Have you ever thought about the connection between happiness and good health?
Aug 28, 2012
TOP TEN FITNESS FOODS
Most people realize that a healthy diet is an essential component of an effective fitness plan, but certain foods outshine the rest. From fueling your workout to improving your overall health, the healthiest foods contain vitamins and other nutrients that have been proven beneficial.
Nuts contain healthy fats that make you feel full on less food and help lower cholesterol. Almonds especially are high in fiber, and contain protein for muscle repair.
Fish Fish like salmon, which is high in omega-3 fats, is another lean protein source. Fish also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce post-workout soreness.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants, and contain vitamin C and potassium that can assist with muscle repair. They are healthy carbs that are full of fiber.
Broccoli contains loads of antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals that can help ward off cell damage and contribute to a healthy heart.
Beans are starchy vegetables, but just 1 1/2 cups contains as much protein as a 3-oz. serving of meat. They also contain phytonutrients that guard against cell damage and have enough carbs to help fuel long workouts.
Dairy foods contain calcium that helps maintain healthy bone mass, but they are also good sources of protein that can help with muscle repair. Yogurt also contains active cultures that can improve your digestive health and banish bloat and gas that can interfere with long runs. Be sure to choose low-fat or fat-free varieties.
Leafy green vegetables are so low in calories and carbohydrates that the American Diabetic Association says there's no such thing as too much. Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, these "powerhouse" veggies promote a healthy heart and good vision.
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants and fiber, and are a low-GI alternative to white potatoes. According to the Mayo Clinic website, they can help slow the aging process and reduce your risk of some cancers.
Besides being a potent source of fiber, whole grains are the healthiest way to carb-load before an endurance event. Whole grains include the bran and the germ, which is where the majority of a grain's protein and vitamins are.
Most people know that fruits are packed with vitamins, but many don't realize that their high water content can help you stay hydrated during your workout. Apples contain vitamin C, which can help weight lifters maintain intact connective tissue after heavy lifts, and bananas are potent pre-workout snacks that help boost your energy. Citrus fruits are high in fiber, and contain large doses of vitamin C as well.