While you have your diet dialed in, your macronutrients sorted, there are small little things out there which can make enormous difference to your health and body composition.
Of course, your macronutrients will help you recover after training and keep you going, but there are a few small spices and condiments that can go a long way to optimizing your health.
Controlling inflammation and insulin sensitivity are key to long-term success in and out of the gym.
5 Small Additions to Your Diet
The spices and small additions to your diet below can do a lot for your immediate and long term wellbeing. Although they won’t turn your into Ronnie Coleman through these foodstuffs, we understand that consistency is key to success, and these additions to your diet will help ensure that consistency becomes easier by dispelling illnesses and health issues.
This spice packs quite a punch as it checks a lot of health boxes.
- Anti-bacterial, Anti-fungal properties
- Lowers blood pressure
- Antioxidants that help reduce inflammation
- Properties to improve gut health
- Lower blood sugar, thus improve insulin sensitivity
But for the sake of this article, we shall focus on its potential to reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity in the context of dieting to improve your body composition.
Inflammation and insulin resistance have been linked to a slew of diseases.
While acute inflammation can help with post-training recovery; chronic inflammation may lead to discomfort, slower recovery, and nasty disease that will reduce your quality of life.
Insulin sensitivity is crucial — not only for your health — but to recover after training and to become stronger and leaner.
You can sprinkle powdered cinnamon in your protein shakes, desserts; or, alternatively, make cinnamon teas as a postprandial digestive aid.
Ginger is another superfood that many people only tend to cart out when they’re suffering with digestive issues — nausea, in particular.
Ginger is a wonderful addition to your diet, and contains the following properties:
- Antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress
- Combats nausea, morning sickness
- Lowers blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity
- Improves digestions
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Can lower LDL cholesterol
Aside from the myriad of health benefits, ginger tastes awesome and can be used in teas, desserts, and certain dishes.
Turmeric has risen in popularity over the past few years as a health supplement for its multiple wonderful benefits.
This spice’s most active compound, curcumin, has been proven to combat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Furthermore, it contains powerful anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that have been shown to fight depression and arthritis.
- Powerful anti-inflammatories
- Potent antioxidants
- Medicinal properties that fights several diseases
- Properties that can defend the body from heart disease
Like with Creatine and L-Citrulline, you have to consume unrealistic amounts of whole foods to enjoy the full benefits of these wonderful compounds and we recommend taking it as a supplement. You can also up your dose by sprinkling turmeric liberally in your cooking. It goes well in curries and Arabic/Maghreb cuisine.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, although difficult to add seamlessly into your diet, can go a long way into improving your health.
Used for its supposed medicinal properties for millennia, apple cider vinegar is often used by lifters in a bid to lose fat.
Apple cider vinegar can:
- Improve digestion
- Lower blood sugar, and thus improve insulin sensitivity
- Increase satiety or the feeling of fullness after a meal
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
It can be difficult to incorporate to your diet model, and some of you will have to bite the bullet and just wolf down a couple of spoonfuls after dinner. But I have managed to incorporate it into my homemade fat burner recipe, which you can check out here.
Apart from repelling vampires, garlic is one of the best additions you can make to your diet. Add to your steak, your chicken, your casserole, or practically anything your diet requires.
But garlic does a whole lot more than making your food taste awesome and making your breath stink.
- improve athletic performance
- increase bloodflow (make sure to brush teeth)
- protect against colds
- lower cholesterol
- improve cardiovascular health
- improve skin quality
- boost cognitive abilities
You don’t need to be a master chef to find a place for garlic in your cooking as it goes with practically everything savory. I prefer to chop up a couple of cloves and add to my butter before throwing my meat onto the pan.
Adding all five of these things to your diet will have small but noticeable effects that can go a long way to improving your health — both mental and physical.
Check out our nutrition bundle to revolutionize your cooking and your gains in the gym.
Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!
Otherwise, don’t forget to claim your FREE eBook detailing how to lose 20lb of fat while building muscle in 12 weeks! You can claim it here.
Alternatively, you can pick up a FREE eBook on fundamental strength principles offering an introductory workout program.