Today I want to tell you about a book that really helped me understand the kind of food you need to be eating to lose man boobs, lose weight, and grow muscle.
It's called “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.:
The main message in Dr Fuhrman's book is that you have to eat food that's dense in micronutrients.
Micronutrients include phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Here are the foods that are highest in micronutrients, with the highest on top:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Other green vegetables
- Non-green nutrient-rich vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Beans (legumes)
- Raw nuts and seeds
In a Ted video I recently watched by Dr Fuhrman, he said,
“The more you eat green, the more you get lean”.
I'd watch your intake of fruits and beans though, as they are also high in carbs and a lot of vegetarians get fat on these.
Micronutrients are required for all of the countless biological processes in the body. We need micronutrients for energy production, immune function, blood clotting, growth, bone health, fluid balance, and more.
A big reason, maybe even the most important reason why, in the modern day, we're seeing such a big rise of diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even gynecomastia (man boobs), is because our diets are becoming lower and lower in micronutrients.
By far the LEAST micronutrient dense foods are refined sweets like cookies, cakes, candy, soda, and fruit juice. These are followed by refined oils and refined grains like white flour, white rice, white bread, and white pasta.
These refined foods provide us with “empty” calories that contain little or no micronutrients.
They fill you up and give you energy, but without the much-needed micronutrients, your body beneath the surface is struggling to sustain all of those physiological processes that keep you alive and healthy.
Things start breaking down, DNA gets damaged, hormones get imbalanced, and everything starts to go wrong.
Gary Taubes, one of the biggest pioneers of the low carb, grain-free movement, writes in his book, Why We Get Fat, about how obesity is a disease of malnutrition, i.e. a disease of micronutrient deficiency.
The fact is, that in order to stay lean, man boob free, disease-free, and healthy, we need to eat foods that are micronutrient dense.
Micronutrient deficiency is a well-known cause of gynecomastia. We need high levels of testosterone to keep man boobs at bay, and your body relies on multiple micronutrients to keep levels of testosterone up – the likes of vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, and others.
And it's not just testosterone that's important.
Some micronutrients have a direct impact on the male breast. Take vitamin D for example, which prevents estrogen-related growth of your mammary glands (the glands behind your nipples that give you puffy nipples).
And if you want to build muscle, you don't just need protein, which is a MACROnutrient, you need countless MICROnutrients, which are just as important, the likes of vitamin D, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium, biotin, iron, vitamin C, selenium, vitamin B12, copper, riboflavin, zinc, and more – ALL of these play a CRUCIAL role in building muscle, yet all anyone ever talks about when trying to build muscle, is PROTEIN.
So, the take-home message in today's post is this:
If you want to make any positive changes to your body or your health, then you need MICRONUTRIENTS to do it, and LOTS of it.
This is true whether you want to lose man boobs, lose weight, grow muscle, prevent disease, cure disease, boost your fitness, recover faster, sleep better, improve mental clarity, live longer… the list goes on.
And a great source that will inspire you to find and eat micronutrient dense foods, is Joel Fuhrman's Eat To Live:
One thing about Fuhrman though, is he takes too much of a negative stance on animal-based foods – meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
From the research I have done, I believe the right sources of meat, fish, eggs and dairy (organic, pasture-raised, etc.) are an important part of your diet, but I also believe that the vast majority of your plate should always be filled with micronutrient dense non-starchy veggies.