Monday, March 08, 2010

Eat More Vegetables with the No-Grain Diet

Dr. Joseph Mercola’s no-grain diet, in a way, is similar to a protein diet, but the no-grain diet is different due to its strong emphasis on vegetables. You’ll be making a big mistake if you focus solely on carbohydrate content as the measurement of a food, without considering the type of carbohydrate and its effect to your body.
Avoiding grains means avoiding simple carbohydrates to normalize your insulin levels. However, you don’t need to avoid complex carbohydrate foods that don’t trigger an insulin reaction because you’ll be missing out on vital nutrients. These complex carbohydrates come in the form of vegetables.
For Dr. Mercola, eating more vegetables is as important to a healthy nutrition plan as reducing/eliminating the consumption of grains and sugars, drinking more water, or consuming vitamins and omega-3 fats.
Studies show that eating vegetables help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, among other health benefits.
But in the same way that not all carbohydrates are the same, vegetables are not created equal. While almost all vegetables are good, some are clearly far better, from a nutritional standpoint, than others, Dr. Mercola explains.
The rule of thumb for vegetables is the greener the better, though there are a few vegetables that are not green but are also very nutritious.
Here’s a list of Mercola’s highly recommended vegetables

Asparagus Endive
Avocado (actually a fruit) Escarole
Beet greens Fennel
Bok Choy Kale
Broccoli Kohlrabi
Brussel sprouts Lettuce (romaine, red leaf, green leaf)
Cabbage (green and red) Mustard greens
Cauliflower Onions
Celery Parsley
Chicory Peppers (green, red, yellow and hot)
Chinese cabbage Spinach
Chives Tomatoes (also a fruit)
Collard greens Turnips
Dandelion greens Zucchini

Avoid starchy vegetables like beets, carrots, eggplants, jicima, parsnips, peas, potatoes and winter squashes because they are high in carbohydrates.

It’s best to eat organic, locally-grown vegetables that are in season raw (as you should eat at least one-third of your food consumption raw). If you can’t find an organic farmer, make sure to carefully wash your vegetables and remove peels and cores to minimize your exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
Juicing is an important component of the no-grain diet because it’s the easy, convenient and delicious way to regularly consume large amounts of nutrients – vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants – in a form that is easily digested, absorbed and assimilated by your body.
Whether you eat a salad or drink vegetable juice, there’s no doubt that vegetables are good for you. The no-grain diet puts a premium on vegetable consumption to help you get as healthy as you can possibly be.


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