One of the largest obstacles for people trying to live a healthy lifestyle is changing the foods you eat – also known as the dreaded D-word, Diet. You can spend every day in the gym but if you don’t fuel your body properly with the right foods, you won’t see the results. If you treat your body like a high-end sports car and fuel it with supreme-level fuel, then you’ll perform like a sports car…get it?
Here are five Super Foods for top fitness performance:
- Oats. This simple grain is one of the best foods to consume for top fitness performance. Oats are a complex carbohydrate which means they take longer to digest than a simple carbohydrate (like white sugar), so your blood sugar won’t spike. (Ever heard of the saying “oatmeal sticks to your ribs?”) Not only does it provide long-lasting energy with no sugar crash, it is high in fiber, helps to lower bad cholesterol, and improves cardiovascular health. Can’t stand the thought of eating plain oatmeal? Mix cocoa powder, cinnamon, stevia and some almond butter, like Maranatha’s Almond Butter, for a powerful and delicious breakfast.
- Salmon. This strong swimmer is one of the most nutritious protein sources for an active lifestyle. Packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids (the good kind!), and vitamin D, salmon should be a part of your diet at least once a week. Even though the omega-3s are great for your heart, salmon is an oily fish, so it is best to consume in moderation.
- Chia Seeds. For those of you who don’t like eating furry (and scaly) friends, chia seeds are a great addition to your diet. Like salmon, they provide omega-3s (lowering cholesterol) and like oats, they regulate blood sugar levels. They can be consumed whole or ground in smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, or on their own. Chia seeds are small but mighty – packed with calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous.
- Cinnamon. Not just another spice in your cupboard for holiday baking, cinnamon is an underestimated super food. Cinnamon is a delicious addition to any meal: chicken, oatmeal, bananas, smoothies, and even in ground turkey meatballs! Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels and boosts immune function, making it a necessity for winter. Mix some cinnamon in some tea when you feel a cold or flu coming on for some relief.
- Blueberries. Another small but mighty food, the blueberry has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of all fruits, protecting the body against many types of cancers and act as anti-inflammatories (so throw away that ibuprofen!) Blueberries are also considered low on the Glycemic Index (GI), which means they are low in sugar content. Blueberries also benefit your cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and protecting blood vessels from oxygen damage which can clog them.
There are so many super foods out there and if you add a few into your diet, you’ll see your fitness performance soar!
What are some of your favourite Fitness Fuels?