There is a host of conflicting information circling about the internet when it comes to healthy living. There’s advice on what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat, what exercises to do, and so much more. It seems that you cannot escape the endless bombardment of information. Most of this has to do with food, and, like it or not, there are some definite nutritional rules that you should be following.
You’ve heard this all time and time again. There are things you should eat and things you should not eat. The tried and true methods stand the test of time and are still recommended by doctors, scientists, and fitness gurus everywhere. We know the basics, like complex carbs and leafy greens, but there are foods that are more “super” than others. Here are the top nine to add to your diet for improving your health.
Start with the proteins.
Steaks are usually the forefront of meals for every meat-and-potatoes guy, but there are certain types of proteins that are better for you than others. While chicken is typically thought of as the healthiest choice when it comes to protein, cuts of pork and beef that are leaner in nature have just as much protein with just a miniscule amount of additional fats. They are also high in leucine, which helps in muscle building.
Shellfish is also an excellent choice. Shellfish, along with other forms of seafood, have high quantities of zinc. Zinc is crucial for reproductive wellbeing, muscle strength, and heart health. Notably, fish such as salmon, sardines, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is also great for your heart. Adding these to your diet rather than a fattier cut of meat can be helpful for your heart and waist.
Moving onto dairy.
Leucine, the aforementioned amino acid that supports muscle construction, can also be found in whey. Milk and yogurt contain whey which in turn supplies you with leucine. Greek yogurt is particularly popular with men who enjoy the richer taste.
Furthermore, Greek yogurt is a major source of potassium, protein, and healthy gut bacteria for well-rounded health. Without those good bacteria in your gut, the balance can be thrown off and bad bacteria can take over. This can lead to a damaged immune system. Additionally, if you have symptoms of IBS, this can aid in those conditions.
This is bananas.
While Greek yogurt is high in potassium, it has nothing on bananas. They have been hailed for a long time for their abundance of potassium, and rightly so. While potassium is great for muscle and bone health, it is also supportive regarding blood pressure. Getting the right amount of potassium in your diet has been scientifically seen to be as important as dropping your sodium intake when trying to lower blood pressure.
Bananas are also a great grab-and-go snack. They pair well with just about anything, too. This makes them a superfood in and of themselves. A peanut butter sandwich? Add some banana! A boring bowl of oatmeal? Throw some banana in there! Need a snack to tide you over until lunch? Reach for a banana!
Now, do not be ginger.
Typically, ginger is found in many Asian-inspired dishes as a delicious added flavor. Moreover from that, ginger can reduce inflammation. This can definitely aid in muscle repair after a good, hardy workout. Incorporating ginger into your regular diet may also decrease the paint of muscle injuries, particularly those that were caused by exercise.
Ginger can also be used to treat different forms of nausea. In cases of sea sickness, nausea after surgeries, and nausea due to chemotherapy, roughly one to one and a half grams of ginger can help prevent symptoms. Ginger is one of the classic “superfoods.”
Those wonderful pistachios.
Nuts are often sought out to curb salty, crispy snack cravings. They prove to be a healthy alternative to things like pretzels and chips; they are high in protein, fiber, and zinc. Pistachios are among some of the best nuts for a quick snack. And prove themselves to excel at improve cholesterol levels in men.
Aside from their obvious nutritional benefits, pistachios are also a more challenging snack. Eating them from the shell provides a task. This slows your eating progress as well as being entertaining. It definitely takes more time to indulge.
And now for the fun stuff!
Whether you love to hate it or hate to love it, coffee has been ingrained in American culture for years. And, when ingested in moderation, it can have some health benefits. The main advantage is the jolt of energy and alertness that comes with caffeine. With almost zero caloric value, coffee is by far the best energy supplement on the market.
Many studies have also linked coffee with disease prevention; it can bolster your resistance to type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease. It is also a key source of antioxidants, regardless of caffeine content. There have also been studies that suggest drinking coffee regularly can reduce mortality. These affects were only found in individuals who drank one or two cups a day maximum. More than that can have an adverse effect, like a change in heart rate or a risk of developing anxiety, so drink sensibly.
Chocolate consumption can also have valuable health effects. In small quantities, dark chocolate can improve blood flow and circulation, as well as keeping cholesterol and blood pressure in line. However, too much of a good thing can go wrong. Overindulging in chocolate can lead to some waistline increases. Doctors recommend about one ounce a day while avoiding other sweet treats.
Adding these foods to your diet does not guarantee perfect health, but just about nothing does. However, in mindful quantities, making changes to the things you eat can have a huge effect on your health. Try a lean pork chop instead of that ribeye. How about a banana instead of a candy bar? Or, maybe try a cup of plain old coffee instead of your morning Frappuccino. The changes are endless, and your potential is just as limitless.