most concentrated antioxidants, and so you might think that feeding on them regularly would boost your resistance to exercise and improve your recovery. Indeed, this is what the science shows. Researchers investigated extreme athletes to see whether herbs and spices prevented them from doing damage to their DNA. Sure enough, spices like ginger, cloves, and turmeric had beneficial effects, preventing the usual damage caused by hardcore exercise.
Could you add more herbs and spices to your foods and boost your performance in the gym?