Broccoli vs. Spinach - Which Vegetable has more Benefits for Athletes?

Broccoli vs Spinach

Be Sure to Get Green Veggies Daily for Optimal Health

So let's get down to the facts, whether it's better for bodybuilders to eat spinach or broccoli. Spinach and broccoli are both excellent vegetables that serious bodybuilders should be consuming on a regular basis.

It is common for a bodybuilder to consume mass quantities of one favorite vegetable, leaving all others out of a diet completely. Although this is better than not eating any veggies at all, it is healthier to diversify at least some of the time. By eating a variety of vegetables, you ensure that your body gets all the essential components in them to help keep you healthy so you can concentrate on packing on muscle instead of worrying about catching colds. Spinach and broccoli are both important. Here is a look at what each has to offer.

Spinach is a dark green leafy plant, probably native to Asia. The vegetable gained popularity in the Western Hemisphere in the 1920's, when nutritionists found that it contains iron and vitamins A and B2. Spinach is high in fiber and low in calories with virtually no fat.

According to top professionals in the sports nutrition field, bodybuilders should eat spinach because it is "high in beta-carotene.. and vitamin E, the fat-soluble vitamin that fights muscle inflammation and enhances muscle recovery after intense workouts." Spinach comes fresh, frozen or canned, but its raw form contains the most vitamins and minerals.

Try making a fresh spinach salad with walnuts and dressing made with olive, canola or sunflower oil. Broccoli, a bright green vegetable that looks like a minisized tree, is another great source of important physique-building elements. Broccoli is higher in fiber than spinach, and it is a great source of vitamin C, which supports the adrenal glands and boosts the immune system. Like spinach, broccoli is low in calories and virtually fat-free. It's also an excellent source of calcium.

According to a broccoli resource web site and the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, broccoli has the same amount of calcium, ounce for ounce, as milk. Calcium is important to bodybuilders because of its many functions, including its key role in muscle contraction/relaxation.

Broccoli can be eaten raw with a low-fat dip or cut into small pieces and added to salads. The most popular way to eat broccoli is lightly steamed, but be aware that some vitamins and minerals are lost if you overcook it.

Besides spinach and broccoli, other vegetables you should regularly include on your plate are string beans, carrots, zucchini, celery, various forms of lettuce, eggplant, red and green bell peppers and cauliflower. Don't just stick to things you know - look for recipes that call for vegetables you don't usually use. For the most part, vegetables are rather inexpensive and they are easy to prepare because they can be eaten raw, baked, boiled, steamed or sautéed.

Diversifying your vegetables will help you stick to your diet because it should prevent boredom from setting in. You might even find yourself enjoying your veggies.

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