Getting fit starts with your diet. Diets are difficult. Diets can ruin motivations because of the sacrifices that often have to be made to follow them.
Sacrifices that aren’t worth the struggle and the fight to a lot of potential fitness seekers. I’m willing to bet that there is a good chance that you fall into this category. Many of us do.
So is there an answer to this predicament that many of us find ourselves in? Well, kind of. You will have to make sacrifices to attain any serious goal that you ever make during the course of your life.
Sacrifices play a big role in the excitement that follows when the goal is met. The issue, though, is that starting the journey is difficult if the mountain looks too daunting.
This is where we CAN change the way things are done and help people to see that there is an easier and more effective way to reach those goals and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Well, maybe they aren’t secrets, but they are underutilized and under-taught throughout the “weight loss” industry. These secrets are called “superfoods.”
In order to make the list as a superfood, the food has to help the body dramatically in one way or another. These foods can reduce your risk for heart attacks and cancer as well as lower your bad cholesterol.
These foods can also put you in better moods and increase your energy levels. One of the greatest benefits for those of us on diets is that some superfoods will help you lose weight and add muscle quicker and easier than just leave them out completely.
Surprisingly, there are many of these types of foods out there, but we will go through our picks for the top ten.
We kept in mind that our goal is to gain muscle and lose weight, so the foods that we chose had to align with that goal. Also, keep in mind that these are not ranked in any type of best to worst order. They all provide different benefits that serve different purposes.
Let’s just say that Popeye had a very good reason for poppin’ the spinach cans. I realize that you may not be too keen on the leafy green stuff at this point, but all that will change once you start seeing results.
There are many benefits in just a single serving of spinach, including 20% of your RDA of dietary fiber.
Fiber curbs overeating aids in digestion and help your body maintain low blood pressure. Spinach also contains Neoxanthin and violaxanthin, which are two anti-inflammatory epoxy xanthophylls that will help your body recover faster after a workout.
Lastly, spinach contains many antioxidants and vitamins that aid eyesight, your skin, your bones, as well as keep your immune system in top shape.
One egg contains 6 grams of protein and all 9 essential amino acids. They are also a good source of choline, which is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
(One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline.) Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Lastly, eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.
Yes, your favorite veggie, I know. If you are a part of the majority out there, you would tell me that you don’t really enjoy eating this vegetable.
I urge you to try them steamed or chopped or something because they are an invaluable weapon in your fat-burning arsenal.
Broccoli, like all cruciferous vegetables, contains the phytochemicals indoles and isothiocyanates. Indoles are important for weight loss because they reduce the bad estrogen that is created in your body from eating all of that processed food that you are now throwing out of your diet.
Bad estrogen blocks muscle growth and increases your fat storage. Broccoli also contains alpha-lipoic acid, which will aid in the prevention of hardening of collagen caused by sugar and decrease the amount of dimpling that you see on the back of your legs.
(Yes, it gets rid of that annoying cellulite that you just can’t seem to shake.)
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4. Oats, Oatmeal
This one may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but don’t let it fool you. Oatmeal is the proud owner of many health benefits, especially to those who are trying to lose weight.
Oatmeal will be very important in your journey to losing weight because of its ability to suppress your appetite.
According to a research study published in the October 2009 issue of “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research,” a compound in oatmeal known as β-glucan reduces appetite by increasing the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.
Among the other benefits of oatmeal includes the reduction of cholesterol and the reduced risk of colon cancer.
5. Greek Yogurt
One of the newest additions to the list of superfoods, greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much healthier than its counterpart, regular yogurt.
Greek yogurt has 15 grams of protein in just one 6 oz serving, which will help you feel full and satiated. This yogurt also has just half the amount of sugar that regular unsweetened non-fat yogurt has.
You can opt to get different flavors, but many add fresh fruit to plain greek yogurt to give it the added taste. Lastly, one serving of greek yogurt will give you 20% of your calcium needs.
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6. Fish (Salmon)
I think that we all know that salmon is a great food because of its omega-3 fats. Omega-3’s protect against muscle breakdown, which is great for your fat loss efforts because it will help to speed up your metabolism.
These fats will also improve your mental health and protect against depression. Salmon also lowers chronic inflammation, which will lower your risk for coronary heart disease.
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Blueberries are most known for the high amount of antioxidants contained in them. If you want to learn more about what antioxidants are and why they are beneficial to you, check out this article from Healthline.
These berries are also high in ellagic acid, which has been shown to kill certain cancer cells. The phytochemicals in blueberries help to prevent those ugly spider veins because they strengthen the walls of your blood vessels.
One last benefit of blueberries is the anthocyanins contained in them, which aids your brain in producing the chemical dopamine that declines as you age.
8. Chicken Breast
Chicken breasts contain a lot of good stuff in them. First, they have low fat and high amounts of protein. (I hope you are starting to realize that protein is important) .
Chicken contains three of the most important BCAAs, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are the building blocks for new muscle, but they also supply the energy needed for these new muscles as well.
These three BCAAs, in particular, help to burn fat and improve muscle recovery after a hard workout. Since your muscles largely determine what your metabolism is like, this will be a huge boost to your health quest.
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There are far too many benefits of almonds to list here. Still, the main reason they were included in this list is the weight maintenance benefits they provide.
Almonds are high in fiber, protein, and monosaturated fat. This combination will help you to feel full as well as regulate your body’s functions more efficiently.
They have also been shown to block the absorption of calories in your body, making it one of the greatest weight loss snacks out there.
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“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… Do I need to say more? Apples contain phytochemicals that help prevent cancer.
They contain the flavonoid phloridzin and the mineral boron, which helps prevent osteoporosis. They contain quercetin, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
I believe that all of these properties are attributed to the creation of that saying. On top of all of this, apples contain peptin fiber.
This fiber slows down your digestion and controls your appetite. This pectin also supplies the body with galacturic acid, which decreases the body’s insulin needs.
These are just a few of some of the greatest foods for your body. It is frustrating to work hard on getting fit and healthy but kill your progress because you don’t eat the right foods.
Including these in your everyday diet will not only stop hurting your chances of getting fit, but they will help you to reach the goals that you are setting for yourself.
One final tip: don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to eat the perfect foods at the beginning. Incorporate them slowly so that you will be able to maintain the healthy eating over the long term.