There were days when we all ended up feeling more like a Twinkie than the lean cut of protein we aspire to be. I found that in order to build the body I wanted, aside from fitness training, I also needed to make every bite of food count – which meant packing up and stocking on the most potent and nutrient-dense food choices I could find.
So… where did I start? With a list. Here are my top healthiest food choices for health and fitness:
BROCCOLI For our bodies to be able to keep the pounds at bay, we need our daily intake of vitamins. One cup of broccoli can provide all the Vitamin C and Vitamin K our body needs. Not only is it available in my nearest supermarket and fills me up easily, it’s also widely known as a great food choice for weight loss as it is low in calories and its phytochemicals show potential for breaking down fats.
SPINACH Popeye loves spinach because it helps him get stronger; but what he probably didn’t know is that it also helps him lose weight. The extract from spinach slows down the digestion process and the green leaf membranes found in it (called thylakoids) produce a feeling of satiety and act as appetite suppressants.
KALE When I knew the benefits of kale for my health and skin, it didn’t take long for it to become a staple in my smoothies and salads. Containing iron and antioxidants, kale treats sun damage, reduces inflammation, and promotes elasticity in the hair.
SEAWEED Seaweeds are rich in fiber and contain nutrients such as beta-carotene, potassium, zinc and iodine that help reduce the amount of fat absorbed by our body.
SPIRULINA If I begin to feel a little lacklustre and notice my skin losing its radiance, I immediately reach for spirulina. Spirulina provides protein for healthy skin and hair and acts as a natural body detoxifier.
KIWI Kiwis provide fiber and vitamins C and K and act as a filling food and a natural appetite suppressant. It’s also the perfect addition to your green smoothies!
BLUEBERRIES These nutrient-dense “little blue dynamos” help delay signs of aging and aid in weight loss. Rich in antioxidants and fiber, blueberries hold the key to better health, skin, and hair.
BANANAS Rich in potassium and naturally free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium, bananas are a great food choice for promoting fitness and radiating beauty.
DATES Dates lower cholesterol and are rich in protein and vitamins C and D that works on our skin’s elasticity and helps our skin stay smooth. It also helps raise testosterone levels and collagen production.
LEMONS Not only rich in Vitamin C, lemons also have the most protein among every fruit. The higher the protein, the higher the amount of amino acids, proline and lysine which are used in collagen’s formation.
TAHINI Tahinis are a paste made from ground sesame seeds that are rich in potassium and iron and contain high levels of Vitamin E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B12. It helps maintain healthy skin and muscle tone and because it’s easy to digest, it’s a great support for weight loss.
NUTS AND SEEDS Low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats, these help burn excess calories faster and help shed unwanted fat. Recent studies also show that protein from nuts and seeds is heart smart.
LENTILS With no sodium and no sugar and a rich source of protein, iron and dietary fiber, lentils are an invaluable part of any balanced diet.
SALMON A rich source of lean protein, salmon helps make us feel full for longer. The fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids we get from eating it help increase and boost weight loss.
NUTRITIONAL YEAST Natural yeast is abundant in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and protein. In fact, it’s known as a complete protein as this alone contains the essential amino acids for our body to perform its best and also supports burning fat faster.
GREEN TEA I often get asked how much tea one needs to drink to lose weight, and I’d often respond by saying about 2-3 cups a day (heeding to the suggestion of the University of Maryland Medical Center). A great source of caffeine, it helps burn calories and decrease fat production.