In this article, I will go through 5 foods that have made a huge impact in my progress as a bodybuilder while outlining the nutritional benefits these foods provide.
Oats are a wonderful source of complex carbohydrates. Unlike simple sugars, complex carbs won't cause a spike in your blood sugar after you eat them. Oats provide a good source of slow burning energy, as well as many important nutrients such as fibre, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Oats have also been found to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, heart disease prevention, blood sugar balance and even immune response. Oats contain many phytonutrients and are an excellent source of antioxidants.
Quinoa is a grain that falls into the complex carbohydrate food group and is often used as a rice substitute. It is one of the highest protein grains, containing 5 g of protein per ½ cup. Quinoa is extremely easy to digest and is hypoallergenic, so it's a great option for those with dietary sensitivities. It is rich in magnesium and vitamin B2, as well as containing manganese, tryptophan, folate and phosphorous. Through its nutritional content, quinoa can be used for migraine prevention and cardiovascular support.
Avocados are a fruit rich in healthy, unsaturated fats. The fat content of this fruit is what causes many people to avoid them. But, avocados contain a combination of different forms of healthy fats, which are the main source of this fruit’s many health benefits. Avocados are rich in phytosterols, antioxidants, omega-3, fiber, folic acid and vitamins C/K/B5/B6. They have been used to remedy inflammation, support cardiovascular health and help regulate blood sugar. The healthy fats contained in avocados provide a lasting sense of fullness and will stabilise energy and blood sugar levels for longer.
Cinnamon is a spice that is high in fibre and manganese. It's main health benefits come from its anti-microbial properties and its role in blood sugar regulation. Studies have confirmed that cinnamon can assist in stabilising blood sugar through simply sprinkling it onto high carbohydrate meals that would normally cause fluctuations in blood sugar. So for the ultimate nutritional combo; put cinnamon on your oats every morning.
Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around. It’s a green, leafy vegetable loaded with antioxidants, fiber, iron, manganese, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and so much more! As an antioxidant, it is five times more powerful than broccoli! The antioxidant properties in kale have been linked to assisting cardiovascular health and preventing/remedying inflammation. Research is even being conducted to explore the potential cancer preventing properties in kale.