While there are many diet trends out there, healthy dietary patterns have been proven to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. These patterns feature a wide variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes and lean protein. These nutrients fuel your body and provide a foundation for achieving your fitness goals. The foods you choose to consume have a direct impact on your performance during exercise and recovery afterward.
The key is to fuel your body properly by eating nutrient-dense meals and snacks throughout the day, with balance between the different food groups. This will help ensure that you are maximizing your potential and reducing the likelihood of injury and illness. A few of the best energy-boosting foods include berries, which are loaded with fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals, sweet potatoes, which are high in potassium and fiber, and dark chocolate, which is rich in magnesium. These superfoods can be eaten alone or added to a meal or snack. You’ll also want to eat proteins, especially those from fish and legumes (like black beans). Protein helps you build muscle and repair tissue after exercise.
It also provides the amino acids needed to create enzymes, hormones and other chemicals that regulate bodily functions. You can incorporate protein into your diet by choosing lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and dairy products. Healthy fats are important too. Not only do they provide energy, but they also help the body absorb certain vitamins (A, D, E and K). Choose unsaturated fats such as avocado, olive, canola and flaxseed oil or unsalted peanut butter. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle or run your first half marathon, the food you eat can make all the difference in your success.
The right mix of good carbs, protein and healthy fats will keep your body running smoothly so you can hit your fitness goals. There are lots of “top 10 healthy foods” lists out there, but this one takes a unique approach. It’s based on an actual survey of top-rated dietitians and nutritionists on Upwork. These nutritionists and registered dietitians share the ten healthiest foods they turn to for energy before, during and after workouts. This list includes some of the most versatile, easy-to-find and delicious staples that you can add to your daily routine.