What Food Helps Fuel Your Fitness Goals
Becoming fit doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it requires significant lifestyle changes. Part of this is your exercise routine. However, a second very important component is your diet. Both components work in tandem. There are, in fact, certain foods that can help you better achieve your fitness goals. Below are just a few options.
While children everywhere seem to hate it, good old broccoli has plenty of health benefits you can take advantage of as an adult. Broccoli is one of the most vitamin-rich vegetables you can eat. It contains a high share of iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and more. It also includes important antioxidants that are vital for helping the body fend off sickness and disease. Since broccoli has so much calcium, it’s an excellent food for athletes and will help them avoid bone problems like stress fractures that can happen to people with calcium deficiencies when they play sports or take part in high endurance exercise routines.
Another excellent food choice for those that wish to get fit is oatmeal. Oatmeal is packed full of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It’s both whole grain and gluten-free. Truly, it is one of the healthiest foods you can consume, and it’s certainly quite beneficial for those that want to be more physically fit. There are also many different varieties of oatmeal to choose from. One of the best for athletes is high protein baked oatmeal that can contain extra healthy ingredients like pinole, bananas, and peanut butter. Not only will you receive all the natural nutritional benefits of oatmeal, but the added protein will give you the extra energy you need for more strenuous workouts.
You’ve probably heard that milk can do the body good. That is certainly true for those that do drink their fair share of milk. However, what you may not know is that chocolate milk can be even better for athletes and those wishing to improve their physical fitness.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, the protein in chocolate milk actually helps muscles heal more quickly. This is in addition to the benefits you already receive from the calcium and other various vitamins and minerals in every glass of milk. It is truly the drink of champions.
It’s a staple of Thanksgiving dinners. However, what you may not know about sweet potatoes is that they are actually really good for you. They include a healthy helping of Vitamin C, fiber, iron, and beta-carotene. If you don’t know what beta-carotene is, it’s what actually gives sweet potatoes their vivid orange color. The human body converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which has a whole list of great health benefits. The consumption of beta-carotene is believed to benefit the immune system and help ward off disease. Sweet potatoes also contain potassium which is an electrolyte and can help prevent muscle cramping. As such, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice for those that like to run, race, or swim.
This fruit is a staple of Italian cooking. Its bright acidic flavor can enhance nearly any dish, and it can also do a lot of good for your body as well. Tomatoes include a lot of Vitamin C. They also include something known as lycopene. This gives tomatoes their red color and also acts as a disease-fighting antioxidant in the human body. It has even been suggested that lycopene could help prevent prostate cancer. Even more interesting for those looking to get fit is the fact that tomatoes have been shown to help those trying to lose weight through their ability to help the body produce the weight-losing hormone leptin.
Lastly, if you want to be fit, a great snack for any time is a banana. Bananas can be a great healthy energy boost before a workout thanks to the carbohydrates. They also come packed with plenty of potassium which has many great health benefits for athletes. Potassium can help heal muscles and lessen the chances of having muscle cramps. They also contain lutein, which helps protect eyesight.
Part of being healthy is eating right. If you choose a diet rich in healthy foods, you’ll be able to more easily reach your physical fitness goals. The list above is only a starting point. Plenty of other foods have great benefits for physical health in regards to vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more.