Bodybuilders always seem to be too busy discussing about the ideal intake of proteins or how to manage the consumption of carbs, but you rarely hear them talk about their favorite fruits and vegetables.
In general, plant based foods are largely underrated when it comes to planning a diet adjusted to bodybuilding workouts.
Yet the dietary fiber, found in plants, has many benefits – from its ability to induce a feeling of satiety to helping the organism maintain a healthy weight and build lean muscle mass.
Some health experts recommend a consumption of 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Why? Read the following text to find out.
Dietary fiber is actually an indigestible nutrient found in many fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Traditionally, it’s classified in two groups: soluble fiber that dissolves in water and can be metabolized in our guts by the “good” bacteria, and insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water.
In other words, fiber can be fermentable or non-fermentable, according to the ability of gut-friendly bacteria to use it, and most foods contain both types.
Although the latter is dissolvable in water, water does absorb it – resulting with an increase in fiber bulk, which in turn helps the cleaning of the gastrointestinal track of all the waste and decreases the time digested food spends in the intestine.
So, by regular consumption of this type of fibers, you can enhance nutrient absorption in the gut by having the intestine walls well cleaned and stimulated. And that’s the basis for increasing the efficiency of all metabolic processes.
1. Fat loss
High-fiber foods are more filling than low-fiber foods, so they help you eat less while staying full longer. Fiber also enhances the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin, which signals the brain that you’ve eaten enough. This means that fibers can provide significant help in controlling your appetite during a cutting phase or before a competition.
Now, although some fiber-rich foods have fewer calories and provide less energy for the organism on their own, some of the best energy foods around are the low-digested high-fiber carb foods, since the fiber they contain slows down their entry into the blood and provides the body with a lasting amount of fuel.
This prolonged fuel helps you maintain a stable level of energy throughout the day, which is way more effective for your daily functioning than fast-collapsing energy peaks. Another benefit of the slow break down of carbs is that it makes the body store more of the carbohydrates as muscle glycogen rather than body fat.
And in people with diabetes, fiber can help improve blood sugar levels because of the slower absorption of sugar, so a healthy diet containing both types of fiber may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Fiber also reduces the amount of free cholesterol in the blood – this, together with its ability to decrease the intake of calories, makes it a great natural way to enhance your body fat loss.
But there’s more – fiber actually binds with some of the dietary fat you consume and takes it out of the body, so including some fiber in your high-calorie meals will help you fight off the excess fat you’ve consumed.
2. Insulin sensitivity
Insulin is the crucial hormone that both drives the consumed carbohydrates and consumed proteins into the muscles, providing faster recovery and enhanced growth. But this beneficial effect depends on your level of insulin sensitivity. It goes like this: the muscles have their own receptors for insulin, and the better they’re tuned, the more insulin will be provided to move carbs and proteins into the muscles.
And here comes another significant role of fibers – soluble fibers improve insulin sensitivity by enhancing the functioning of insulin receptors. This makes fibers an important part of your diet plan if you’re serious about building the ideal lean, ripped body.
In addition, some high-fiber veggies like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain compounds named indoles – these help lower the levels of estrogen in males and therefore lead to less water retention and slightly greater levels of testosterone. Not bad, right?
But if you’re wondering what is the best time to consume fibers – well, any except the post training meal. The post training meal has to provide you with a fast absorption of carbs to stimulate recovery and growth, so you really won’t benefit from a slower carb digestion.
But that doesn’t mean you should stay away from high-fiber fruits and veggies in your other meals – you should increase them significantly to enhance the effects of your bodybuilding diet and reap some other great health benefits, too.