Diet and fitness go hand in hand. It’s hard to excel at anything fitness related if you have a poor diet. Healthy foods can actually help you reach your fitness goals by improving strength, endurance and recovery. So, whether you’re looking to finally finish that marathon, up your total weight on the bench, or simply drop a few sizes, good nutrition is absolutely crucial. Here’s a look at 10 healthy foods that can help you maximize your fitness goals.
1. Olive Oil
Because it’s rich in good monounsaturated fats, olive oil can be extremely beneficial towards good heart health. Olive oil also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can actually reduce swelling or pain, and in turn, help you to recover much faster.
Quinoa is finally breaking through into the mainstream and getting the attention it deserves in reaching fitness goals. It’s an extremely versatile food and can be used in a variety of meals. Quinoa has one of the largest concentrations of protein for a grain, and is also a good source of fiber and B vitamins.
It seems like the jury is always out on eggs, but here’s the bottom line. Eggs contain four grams of amino acids and are a good mix of protein and carbohydrates, which can help you power through your workouts.
You can never be too hydrated. Water keeps your joints lubricated and feeling good throughout your workouts. It can also help you stave off hunger, as drinking a glass or two of water before or after your meals can help keep you feeling full.
5. Sweet Potatoes
One four-ounce sweet potato actually holds more than 100 percent of your daily supply of beta carotene. It’s also a great source of iron and has a lot of vitamins C and E. Together, these nutrients can protect your cells from damage, and are crucial towards muscle recovery.
These nuts are high in protein and fiber, which means they can help build muscle and keep you feeling full, so you’re less likely to overeat or ingest anything bad for you later on in the day.
This fish is one of the richest in omega-3s and can boost hearth health by keeping your arteries free of blockages. It’s also packed with more than 20 grams of protein, but has a low calorie count. Because of this, you’ll end up taking in fewer calories but burning more.
These may be some of the best fruits you can eat. Blueberries pack a ton of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can help keep both your brain and nervous system healthy as well as keep your fitness goals on track.
9. Greek Yogurt
One of the more popular healthy foods that have popped up lately, Greek yogurt is high in protein, but low in carbohydrates and sodium. The higher concentration of protein can help keep you feeling fuller longer, so it can assist in fat loss and is great as a post-workout snack. Because it’s also high in probiotics, it can also assist with your digestion.
10. Whole Grain Bread
Whole grains are packed with nutrients. Whole grain bread has a high concentration of carbohydrates and are the perfect food to help energize and fuel your workouts. It also has a good amount of fiber, which can help keep you feeling satiated as well.