Staying fit isn’t just about working out. You also have to fuel and refuel your body properly to facilitate muscle recovery, fat loss and ongoing cardiovascular health. Fortunately, there are some key foods that are naturally loaded with the nutrition your body needs to recover and thrive. Here are five fitness superfoods every health-conscious person should consider eating on a daily basis:
Start Your Day with Blueberries
Blueberries contain the most antioxidants of any fruit, and organic wild blueberries are best (as opposed to non-organic greenhouse grown). That said, any blueberries are better than none, and they retain much of their nutritional value even when frozen or dried. Eating them regularly can help with staying healthy and avoiding a range of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and brain and memory issues. Blueberries are rich in the vitamins A and C as well as fiber, and are a great support for your cardiovascular health. Consider blending them in a lowfat smoothie, eating them with oatmeal or drinking blueberry juice on the go.
Savor Spinach in Salads, Soups and Stir-Frys
The cartoon character “Popeye” was right; spinach is an excellent muscle and tissue builder, offering healthy doses of folate, iron, vitamin K, lutein, vegetarian protein and omega 3s. Eating it regularly can help to cleanse the blood and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well as stroke and heart disease. Consider replacing lettuce with spinach in your salads and work it into cooked recipes for added nutrition each day.
Support Endurance and Recovery with Lean Protein
Lean protein is essential in fueling workouts as well as supporting recovery between fitness sessions. The best sources of lean protein include boneless, skinless organic free range chicken breast and turkey breast, baked or steamed fish, grass fed lean beef (top sirloin and top round cuts are the leanest), and egg whites. Another excellent source of lean protein is Greek yogurt, which also offers the probiotic benefits of healthy bacteria cultures.
Get Your Healthy Omega 3s Each Day
Omega 3 fatty acids are foundational to continued good health and workout recovery. Salmon, walnuts, flaxseed and almonds are some of the easiest ways to eat omega 3s; however, you can also take a daily fish oil or flaxseed supplement to help ensure you’re getting enough of this health-supporting compound each day.
Stay Satisfied with Healthy Fiber
Healthy sources of fiber help to give you a full, satisfied feeling that lasts. Fiber also keeps your digestive system functioning optimally and lowers your risk of heart and cardiovascular issues. Some of the best sources of healthy fiber include oats (such as oatmeal for breakfast), quinoa, broccoli, apples and legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils.
A healthy lifestyle and freedom from illness requires more than just working out regularly. It’s estimated that healthy eating accounts for at least 70 percent of fitness results, and it is essential for supporting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consider working some or all of these healthy superfoods into your diet and nutrition plan each day, and enjoy sustained results from your workouts for years to come.