Updated: Mar 1, 2019
For most people, the hardest aspect of fitness is nutrition. Choosing which foods you should eat and which not can be a really challenging task, since there are countless foods out there, all of them with their pros and cons. However, there are certain foods that can provide you with numerous benefits and can not only help you achieve your fitness goals, but also help you have a much better health. Cause at the end of the day, fitness is all about health.
There are plenty of them and that’s why I’ve decided to create a mini series of superfoods you need to consume on a daily basis. On today’s part of SUPERFOODS we will cover: avocados, eggs, broccoli, sweet potatoes and oatmeal. Without further do, let’s jump right into the first one!!
If there is one fat source that you should be consuming on a daily basis, it is avocados. Providing you with 23 grs of fat for every 100 grs, avocados are filled with monounsaturated fats, which help mitochondria work better, strengthen your immune system, lower bad cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) levels and help regulate your blood sugar levels, amongst many other benefits.
Avocados are also a great source of: vitamin C, E, K, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, choline potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Their benefits? Protection for your cell’s membranes and their nucleus, better collagen biosynthesis, better bones health, blood pressure under control, better cardiovascular health and better skin.
Different studies have shown that avocados may reduce LDL cholesterol levels, blood triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol (aka the “good cholesterol), contributing to a better heart health.
All in all, avocados are 79% fiber, thereby they promote gut health, regulate appetite, reduce blood sugar levels and contribute to a better metabolic health.
I’m sure you saw this one coming. Eggs provide you with a high biological value protein, since they contain ALL THE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS, making them an excellent and high-quality protein source.
Also, the yolk has a decent amount of fat, mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which makes it a good fat source too.
You’re probably thinking “But eggs are high in cholesterol”. Yes, they are, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. Cholesterol in your diet doesn’t necessarily raises cholesterol in your blood (see why here). In most cases, eggs do not raise cholesterol in your blood. However, they can raise it in hyper responders (more here).
Eggs contain vitamin A, B2, B5, B6, B12, E, K, phosphorus, selenium, folate, calcium and zinc. In other words, eggs contain little bit of almost everything you need. They are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and a must on any diet. This translates into a healthier brain and immune system, better skin, lower risk of heart disease and more energy.
Eggs also contain choline, which is essential for building cell membranes and contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are strong antioxidants that keep your eyes healthy.
Compared with other foods, eggs have an exceptional amount of nutrients that makes them a perfect food for people that play sports regularly, since these people need more nutrients than an average person. They contain almost every single vitamin; the only one that’s missing is vitamin C. But as for the rest, all the fat-soluble vitamins are on the yolk and all the water soluble on the egg white.
This is by far my favorite vegetable. Belonging to the cruciferous vegetables family, broccoli is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, has plenty of fiber and a decent amount of protein, considering that it is a vegetable.
It is super high in vitamin C (even higher than oranges), and it contains vitamin A, various vitamins of the B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6), vitamin K, folate, selenium, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
All of that means that broccoli is great for keeping your digestive system healthy, lowering blood pressure and avoiding heart diseases, it contributes to better eye health, stimulates your immune system and reduces oxidative stress. Just to name a few benefits.
On top of that, studies have shown that broccoli decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and some studies even suggest that sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound present on cruciferous vegetables, gives broccoli (and all the other cruciferous vegetables) cancer-fighting power.
Filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and selenium), sweet potatoes are one of the most nutrient dense carbohydrates sources you can find out there.
It is high in provitamin A (which is deducible by its orange color), more specifically on beta – carotene, which takes part on the bones and cartilage formation processes, as well as on blood coagulation.
They provide us with most of our B vitamins (B1, B2, B5 and B6), have a great amount of vitamin C, which lowers cortisol after your workouts (which is one of the reasons why it is my go to post workout carbohydrate source), protects your immune system and is a strong antioxidant.
Since they are high in fiber, they help keeping your digestive system healthy and they digest really well.
It promotes your immune system by stimulating antibodies, red and white corpuscles production.
Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, and numerous studies have suggested that the antioxidants in the peel of sweet potatoes, may help reduce this oxidation process, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
It keeps your nails, hair and sight healthy.
It is definitely a must on your diet.
Without a doubt, this is my top 1 carbohydrate source.
It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and, what’s more, it is gluten free. Whether you are celiac or not, it is proven that gluten free foods digest easily than non-gluten free foods. However, if you’re celiac, even though oatmeal is naturally gluten-free, it can be contaminated with gluten so, choose oats that are certified as gluten-free.
Starting off with its fiber content, it is high in soluble fiber, more specifically in beta-glucan, which is a powerful fiber that slows down sugar digestion, and thereby keeps your blood sugar levels stable, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
It is rich in manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, folate, thiamin (Vitamin B1) and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), making it one of the most nutrient dense foods you can find.
It is high in magnesium too, which is key to enzyme function and energy production, and it also helps preventing heart attacks and strokes by relaxing blood vessels. The high levels of magnesium promote the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
Last but not least, oatmeal is a good source of quality vegetal protein (around 13gr of protein per a 100gr of oatmeal) and contains more fat than most other grains.
That’s it for the first part of this mini-series of SUPERFOODS!! But that’s not all, there are plenty of them and we will cover them in upcoming articles so, until then, stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss anything, get access to exclusive content and get notified when a new post comes out!! If you have any doubt, question, suggestion, constructive critic or are not agree with something you read, please let me know in the comments section, by sending me an email (click here) or using my social media!!
And don’t forget to share this!!
See you soon!!