Superfoods have gained so much popularity because they are packed with nutrients, loaded with vitamins, filled with disease-fighting properties, promote weight loss, and are overflowing with health benefits. But what are they? Mainly fruits, vegetables, and grains. But don’t be fooled, they are full of highly concentrated and potent nutrients. Here are our top superfood suggestions to keep you lean and flowing with energy.
- Blueberries . Blueberries are touted as one of the best berries since they are composed of nearly 85% water and are low in calories. They’re filled with soluble fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer, as well as tons of vitamins and antioxidants. Studies even show that this little fruit may reduce damage, fatigue, and soreness after strenuous exercise. Raspberries, cranberries, and goji berries are good alternatives.
- Pomegranate . Pomegranates can reduce muscle damage, which make them a great post-workout snack. Juice drinks are topped with extra sugar, so opt for the fruit instead.
- Avocados . This fruit has mostly mono-saturated fats (making them “good fats”) and an average of 9 grams of fiber per avocado. It even has more protein than bananas. Try an avocado as your next post-workout snack to provide your muscles some restorative electrolytes.
- Dark leafy greens . Kale, spinach, and broccoli are the most popular from this category, but don’t forget about swiss chard, collard greens, or cabbage. It’s been shown that these vegetables help you live longer and help you lose weight because they are loaded with vitamins, fiber, calcium, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and more!
- Sweet potatoes . Sweet potatoes are the new carrot. This orange root vegetable has more beta-carotene than it’s relative, the carrot. It hosts vitamins, calcium, iron, fiber, natural anti-inflammatory properties, and electrolytes, which make it perfect for post-workout muscle and cell recovery.
- Beetroot . Eating this colorful vegetable will inject you with iron and folate, both of which can increase blood flow to your muscles and allow your body to take in more oxygen. Add this to your pre-workout smoothie and watch your stamina reap the best benefits.
GRAINS (and OTHER)
Spirulina . It may feel weird to eat a blue-green algae, but it won’t feel weird when your muscles gain strength. This powder helps you gain muscle while protecting them from fatigue and damage. Like most powders, include it in your daily shake or smoothie. But be prepared, it is a bit smelly! Coconut Oil . Consume this regularly and chances are your metabolism will rise while your body weight lowers. It’s a great source of energy if you’re into endurance exercise, so try to incorporate 1 tablespoon per day. The easiest way is to use is as a replacement for butter.
- Quinoa . This tiny seed has major benefits. Quinoa has complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Combine that with fiber and antioxidants and you can see why it’s a superfood. But did I mention it’s weight loss properties? Or the amount of minerals and vitamins it boasts? Plus it’s nutty flavor? Quinoa can be cooked like rice, added to homemade energy bars, thrown into smoothies, and more. If you’re not a fan, try lentils as a substitute.
- Matcha . Looking to lose weight? Matcha is your new best friend. A recent study found that Matcha green tea lowered participant’s BMI, amount of body fat, and waistline. Enjoy it in tea, or use in powdered form in your shakes and smoothies.
What’s not to love about superfoods?! Add a few of these suggestions to your diet and watch your waistline shrink, your muscles grow, and feel the energy from the natural nutrients!
Want to learn more about superfoods? Check out this article about the best superfoods to build muscle, or read here to learn about which superfoods can supercharge your weight loss!