You are no doubt aware that there is a link, between fatty foods and fitness. Whilst it is nice to have treats in moderation, and sometimes this can feel essential to keep your sanity; it becomes essential to keep an eye on the amount of saturated fats and sugar we eat if we are going to maintain our midlife health.
It is best to especially watch foods such as pies, biscuits, cakes and savoury snacks as they contain a surprisingly high amount of fat which can sneak up on the tummy making it harder to stay in shape and feel fit and healthy.
Here are 8 foods however, that have very impressive health and fitness benefits. You could incorporate some of the ones you fancy into your weekly shopping list:
Fish, particularly salmon, is packed with protein and omega 3 fats, which are excellent for your heart. A light meal containing fish would be great to enjoy after you come in from enjoying your exercises, as it is great to eat to refuel and recover. Salmon also has a good balance of carbohydrates.
It helps your ticker by lowering cholesterol as well as strengthening your heart muscles. The omega 3 can help prevent blood clots. It is also good for your skin, hair and eyes. Tuna and sardines can also help with your fitness.
2 Green Veggies
Green Veg, particularly broccoli and spinach, are excellent for fitness (who can forget Popeye pumping his muscles after he’d ate his spinach?).
Spinach contains loads of vitamin K which is great for your bones as well as twice the concentration of iron as even other great greens.
Broccoli is not called a ‘Superfood’ for nothing either, it is good for your heart and joints and the magnesium can help your memory.
3 Olive Oil
Olive Oil (no, we’re not back to Popeye!) is also very good when it comes to your fitness. It has a link to cancer prevention and can reduce cholesterol as well as strengthening your blood vessels and reducing your blood pressure.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (preferable 100%) is the best type to go for to keep you fighting fit, as the goodness hasn’t been diluted out of it.
As well as being packed with vitamins, folate and potassium, tomatoes have the rare balance of being filling without being fattening.
They can help prevent lines and wrinkles, fight osteoporosis, due to their vitamin K and calcium content and can even help your eyesight due to their vitamin A content.
As long as they are eaten in moderation, not coated in sugar, salt or fatty flavourings, or washed down with a gallon of beer or wine, nuts are actually very good for you!
Almonds are recommended due to trumping every other type of nut in the calcium stakes, and they also contain a lot of fibre.
Walnuts are also great as they can reduce inflammation of the arteries due to their omega 3 content.
Blueberries really are a ‘Superfood’ and are the Ninjas of antioxidants – the fighters of certain disease.
They can help with your heart, enhance your memory, reduce blood sugar levels and can decrease depression symptoms.
If you find them a bit bland on their own, you could keep ‘em healthy by adding them to a fruit salad or a plain yoghurt.
Beans are an excellent source of protein and can be a great substitute for fatty meats, particularly if you are trying to watch the waistline.
This is because they contain the minerals and fibre of meat but not the bad saturated fat. They are also filling and versatile, with a variety of different types available; not just the canned baked beans you may keep stocked up for the grandchildren!
Don’t forget these other types of beans you can get, including kidney beans and black beans. (If you can’t resist canned baked beans yourself, you could always opt for a low-salt/sugar option.)
Beans also go great in tortilla wraps as a fun, healthy sandwich alternative. They are a must in a chilli con carne and can liven up those soups and salads.
8 Dark Chocolate
It doesn’t just have to be the more obvious sensible food that is good for you. Dark chocolate may feel like a naughty treat, but the good news is that an ounce of it contains loads of nutrients and antioxidants which can actually fight heart disease. It can also stimulate muscle growth and literally cheers you up due to lowering your stress levels!
The key, before you reach for the whole box or bar though, is moderation. Your sweet cravings can be satisfied with as little as one square daily and you should always go for a cocoa/cacao content of above 65% to reap the benefits.