Slowing Our Metabolism with Nitrate-Rich Vegetables

Slowing Our Metabolism with Nitrate-Rich Vegetables
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The reason greens are associated with a significantly longer lifespan may be because, like caloric restriction, they improve our energy efficiency.

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Resting metabolic rate is the largest component of our daily energy budget. The direct effects of physical activity are relatively small, compared to how many calories we expend just living and breathing. Now during, like, special ops training, or climbing a four-mile high mountain, you may burn 4,000 calories a day. But for most people, the calories we burn just lying around existing exceeds normal physical activities. Thus, our metabolic rate can have implications for controlling our weight.

Remember how dietary nitrate, found in beets and green leafy vegetables, improves the efficiency of the little power plants within our cells, boosting athletic performance by extracting more energy from every breath? So, if we eat a lot of vegetables, might it slow our metabolism, since our body can function so much more efficiently with the calories we give it?

They gave people a dose of nitrate equivalent to a few servings of spinach or beets, and, indeed, their resting metabolic rates slowed on average about 4%. That’s nearly a hundred calories a day. If our bodies burned that many fewer calories a day, and we didn’t eat any less, we could put on some pounds. Of course, green leafy vegetables are like the healthiest things on the planet; so, we shouldn’t decrease our greens intake to try to control our weight. But they think maybe it was a way our body evolved to use vegetables to help preserve energy during lean times in our ancient past. But this isn’t just some quirky interest. Slowing our metabolism may have benefits for our longevity.

You know what else similarly slows your metabolism? Caloric restriction. Like eating every other day. That may be why caloric restriction is associated with a longer lifespan in many animals. Maybe like a candle, burning with a smaller flame allows us to last longer. It’s hard to walk around starving all the time, but easy to replicate that same metabolic effect by eating a big daily salad.

This may be why one of the six most powerful things we can do to live longer is to eat green leafy vegetables. Not smoking, not drinking heavily, walking at least an hour a day, getting a good seven hours of sleep, and eating greens at least almost every day, in addition to achieving an ideal weight. Doing even just one of those may cut our risk of premature death by 20 to 25%.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Wolffsfa via Pixabay

Resting metabolic rate is the largest component of our daily energy budget. The direct effects of physical activity are relatively small, compared to how many calories we expend just living and breathing. Now during, like, special ops training, or climbing a four-mile high mountain, you may burn 4,000 calories a day. But for most people, the calories we burn just lying around existing exceeds normal physical activities. Thus, our metabolic rate can have implications for controlling our weight.

Remember how dietary nitrate, found in beets and green leafy vegetables, improves the efficiency of the little power plants within our cells, boosting athletic performance by extracting more energy from every breath? So, if we eat a lot of vegetables, might it slow our metabolism, since our body can function so much more efficiently with the calories we give it?

They gave people a dose of nitrate equivalent to a few servings of spinach or beets, and, indeed, their resting metabolic rates slowed on average about 4%. That’s nearly a hundred calories a day. If our bodies burned that many fewer calories a day, and we didn’t eat any less, we could put on some pounds. Of course, green leafy vegetables are like the healthiest things on the planet; so, we shouldn’t decrease our greens intake to try to control our weight. But they think maybe it was a way our body evolved to use vegetables to help preserve energy during lean times in our ancient past. But this isn’t just some quirky interest. Slowing our metabolism may have benefits for our longevity.

You know what else similarly slows your metabolism? Caloric restriction. Like eating every other day. That may be why caloric restriction is associated with a longer lifespan in many animals. Maybe like a candle, burning with a smaller flame allows us to last longer. It’s hard to walk around starving all the time, but easy to replicate that same metabolic effect by eating a big daily salad.

This may be why one of the six most powerful things we can do to live longer is to eat green leafy vegetables. Not smoking, not drinking heavily, walking at least an hour a day, getting a good seven hours of sleep, and eating greens at least almost every day, in addition to achieving an ideal weight. Doing even just one of those may cut our risk of premature death by 20 to 25%.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Wolffsfa via Pixabay

Doctor's Note

What’s that about boosting athletic performance? See:

Don’t want to carry beets on the track with you? Try fennel seeds: Fennel Seeds to Improve Athletic Performance.

Want to know something else neat that greens can do? Check out How to Regenerate Coenzyme Q10 Naturally.

If you’re wondering about the oxalates in spinach and other greens, I have a couple of videos that came out after this one was released: Oxalates in Spinach and Kidney Stones: Should We Be Concerned? and Kidney Stones and Spinach, Chard, & Beet Greens: Don’t Eat Too Much

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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