We all know that chicken, steak, rice and potatoes are staples when it comes to feeding our muscles with the protein and carbs we need to build muscle. But too much of the same thing not only gets boring, but it’s also not good for your long-term health.
While lean protein sources and healthy carbs are important parts of a diet, you also cannot neglect other nutrients, minerals and healthy fats. These last three categories are often overlooked by newbies, and in doing so, you sacrifice the potential to enjoy your food more, as well as getting more nutrients to help you build the body you want.
CHECK OUT THESE SUPERFOODS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DIET
These little seeds come from a plant in Mexico called Salvia Hispanica. “Chia” translates into the word strength, and it’s easy to understand why when looking at the nutritional value this food contains. They contain a good amount of healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), protein and healthy carbs. Another huge bonus is chia seeds are also packed with antioxidants and help keep your body operating at an optimum level.
One hundred grams of raw dry chia seeds contain 31 grams of healthy fat, 43 grams of carbs and 15 grams of quality protein. It makes a great topping for almost any meal and will only provide you with the best nutrients.
Cholesterol, in general, has a very bad rap when it comes up in diet talk. But did you know there are two types of cholesterol? One is high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is good for our bodies. The other, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), is not so good. So what does this have to do with coconut oil?
Well, coconut oil has very high levels of naturally saturated fats. These fats raise the levels of HDL in the body and convert LDL into HDL. This has numerous benefits for your heart and lowers your chances of heart disease.
Cooking with coconut oil is a great idea because of its ability to maintain its nutritional value over a longer period of cooking time at high heat. In the cooking process, coconut oil is less likely to become rancid like other oils that are more sensitive to heat.
We all know that citrus fruits are the go-to food source for vitamin C. This essential vitamin is crucial for immune system function and is needed for the development, repair and growth of our body tissues.
But hold on, there’s more! The juice in grapefruit promotes an increase in the production of gastric juices in the body, which, in turn, helps for better digestion.
This is a huge benefit for people on a training regimen that consists of eating a high-calorie diet; because eating the food is only the first step. What is more important is properly digesting the food you eat so your body can absorb the nutrients and put them to good use.
This is another superfood that does not often get the recognition it deserves. Asparagus is a great source of vitamin B1, B2 and B3, vitamin A, C, E and K, iron, incomplete protein and dietary fibre.
If you’re dieting and trying to cut weight, asparagus can help. It’s a natural diuretic, which means it helps your body shed unwanted water, which also helps to detoxify the body.
Alright, so it isn’t technically a “food”. However, water is something you have to consume and, hopefully, are getting enough of. The benefits of proper hydration include a healthy digestive system as water helps transport the nutrients we consume throughout the body and cells.
During training sessions, you want to make sure you’re properly hydrated because dehydration will result in fatigue and will rob you of an effective workout.
Drinking a lot of water helps keep all our organs hydrated, including the largest organ, our skin. Drinking a lot of water causes us to flush a lot of water and when we do that, many toxins in the body go with it.
Kale is another superfood that has many benefits that are utilised by the entire body. Kale is rich in vitamin C, which is responsible for collagen production. Kale does contain some omega-3s, which is also important for healthy skin and brain function. It also contains a good amount of copper, which protects your skin from inflammation and exposure.
Eating well is a huge part of performing well in the gym and in life. Take advantage of these superfoods to improve your diet.