Hey Angels and Alphas,
Even though it goes without saying, we’ll say it again – nutrition is vital.
When it comes to getting lean, building and preserving muscle, losing fat, and pretty with much every other fitness goal you might have, nutrition is what’s going to get you to and past the finish line.
In this world full of nutritional options, the clever athlete/goal-chaser always chooses those that provide the best bang for their buck, or in this case, the best bang for their calories.
Today, I’ve compiled a quick list of a lot of “superfoods” that have been researched and documented to provide you with a health or performance benefit on your way to your goal. Foods that are changing the way we look at “healthy” food.
First, let’s give them a definition.
What classifies a superfood?
Now, the term superfood is fully non-medical. The media popularized it in the fitness and wellness community, and it refers to foods that have specific health benefits – such as reducing risk of certain illnesses, improving emotional health, or just being chock full of healthy nutrients.
Superfoods generally have one nutrient that they have in excess, for example, antioxidants or specific vitamins.
As a surprise to absolutely no one, they’re mostly plant-based with a few exceptions in the dairy/fish area. They’re often labeled as nutritionally dense; hence, they’re good for one’s health.
A lot of foods have the label of superfood nowadays. These include blueberries, salmon, acai berry, kale, beans, sweet potatoes, avocados, king mackerel, tilefish, hemp seeds, kale, broccoli, collards, Swiss chard, noni fruit, dragon fruit, rambutan, pomegranate, and more.
However, there are no specific criteria that determine which foods are superfoods, and which aren’t. That’s why you can think of this as a marketing label for foods that have been proven healthy.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at a few of these superfoods and what makes them so super. This way, you can get a better understanding of where their health benefits arise from and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
Let’s get right into it.
Superfood #1 – Avocados
Avocados are one of those foods that’s just misunderstood. A lot of people tend to generally avoid it because it’s high in fat. But what most people don’t realize is that the type of fat in avocados is good fat – monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as MUFAs.
Studies have shown that avocados help your body get rid of bad cholesterol, as well as raising the good cholesterol – an absolute key food for people with heart issues.
The average avocado is around 200 grams, and it contains 30 grams of fat and ~320 calories. They’re also a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine of the essential amino acids.
This, as found in a lot of recent studies, helps you preserve lean body tissue while using weight. It also gives your body the full protein profile it needs to build and maintain muscle mass.
They also contain a huge amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Overall, they are one of the best foods when it comes to dropping body fat, and respectively, the risk of any issues related to high body fat.
Superfood #2 – Beans
Beans are not only known for their high protein and fiber contents. They’re also an incredible natural source of B vitamins, and the antioxidant vitamins E, A, and C.
They contain calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, and somehow, they do all of that while being low in calories and fat.
They’re the perfect muscle-building meal for anyone who is conscious of their weight, or for the vegans and vegetarians who prefer proteins from fruits and veggies.
Beans are definitely a food that should be in your menu on the regular, and to improve digestion, just make sure you soak them in water for a few hours before cooking them.
Superfood #3 – Bananas
Did someone say vitamins and minerals? It’s no secret to anyone – bananas are fantastic.
Not only are they are a great source of energy pre-workout, but they also help you stay hydrated and ensure better muscle recovery post-workout. They’re delicious and super easy to digest – a quick and tasty snack that gives you a noticeable boost in energy.
Another critical factor that makes bananas so unique is that they’re high in potassium and sodium. Potassium and sodium play a vital role in the electrical impulses that are always going around your body, especially during intense muscle stress.
Superfood #4 – Mangos
Mangos are a delicious, quick-digesting carbohydrate that leaves you with a lot of energy and a tropical taste in your mouth. They’re low in calories and extremely high in vitamin A.
One cup serving contains between 20 and 30 grams of carbs, perfect for an immediate energy boost pre-workout. When it comes to living and dieting healthy, mangos are one of your tastier options.
Not to mention, they contain over 20 vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in protecting your body from free radicals, as well as other effects of oxidative stress.
Mango salads, shakes, and desserts should be a staple in every gym lover’s menu, so if you haven’t paid much attention to them, now’s your chance.
Superfood #5 – Quinoa
You might’ve heard Quinoa called a grain in a lot of places. In reality, it’s a seed.
You’re probably thinking – how can a little seed be a superfood? Well, judge them not by their size, because these little fellows have an incredibly rich nutritional content.
They’re a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, aiding muscle development, growth, and repair. They’re also a complex carbohydrate, giving you 45-50 grams of carbs per cup at a slow digestive rate. One cup of them in the morning will fuel your body for hours, and because they’re such a good combination of proteins and carbs, they’re an excellent option for both pre-workout and post-workout meals.
Not to mention, they’re rich in vitamin C and E, both really powerful antioxidants that protect your body against free radicals, just like those in mangos.
Superfood #6 – Acai Berries
These little berries are phenomenal. Their antioxidant contents are through the roof, and they’re really rich in essential amino acids and trace minerals. Some studies have found a correlation between acai berries and better muscle contraction.
You probably won’t be going around making meals out of these berries, but they make a great addition to pretty much any shake and dessert.
Keep in mind that their most nutritionally dense content is in the pulp. Add it to your smoothies or yogurt, and you’ve got one of the most nutritionally-rich fitness snacks out there.
Superfood #7 – Peanut Butter
Can’t talk about superfoods without mentioning peanut butter. Peanut butter has culturally become one of the best breakfast foods, and with good reason.
If you start your day off with peanut butter, you’re fueling your body with healthy fats and proteins that will give you a massive amount of lasting energy.
Peanut butter is known to contain the good types of fats – mono and polyunsaturated fats, while containing zero trans fats. It’s a rich source of protein and vitamin E, making it a delicious and potent muscle-building food. If peanut butter isn’t your thing per se, you might want to try almond butter.
Peanut butter snacks are easy to prepare, yummy, and filling. What more could you ask for from a fitness superfood?
As you might have noticed, most of these foods derive their health benefits from their extraordinarily high antioxidant or protein quantities.
These foods are all full of healthy nutrients, but no matter which one you choose to add to your diet, it won’t be enough to substitute a thoroughly productive and fulfilling diet plan.
No matter what your individual taste is, adding a few of these near-magical foods to your diet will help you stay healthier, recover quickly, and get the energy you need to power through workouts on your way to your fitness goal.
It’s no secret to anyone that fueling the body correctly is crucial.
And today, you’ve learned some of the most potent types of fuel for the body out there, and if you tend to spend a lot of time in the gym, consuming these types of foods isn’t a plus – it’s a must.