The greener the vegetables, the better for your body. Broccoli is a great snack you can eat raw, or steamed. It lowers cholesterol, gets rid of toxins and is packed with vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin K. If you’re busy, you’re better off packing raw broccoli florets in a bag, and eating them on the go.
Blueberries are a superfood that you can enjoy anytime. They are one of the highest antioxidant-containing fruits in the world, and you can eat them raw, in smoothies or in yogurt. Studies have shown that eating blueberries after a workout can help your muscles recover much quicker because antioxidants help promote healing. Blueberries are also packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.
When it comes to boosting antioxidant intake, research indicates there is little benefit from ingesting supplements. A better way, according to nutritionists at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., is eating a diet rich in antioxidant-containing foods.
Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, carotene, lycopene, lutein, and many other substances may play a role in helping to prevent diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants are thought to help because they have the ability to neutralize free radicals, which are toxic by-products of natural cell metabolism. The human body does produce antioxidants, but the process is not 100% effective and that effectiveness declines with age.
Foods, rather than supplements, may boost antioxidant levels because they contain an unmatchable array of antioxidant substances. A supplement may contain a single type of antioxidant or even several. However, foods have thousands of different kinds, and it is not known which of these substances confer the benefits.
Some of the better food sources are berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries); beans (small red beans and kidney, pinto, and black beans); fruits (many apple varieties with peels, avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or dried plums, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi); vegetables (artichokes, spinach, red cabbage, red or white potatoes with peels, sweet potatoes, and broccoli); beverages (green tea, coffee, red wine, and many fruit juices); nuts (walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds); herbs (ground cloves, cinnamon or ginger, dried oregano leaf, and turmeric powder); grains (oat-based products); and dessert (dark chocolate).
Though supplements containing antioxidants generally are considered safe, two recent studies have suggested that taking higher than recommended doses of supplements such as Vitamin E over time actually may be harmful and possibly toxic. In contrast, many foods higher in antioxidants offer an array of health benefits, such as being high in fiber, protein, and other vitamins and minerals and low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Eating a balanced diet will quickly put you on the right path to building your muscles. Nature has provided all the food that build muscle and it is not necessary to consume extra protein powders or supplements.
Lean meats, wild salmon, eggs, dairy and nuts are important sources of protein and energy. Nuts such as almonds, macadamias, peanuts, and pistachios provide unsaturated fat, protein, vitamin and minerals. Low-fat dairy is also a good source of Vitamin B12, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium for keeping your bones strong.
Carbohydrates are the fuel for your body to have the energy to exercise. Include plenty of high fiber cereals, whole-wheat breads, pastas and tortillas, brown or wild rice, barley, beans, oat bran, quinoa, sweet potatoes and yams in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of nutrients and complex carbohydrates. They are low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Make sure to eat lots of apples, asparagus, avocados, bananas, bell peppers, blueberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, grapes, green peppers, kiwis, mangos, onions, oranges, pineapples, raspberries, red peppers, spinach, strawberries, string beans, tangerines, tomatoes, zucchini.