All things are not created equal in this world. Foods certainly fall within that category. Some foods are considered healthy and others are the exact opposite. But even within the ‘healthy‘ category there are levels of food. Today we will be talking about the sometimes mythical ‘superfoods’.
Certain food groups are naturally better at fighting fat or promoting a healthier body compared to others. When you are looking to get lean and mean it pays to understand that using certain foods over others will naturally help your body slim down to the shape you are looking for.
The Big Five
- Fiber-Rich Grains – Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Plenty of ‘Diet Guru’s’ and books like to paint carbohydrates as something that causes your body to swell up like a blimp. Now, that is completely true when you are talking about foods that are processed and created in a lab but we are focusing our attention on those all-natural healthy carbs found in whole grains, pasta, and even pitas. These should be the building blocks of your meals for long-lasting energy. Plus for guys there is the added bonus of that fiber helping reduce the risk of prostate cancer. You can also include oats in this list which is why they are always a top choice at breakfast! High fiber keeps you full and the grains are mellower on your blood glucose levels to keep energy even-keel. Three to four servings per day is just what the nutrition expert ordered!
- Spinach – Don’t knock Popeye, that guy was on to something! Leafy green vegetables like spinach are packed full of great nutrients that help with your mood, burn calories, boost your sexual prowess, and aid with your heart health. With a super low caloric value they almost burn their value in consumption but you still get all those nutrients. Aim for getting salad in a few times a day, add spinach leaves to sandwiches, and eat Brussels sprouts at dinner. The added folate boost has been shown to improve your mood and fight weight gain.
- Turkey – Protein is that huge building block you need daily. As cool as protein shakes are they can do it all. Turkey and other very lean meats are a key diet component and superfood to give you those amino acids your body craves. Plus digesting protein burns a lot of calories. You want at least two servings of lean meat per day if not more. Eggs are a great compliment to breakfast and your pre and post-workout meals should always include protein.
- Eggs & Dairy – Calcium, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of being overweight are all noted affects of consuming a lot of milk. Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and even with the cholesterol in them they don’t actually raise your cholesterol. Dairy also gets you lots of Vitamin D. Along with milk and eggs, yogurt is a fantastic source of dairy with protein that is great for snacks.
- Nuts & Seeds – Fiber, protein, vitamins, and fats all rolled into a simple, crunchy snack! This last superfood is one of the most enjoyable because there is a lot of variety and who doesn’t like nuts? You can find antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and even amino acids within nuts and seeds. They are great by the handful and can also easily be sprinkled onto a nice leafy salad. Eating nuts can also help with increasing your natural resting caloric burn rate. Pretty awesome!
Those are five great superfoods that you should be eating every day. If you aren’t already try to start shifting your diet slowly to incorporate them. Instead of going cold turkey and trying to revamp your entire diet at once, ease into things by adjusting your breakfast first. Switch to whole grain oats with some eggs to start and see how much better you look and feel after only a week. Then make small adjustments in other areas until you are a lean, mean, fat burning machine!