Embracing a lifestyle that includes fitness means incorporating healthy foods into your diet. However, the word “healthy” often brings to mind images of super bland foods that no one in their right mind would want to include in their meals. However, you can still savor mealtime without loading up on unnecessary calories. It’s just a matter of picking tasty foods that:
1. Satisfy hunger.
2. Provide ample fuel for your body.
3. Allow you to get more out of your fitness routine.
We’ve put together five delicious foods that fit the bill.
Bananas make the perfect on-the-go snack. After all, you can just toss one in your bag and it’s ready to eat anytime, anywhere. However, they do more than just offer a serving of fruit for the day. They’re loaded with potassium, which can help relieve muscle cramps when working out, especially that dreaded stitch in your side. They’re also high in carbohydrates, which is essential for offering up enough fuel for your body to get through your workout routine and the rest of your day.
If it’s whole grain, it’s a great pre-workout food. Yes, you may be worried about the high carbohydrate content (think bagel or bread), but when it comes to giving your body the energy it needs to complete that run on the treadmill, you need them. You see, carbs burn slowly, so you maintain a constant level of energy rather than one big burst (and the inevitable crash). Note: we’re talking about complex carbohydrates here, derived from whole grains; not simple carbs like those found in white bread or sugar.
Okay, so cottage cheese may not be all that appetizing to some people but it’s a real powerhouse when it comes to preparing your body for fitness. Just a 1/2 cup of the stuff has 5 g of carbs, 75 mg of calcium, and a whopping 14 g of protein. It’s the protein that’s the real benefit, here. When you exercise, your muscles suffer microscopic tears. Boosting your protein intake speeds up the rate at which these tears heal, giving you a leg up on recovery time.
Pick your favorite: raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. It doesn’t matter. What does is just how full of antioxidants these tiny fruits are. Exercising can cause free radical damage to your muscles, so getting plenty of antioxidants can protect you from this damage. Add berries to whole grain cereal, oatmeal, or just grab a handful for an easy snack.
When it comes to healthy eating, all you ever hear about is chicken and turkey breast as being the flagship of nutritious poultry dining. However, something must be said for the drumstick. Dark meat turkey and chicken have fewer calories and fat than red meat and are chock full of zinc and iron–two essential ingredients for keeping your energy up during and after a workout.
Getting your fitness on is important but you need to nourish your body to get the best results. Incorporating these foods into your diet will give you the boosts you need in energy, recovery time, and muscle health to keep you going back to the gym all week long