We all know that good nutrition is essential for well-being and energy levels. As the saying goes, “Eat well to feel well.”
But what does that mean in a practical sense? What are these good foods we should eat to supply ourselves with all the necessary nutrients?
There are countless options to consider. But, for the sake of simplicity, we’ve compiled a list of 8 healthy, filling, and nutritious foods to consider.
Bananas are one of the best fruits for sustained energy levels and athletic performance.
A medium-sized banana provides roughly 28 grams of carbohydrates, 15 of which are naturally-occurring sugars. Plus, the body digests bananas relatively quickly, which makes them the perfect snack to have before or during a workout.
In addition, bananas are an excellent source of potassium – an electrolyte necessary for fluid balance, healthy blood pressure, muscle contractions, and more.
Bananas also provide vitamin B6, vitamin C, and magnesium, which are necessary for optimal health and well-being.
Oats, particularly steel-cut and rolled oats, are an excellent energy source. They are rich in protein and complex carbs that support post-training muscle recovery and athleticism.
More importantly, oats digest reasonably slowly and gradually release nutrients into the bloodstream, making you feel full and energized for hours.
Even better, you can prepare oats in many ways and enjoy them as part of a sweet or savory recipe.
Oatmeal is the most straightforward way to prepare oats. It only takes a few minutes to cook and tastes great. You can mix your oats with milk, protein powder, and fruit (banana, berries, etc.).
For example, put oats in a bowl, cover them with milk, pop them in the microwave for two minutes, mix in a scoop of protein powder, and top with a few banana slices and a spoon of peanut butter.
3. Brown Rice
Brown rice is another excellent source of complex carbs that support good health, vitality, and energy levels.
Like oats, brown rice digests slowly, allowing for a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. As a result, you feel energized throughout the day, leading to better productivity, kick-butt workouts, and sharper cognition.
You can enjoy brown rice as a stand-alone food or as part of healthy meals. Meat, fish, and veggies go great with rice.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of essential nutrients and calories that support energy levels and well-being.
Specifically, nuts and seeds provide heart-healthy fats, complex carbs (including fiber), protein, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
For example, an ounce of almonds provides:
- 165 calories
- 6 grams of protein
- 14 grams of fats
- 6 grams of carbs (including 3 grams of fiber)
- Vitamins B2, E
- Calcium, copper, and magnesium
Similarly, a tablespoon of flaxseeds offers:
- 55 calories
- 1.9 grams of protein
- 4.3 grams of fats
- 3 grams of carbs (2.8 grams of fiber)
- Calcium, iron, and magnesium
5. Lean Meat
Lean meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and turkey, are an excellent source of protein, which is crucial for human health and well-being.
Protein isn’t traditionally known as a nutrient that provides fuel like carbohydrates, but boosting your intake can offer several distinct benefits.
First, protein supplies your body with the building blocks it needs to make hormones, enzymes, antibodies, neurotransmitters, and more. Second, the nutrient supports post-exercise recovery and contributes to physical development.
Not eating enough protein robs your body of the amino acids it needs to operate at peak efficiency. Common symptoms that can result from that include:
- Muscle weakness
- Persistent muscle soreness
- Muscle loss
- A gradually declining athletic performance
So, while carbs serve as the primary fuel source for the body, proteins are the building blocks needed for optimal health and well-being.
Eggs have been under a fair amount of criticism over the years. Common arguments against egg consumption include:
- “Eggs increase cholesterol and put you at risk of cardiovascular disease!”
- “Eggs lead to a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer!”
- “Eggs will put you at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes!”
Of course, as research on eggs grows, we learn that such claims are mostly unfounded. At best, there are some correlations that in no way imply actual causation.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet because they supply some of the highest quality protein and heart-healthy fats the human body needs. In addition, eggs are a good source of vitamins B2, B12, and D, iodine, selenium, and more.
Regular consumption supplies your body with the energy and nutrients to function well, allowing you to feel at your best.
Avocado is another high-fat food you should consider adding to your diet. For one, avocados have a balanced nutritional profile, with 100 grams providing:
- 14.7 grams of healthy fats
- 8.5 grams of carbs (6.7 grams of fiber)
- 2 grams of protein
In addition, avocados are incredibly nutritious and provide vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C, E, and K, copper, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Avocados are also satiating and full of calories that support your energy levels. Coupled with their excellent nutritional profile, avocados are a must-have food to function at your best and maintain excellent health.
8. Fatty Fish
Like eggs, high-fat foods are often criticized as potentially harmful to human health. But, just as with eggs, fatty fish and other foods can be an excellent source of nutrients your body needs.
Unlike most other foods on our list, fatty fish is particularly important because it is one of the few sources of omega-3 fatty acids. More specifically, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Both fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, well-being, cardiovascular health, mental health, and more. These nutrients are also vital for preventing age-related cognitive decline, cancer, fatty liver disease, and more.
Aside from omega-3s, fatty fish is an excellent source of high-quality protein, heart-healthy fats, vitamins B and D, calcium, zinc, iodine, and more.
Good options include salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring.
Fuelling your body is crucial for feeling energized, performing well in your training, and making the best possible progress – whether you exercise using a mini trampoline rebounder, or any other form of fitness for that matter. The list above is obviously not exhaustive though, and eating a mixed diet, as well making sure you enjoy the food you are eating, is equally as important.
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